Dreamy Spaces: Parisian Luxe in the Hollywood Hills...

This was one of those moments when I discovered the home that belongs to the master closet seen above. I've pinned and repinned that closet many times over the years, each time making a private promise to myself to achieve such closet perfection in my life. Yesterday I discovered the rest of the home on Luxe magazines's site.

Designed by Smith Firestone Associates, this incredible Hollywood Hills home captures the elegance and glamour of a refined Paris estate white embracing California's easy, breezy vibe. The living room may lean toward the formal end of the spectrum with its shimmering velvet fabrics and lustrous metallic finishes, but the rest of the home is pure relaxed elegance. It will come as no surprise to you regular readers that I love it! 

And that dreamy closet is the brainchild of none other that the esteemed Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design - another all-star in my book. {All photographs via Luxe & SFA.}

GET THE LOOK: RELAXED LUXE PARISIAN DINING  

 
 
 
 

Feeling Bookish: Oui, Oui! Paris by Ladurée, the City Guide...

If you've ever wanted to escape from it all and do Paris the right way (hello... all of us!), this lovely little guide book is precisely what you've been craving. Packaged in pretty pink letters, a hint of gold and containing sweet Parisian goodness inside, the Paris by Laduree City Guide is a veritable readable macaron. From where to shop to how to find that authentic French antique Empire chandelier you know is out there somewhere, this paperback is filled with delicious goodness. Pick it up as soon as you can, and book that ticket shortly after. Paris is calling and sweet experiences such as this should never be delayed.

Glued to your desk? Not to worry, I have your virtual Parisian cafe moment below. Pretty macarons, decadent coffee in a gorgeous cup and classic French style. So very soigné.

SHOP THE POST

What to Wear: Dinner in the City of Light...

Whether you're chasing your dream of living in that perfect Paris flat or you're simply in France for the week, appearances matter. Dressing affects how you feel and how you feel impacts your experience. Simply put: plan those outfits ahead of time and invest in classics that you'll wear again and again. 

For this imaginary date night (or night with the girls) in Paris I envision no less than a stunning black embroidered dress, some vintage Chanel (you expected otherwise?) and a few key accessories. 

The dress: hand embroidered in India with layers of tulle. Needle & Thread makes attainably priced pieces you'll love for many years to come. This dress is no exception. 

Shoes: who can resist the siren call of Saint Laurent? Alas, the price tag means they are not in the cards for everyone. Why not explore Ivanka's stunning collection or SJP's that make dressing in style affordable and downright chic. 

Chanel! Yes, yes, yes... there will be some black leather in your life. Why not peruse some vintage options for pieces with a bit of an interesting backstory? They make for great conversations starters, but are also often very special and meaningful investments. 

Scent: Whether you're creating romance or simply out for creating memories of a lovely night on the town, a signature scent will always transport you back to this magical night. Why not pay homage to one of the city's most iconic brands by spritzing on this modernized version of a Chanel fragrance. 

Finishing details matter most. Consider the chic chignon your go-to hairstyle for this memorable night. With so much sparkle elsewhere, keep it simply by dressing up your lobes with Swarovski crystal Ben Amun earrings. Fabulousness that's not overdone (but still stand-out fabulous). 

Your best wardrobe weapon? A attitude of insouciance. You belong at the most marvelous table. Act the part. Dress the part. Feel the part. Soak in the wonder of Paris. Make the night magical and don't even think of going to bed early. The night is young. 

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Spa Luxe: The Ritz Club Paris is Calling...

The Ritz Paris has once again opened its glorious doors after a very thorough $450 million renovation. The esteemed hotel is once again accepting reservations. The rooms are stunning, without question, but it's the world's only CHANEL day spa on-site that has fan girls (self included) buzzing and pondering a trip to Paris. An iconic luxury hotel and a one-of-a-kind spa experience wrapped up in one glistening shiny new black & white bow? This is too good to resist. Treatments in the sumptuous chinoiserie-and-lacquer­ space remind longtime admirers of Coco’s own apartment (also a must-see for those of you headed to the Ritz).

Befitting CHANEL, each spa experience is tailor-made to the client's personal needs and includes glow-inducing techniques specifically designed for the Ritz Club Spa. Insiders say the "Grand Soin" facial is the "ne plus ultra" of CHANEL skin care. The treatment is beloved for its smoothing, firming, and beauty-boosting benefits and the facial itself lasts an indulgent two to three hours.

Professional makeup application (the brand's own, of course) is offered to spa clientele après treatment so you'll have an expert ensuring your look possesses that coveted French girl je ne sais quoi. And don't bother struggling to achieve that elegantly undone chignon hair, Parisian super stylist David Mallett work his magic on your mane. 

I don't know the current state of your personal beauty ambitions, but an indulgent signature spa treatment followed by a lengthy dip in that glistening pool before falling blissfully asleep in a suite at the Ritz Paris is the epitome of Parisian pampered paradise. If you too share visions of having your face and body lovingly buffed and polished to perfection by black & white clad French aestheticians, I suggest a trip to the Ritz Club Paris. It's clearly the chic thing to do.  

WHAT TO PACK

Feeling Bookish: Comme les Français...

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Avoiding the rude tourist stereotype takes relatively little effort. A little planning on your part will actually make for a more pleasant trip regardless of the destination. But for those traveling to Paris, learning how to mix and mingle with what is oft described as an impenetrable social culture can be done.

First, grab a copy of Ines de la Fressange's "bible" of French fashion know-how Parisian Chic. In this crimson paperback she gives you the most amazing immersion lessons on mastering that certain je ne sais quoi our French counterparts are known for. 

Not only will this handy tome demystify your packing list for Paris, it will give you a foundation for wardrobe building and chic dressing at home and abroad. Ines's now iconic book goes beyond merely discussing the all important casual street style look by also telling you the ins and outs of where to go and when to go. Boutiquing, grooming, wellness and manners are all covered in this indispensable book. Grab your copy and hold it tightly, it is as essential as an LBD. 

Ahhhh, language. Mastering small talk is key when asking for directions, ordering coffee and trying on shoes. Frankly, communication is a skill to be mastered and taken seriously.

If you're looking to go beyond the traditional Rosetta Stone style language courses and learn Parisian slang and commonly used phrases of the local chic set, try Parisienne French. Warning: this is not your mama's translation guide. Some of the phrases will make you blush, but most this small hardcover is a font of useful information for expressing yourself in the native tongue. Edgy and cool, this little book will fit neatly in your clutch and come in handy in almost any situation you find yourself in while exploring the city of light. 

Flights of Fancy: Leaving it all Behind for Paris...

You know those moments in life when you think: what if we just sold it all and moved to our favorite vacation destination? What if we owned less and lived more? What if we could find the idea Paris apartment with white boiserie living the walls and those dreamy whitewashed floors? What if instead of a closet I had an armoire or a rolling rack or had to decorate my space using my dresses and shoes? The girls would play in the parks of Paris. Mr. Venti and I would live on a perpetual date in the City of Light. How hard could it possibly be? After all, in the digital age we rarely see our clients and are never out of touch. 

Surely we'd pick up the language and it's many subtleties. Surely we'd eventually shed our American ways and begin to feel less like expats and more like Parisians as the weeks turned to months turned to years. In time we'd speak the language with ease and master the nuances of living as Americans in Paris. The stuff of pure fantasy of course. Or is it? 

I read many accounts online of those who've ditched their traditional life in favor of one wholly different. Some friends of ours recently took the leap and moved to abroad. Others I know have "slow traveled" extensively and ultimately settled down in the city of their choice - often back here in the states. European cities are filled with expats, many of whom blog and are willing to share their hiccups and their successes freely with all who care (or dare) to learn. 

For all our travels and for as much as I've adored every city, there is always a sweet satisfaction in coming home. Our lives are filled with such conveniences and domestic comforts we take for granted. Supermarkets, for one. Basic and boring until you're without them. And why is the return home so sweet? If "home" were a Paris apartment would not that return feel just as amazing? Perhaps better? If positioned in France, your travel time and expense to other European cities is reduced so greatly. "Getting away" to Greece might be no big deal. Popping over to London not such a feat. It is thrilling to think about. Terrifying, but thrilling nonetheless.

What about you? Could you move? Would you shed the layers of your present life to do so? Have you ever fantasized about it? Most importantly... where would you go first?