a writerly chronicle of renovating, dwelling, and everyday life
What I cannot figure out is exactly when this idea planted itself into my subconscious, like a lemon tree in stone courtyard, but there it is, so what is the point in fighting it?
For Picasso, Paris was blue. For me, it will always be yellow.
My fixation with vibrant yellows against a backdrop of faded limestone buildings has made its way into the color palette of the main floor of our house. When my stylish Aunt visited, on her way through to Scotland, I wanted to show off the outcome of my Parisian color concept; not long after she arrived and asked to use the WC, I took the opportunity to walk her into –not to, but into– our recently renovated 1/2 bath, which is quite small.
As she waited to use the restroom, I stood there with her, crammed body-to-body next to the toilet and slowly pointed out the subtle Parisian references: the post cards, the use of yellow and grey, the punctuation of black against the white subway tile back splash— which is when she quickly responded that what the bathroom really has is a 1950′s color palette, and ended the conversation, promptly closing the door.
That is fine with me, I considered, still loitering right outside the bathroom door to continue the house tour when she emerged: I would make a smart 1950′s housewife. Though I fancied the color combination in the 1/2 bath to be more of a Paris in the winter, over a bowl of steaming, yellowish, vegetable soup. Which makes the toilet the porcelain soup tureen and the vegetable soup–Oh no! Time to scrap that description.
But the 1950′s reference got me to thinking: wait a minute … Julia Child did begin to translate the sensibility and rigor of French cuisine for the American housewife in the 1950′s after attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Et voila! Case closed. My bathroom is a nod to an earlier decade and a reference to a lovely French city at sunset. Which is quite a lot, considering it used to be a closet.
Below is photographic evidence that Paris is punctuated with pops of yellow against an otherwise grey urban landscape.
Now do you see?Resources for images above: 1. The Paris Print Shop 2. Rebecca Plotnick Photography 3. Vita Nostra 4. Handmadeology 5. Smith & Co. 6. Design Hotel Paris 7. Bella Umbrella Blog
And here some lovely interiors that use yellow and grey as their primary colors.
Resources for interiors:
2. belle maison
3. Styled Haven
4. The Loophole