10.18.2009

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

12 comments:

Rebecca said...

Wonderful story. I like and I'm looking forward to more Madame Bohemienne and more Madame Chic also, bien sur!

Also congratulations on the success of the AIDS Walk, what a great accomplishment. :)

Michael Rivers said...

Great story. Those colors sound amazing. My apartment walls are the standard white walls. Ugh. I want some COLOR!! I guess I could paint and then loose my deposit. Hmmmm . . .

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

I love Madame Bohemienne and her apartment. I do have colour in bedrooms (pink), tiny television but alas, no big dining table. How I wish! What a wonderful character she sounds! xx

Bonjour Madame said...

I love this story. Yellow walls are so pretty, I can just imagine them in Paris! I took the plunge years ago and painted my living room walls a vibrant gold. I have questioned myself many times about this color choice but I always come back to "but I like it!" and have not toned them down. So I'm glad to read this post!

I can't wait to hear about the dinner parties!

The Coastal Chicster said...

Sounds like Madame Bohemienne's place was dramatically beautiful. :)

While I was reading this, an image of my friend Tara's apartment popped into my mind. She's got a deep red oversized chair and a yellow floral couch (with big, bold red flowers/dark green leaves/stems), and she's pretty much decorated her entire apartment around that furntirue because it's very open. Her kitchen items are simple and white with dark red accents (mixer, salad plates, etc.) and her candle holders all have red candles, and she's even got a very cool red and gold runner on her dining room table. It's all very luxe-looking... ESPECIALLY when she decorates for Christmas. :)

Tom Bailey said...

Yellow would drive me crazy. Yellow just reminds me of warning warning warning... My mind would be.. ok what is the warning here?

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Rebecca- Thank you so much. The AIDS Walk was really special- I was really honored to do it!

Michael- go for it! Paint your walls! You can always paint them back to white when you leave so you don't lose your deposit...

Josephine- I tend to add color to bedrooms too. The main portion of my house is painted in "cottage white"- a very creamy off white- but my guest bedroom is a very serene blue and my office is celadon green! I love the idea of pink for a room... Our dining table isn't big but then again I am petrified of throwing large dinner parties so it's probably just as well ;)

Bonjour Madame- Gold- how wonderful! It sounds really rich and opulent. I love bold design choices... and if you like it- that's all that matters xo

Coastal Chicster- Wow your friend's place sounds really vibrant! I am a bit of a colorphobe- and in the main rooms of my house tend to go with neutral shades (I have a tendency to get tired of things really quickly) so it's cottage white walls and taupe silk curtains in the main room. I take more liberty in the bedrooms and office. I would love to know what your place is like... maybe a future post?

Tom- lol! You have a point. Yellow does mean warning or 'caution'. If one is not careful they can pick a horrid yellow. I made the mistake of almost having my kitchen painted a very gauche shade of yellow called 'fuzzy duckling' ugh. It was awful! It was like 'warning' combined with 'Easter'. But Madame Bohemienne's yellow was very sophisticated.

Crystal said...

Lovely post. There's really nothing better than Parisian yellow, no? When I lived in Boston for a couple years I painted my bedroom a bright yellow like the one you described and it uplifted me every day. Madame Bohemienne sounds absolutely fabulous.

p.s. major congrats on the Aids Walk. :)

BigLittleWolf said...

Bold. Creative. Confident. And a little bit Bohemian. That's Paris, in so many ways, to a T.

I will admit to a passion for red. Deep, passionate, blood red. In my wardrobe (with black - very Stendhal) - and in my décor. I wonder... due to time spent in France throughout my life? Je n'en sais rien.

Quel plaisir de lire votre blog ! (J'aurais du vous le dire plus tot !)

Clarity said...

She sounds charming and remarkable, I wish there were pictures of that apartment, I wonder if it is still the same?

As for colour, the furthest I would venture for walls would be blue, a darker deeper prussian blue perhaps (although white is still a favourite).

vicki archer said...

Madame Bohemienne sounds like a wonderful woman and entirely fascinating too, xv

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Crystal- Thank you! Our bedroom is yellow and at first I was against it as yellow is a quite mentally stimulating color (I prefer more tranquil in my bedroom) but I don't mind it now. It is a very European color. Thanks for your encouragement about the AIDS Walk! xo

Big Little Wolf- Thank you- your kind words mean so much to me! I love bold, passionate red. It is a color that adds so much drama to one's space... I often wish we had installed deep red curtains rather than taupe ones. Taupe, while pretty, is also very safe. Also, I look forward to reading your blog too!

Clarity- Thank you for your comment and welcome to my blog! Ooh, Prussian blue sounds fabulous. I was watching the show Million Dollar Listing last night and got inspired by all of the bold design choices I saw. I so admire these bold aesthetics!

Vicki- Thank you. She was wonderful... I miss her!

 
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