Interiors, Comme les Français- Madame Bohemienne
Madame Bohemienne was a single mother with two boys (one teenager, the other early twenties) that lived at home. She was such a marvelous woman- warm and welcoming. She frequently invited me over to her home... and her home was lovely.
Madame Bohemienne’s apartment was on the 10th floor (I have already described my journey in getting to the 10th floor sans elevator here) and while her apartment was very different to Madame Chic’s (no ancient antiques or portraits of formidable ancestors to speak of), Madame Bohemienne’s home was equally as inviting and uniquely Parisian.
When I first met Madame Bohemienne she asked me what I thought about the walls of her living room. I had noticed them as soon as I walked in. To say they were yellow would be an understatement. They were bright yellow. Strong yellow. Parisian yellow. When I gave her my opinion, I spoke the truth “I absolutely love them,” I said. Madame Bohemienne’s walls spoke volumes about the way she led her life. They were bold, creative, stimulating- these were not tranquil walls- these walls made you think and they would (as I would find out soon enough) be walls to host countless animated dinner parties. They were walls for living in.
Yellow wasn’t the only bold color in Madame Bohemienne’s living room, however. Her curtains were a deep red as was the cover on the built-in seating arrangement; not quite a sofa, not quite a bench… it was an l-shaped built in- covered with bold Moroccan-inspired cushions- perfect for before dinner socializing.
There was, of course, a very large dining table (a pre-requisite, I think for true Parisian living), lots of books and a very tiny television (another pre-requisite, I believe). Her kitchen was a modern one- modern appliances, new fixtures and it was painted bright blue- Madame Bohemienne, as you can probably already tell, was not afraid of color.
Her apartment vibrated with great energy. Some of my favorite memories of my time in Paris are from attending her wild dinner parties (more on those later). But one moment I will never forget happened late in Spring- Madame Bohemienne had just popped out to grab a bouquet of flowers for her dinner party that night. She walked in breathless (no elevator, remember) and placed her flowers down, walked to her open French windows and proclaimed, “We are so lucky to live in Paris. This is truly the most beautiful place in the world”.
I couldn’t agree more.
Image courtesy of www.zazzle.com