Skip to content

Monsieur Bleu Restaurant: The Palais de Tokyo Paris

Imagine this: inventing a character whom you wish to bring to life not as flesh and blood, but as an interior?

This is what French architect Joseph Dirand did when designing Monsieur Bleu the restaurant in new wing of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. And to fully appreciate the design, it is important to understand that the Palais de Tokyo is dedicated to contemporary art.  And Dirand’s fictional character, Monsieur Bleu is “a true bourgeois gentleman, artist, gastronome and dandy that lives simultaneously within and outside the codes of the city, culture, conventions and everyday life.”

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu09

The interior of the restaurant is the epitome Paris chic: sensual fabrics, strong lines, quality materials and superb craftsmanship. The soft velvets in hues of greens and greys contrast both in colour and texture with the black and white tiled floors and smooth Carrara marble throughout.

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu04

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu01

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu03

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu08

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu06

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu11

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu07

UrbanKaleidoscopeMonsieurBleu05

It is stunning in a totally understated way. What I find particularly inspiring is Dirand’s creative process: the idea that a space is a person whom you are bring to life.  It is interior designer as author or playwright. It tickles my fancy!

Photos Adrien Dirand via Yatzer

 

Bedside vigil

This morning a dear friend of mine died after a four year battle with cancer. Her last 24 hours, I spent at her beside with her closest friend. It was a surreal and intense experience. If I were a writer I’d try to put it into words, but as I am not this sums up what I am feeling.

UrbanKaleidoscopeLondonHome01

The picture above is of a late 17th century house in Spitafields, London, renovated by 6a Architects whose ”trademark style involves stripping old buildings of all extraneous detail in an effort to expose the timeless elegance of the structure.”

Somehow the fact that the building is so old and seen so much, even in its stripped back minimal state it is complex, rich and full of soul.

via Remodelista

Living with exposed bricks

In Australia in the 1970s, there was a trend to remove the plaster in historic homes in order to reveal the beauty of the original bricks. I am not an advocate of treating old buildings in such a manner, but recently I have been noticing exposed bricks popping up with increased frequency in super-stylish interiors. Take a look for yourselves.

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls08

Ilse Crawford London Apartment via FlickRiver

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls07

Mr WongYum Cha Restaurant via HomeLife

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls06

Michael Graydon Photography via Desire to Inspire

Kitchen-diner

via House to Home

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls04

via ddekor

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls02

via House to Home

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls03

via My Ideal Home

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls01

via Loft Global

UrbanKaleidoscopeExposedBrickWalls09

via PaperBlog

A Sleek White Art Filled Parisian Apartment

I find the houses of architects and interior designers particularly interesting as they are the ultimate showcase of that person’s work. This is certainly the true of the Parisian apartment of Patrick Gilles and Dorothee Boissier who run the the architecture and design practice Gilles & Bossier.

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier01

This minimal white, almost monastic, home honours its history complete with herringbone floors, wooden paneling, high ceilings, large rooms, French windows and intricate plasterwork. And yet, it is a modernist shrine. In many ways, it is a blank canvas for an incredible art collection which mostly leans against walls. Indeed, it feels like you could be in a modern art gallery rather than someone’s home. I love the sparse aesthetic that celebrates art and artisans. The white furniture fades into the background. There is no colour nor patterns throughout the house, yet texture used to create visual interest and warmth.

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier03

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier05 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier02

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier04

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier06 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier07 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier08 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier09 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier13

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier10 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier18

UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier11 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier12 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier14 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier19 UrbanKaleidoscopeGillesetBoissier20

There is something incredibly calming and peaceful about what they have created. While I am not sure I would call it inviting, it is certainly inspiring.

photos Birgita Wolfgang Drejer / Sister Agency

via Yatzer

 

 

Going dark with blackboard paint

As many of you know I love dark interiors. And to make them work, dark rooms need a sense of fun and vitality. This can be achieved by enlivening the room with splashes of vibrant colour, moody lighting and  quirky accessories. Another great idea is painting your walls with blackboard chalk and then doodling. If done well, it can look oh, so lovely. In fact, I love this so much I have posted on this topic twice in 6 months!

UrbanKaleidoscopeBlackboards06

via Vosges Paris

UrbanKaleidoscopeBlackboards02

via Vosges Paris

UrbanKaleidoscopeBlackboards05

Olaf Hajek’s Berlin Apartment The Selby

I love this wall where the chalk badly rubbed off. It’s particularly cheeky with that iconic image of Kate Moss printed on a tank top.

UrbanKaleidoscopeBlackboards07

via ChicCham

Finally, how cool is this magnetic blackboard wallpaper by Groovy Magnets?UrbanKaleidoscopeBlackboards01

Should blackboards be kept to kids’ rooms and the kitchen? Or are they also fine in bedrooms and living rooms?