spring brocante tour underway!

Today is the start of my spring brocante tour, with six delightful clients here for six days!

We shall be buying brocante – of course – but also enjoying the countryside that is so beautiful at this time of year.

Highlights on our itinerary include a visit to the landing beaches; a walk around Monet’s garden at  Giverny;  a tour of a 12th century abbey;  a class in french cooking with a top chef and we’ll take tea in a private home, a stunning 16th century manor house.

Our brocante buying will take us into old barns, into people’s houses, into huge warehouses and pretty stores …. choice and variety are always key elements for this sort of trip, and I plan carefully to make our days interesting and fruitful.

My guests will have had a long trip to get here so we stay local for the first day, but over the next week we’ll be venturing much, much further and seeing all sorts of treasure and wonderful things.

Here on the blog, it will be business as usual with a couple of blog posts prepared for the weekend, but if you want to keep up with us on the tour then follow our steps on Instagram and on twitter.  I’ll be posting images of what we see and get up to all day long.

My French Country Home on Instagram

My French Country Home on Facebook

My French Country Home on Twitter

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creation and design in Paris – Kidimo

Yesterday in Paris I met Nicolas Flachot, creator of the ultra fashionable on-line store KIDIMO.

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Nicolas loves old letters.  He has been hunting them down in brocantes and fairs for years now, and when he formed his company his passion became his business.

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Today he sells letters in all styles, and helps clients all over the world to put them together in words of their choice, in his easy-to-recognise signature style.

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His better known clients include the Merci store in Paris, Elle Deco magazine, Paolo Navone and many others.

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I asked him if he has a current favourite style of letter, and the answer came without hesitation, at the moment he is loving  the 50′s and 60′s

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To find Nicolas, I had to cross one of those old Parisian inner courtyards that takes you back 200 years, pass a friendly black dog and climb a dark and dodgy stairway to finally come to his  door .

1I rang the bell and he answered with a smile, opening wide to reveal a vast atelier, bordered on all sides by piles of letters, neatly sorted and stacked by size, colour and style.

We chatted about his love of brocante, his former work as a TV producer and the pleasure he gets today, assembling words and dispatching them around the world.

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At any time, Nicolas has nearly 2000 letters in stock.  Ranging from a few centimetres high to 3 metres!    All his letters are authentically old.  As well as unique decorations for their home, his clients are buying a little bit of history.

Typically a client contacts him by email with a request and he will put together a suggestion with prices and sizes and send them a photo.  Once the client is happy, the letters are packed and posted.  Luckily Nicolas speaks good English, so there is no problem for most clients from outside of France.

As we talked, he kindly put together some words for me and my camera, including  (and this was a test of patience, why is my name so long?!  really!!)  the title to this little blog!

So if you long to see your name in lights, or to put your dog’s name above his bed, or simply shout ‘Bonjour’ from your bedroom wall, you can contact Nicolas via the Kidimo website.  Even better, you can keep up with their news (including their amazing twice yearly cleaning-out sale!) by liking the Kidimo facebook page.

And if you really prefer to see before you buy, you can make an appointment to stop at the atelier in Paris, and choose your letters personally …. just don’t forget to say:

KIDIMO on facebook here

KIDIMO.COM the website here

227 rue st Denis, 75002

photos 1 & 11 by Frederic Lucano for Kidimo

wisteria blooming and fragrant

 

The wisteria is taking its time to unfold and reveal its true colours.  Temeratures are mild, days are sunny;  our windows are wide open all day long, and the house is filled with the balmy perfume.

We have three old wisterias here, each with thick strong trunks that will bend metal railings or piping with no trouble at all.   They flower once in the spring, and a second time mid summer when the leaves are thicker and greener.

We somehow missed the late autumn trim and the facade of the house is looking slightly overgrown, but we’ll let the flowers run, and then cut back, around the shutters at least.

This year is proving exceptional for blooms so far, and we feel blessed, and just hope that it will continue to the rose season … and beyond.