The last few weeks have been dedicated to decorating our new home, “Project Nest” as I call it. Growing up with an interior designer mother has certainly influenced this passion, which I consider one of the most fulfilling forms of self-expression. My journey in creating our new living space, which my Italian is leaving mostly up to me, began on France’s renowned site for virtually anything, leboncoin.fr. (Incidentally, also where I found our apartment.)
As someone with an affinity for Mid-Century Modern design, that is where my search commenced. Et voilà! It began with finding my perfect desk and ended with the discovery of my now favorite Scandinavian design shop, Maison Nordik, a new addition to the ever-evolving 18ème.
As soon as the doors opened, I arrived to admire, and quickly purchase my desk. It was love at first sight, with the desk, as with the store. I met the owners Gregory (French), and Louise (Danish), and quickly discovered their passion for design and their love for beautiful objects, each hand selected.
There is a new supply of 50’s and 60’s furniture, designer lamps and beautiful ceramics arriving to the store every few weeks, mostly from Denmark. They also now sell Square Modern pillows, an ideal showcase for these minimalist chic coussins. Soon after my desk acquisition (and the rosewood chair to accompany it) Gregory and Louise found us a gorgeous teak dining table, perfect for our soon to be planned dinner parties! Now they are on the hunt for a TV console as I struggle from creating our apartment into a Mid-Century Modern showroom. Would that really be so bad?
For the fellow Mid-Century Modern aficionados, Maison Nordik is located at 159 rue Marcadet and open from Thursday – Sunday 12:30-7:30 (Monday – Wednesday by appointment). They share a space with a made-to-measure industrial design company and next door lies one of the best laboratory cafés in Paris, Café Lomi. Reasons enough to venture to upper Montmartre!
Moving to a foreign country, as challenging as it is, can afford us the privilege of redefining ourselves by asking the question ‘Who am I and what do I really want to do?’, versus following a path that might not lead to fulfillment, which to us New Yorkers, often means climbing the corporate ladder.
Suzanne Flenard is one such savvy ex-New York gal I met along the expat way. She and her partner Jeremy decided to take a ‘break’ from the grind of life in NYC, having both lived there for over 15 years. Six months of a break has now turned into 3 years and they have never looked back. Paris very quickly became home. Might I add that home to them looks much like a boutique hotel in the Marais, très chic!
As a seasoned professional in the world of interiors, working with furniture companies such as Design Within Reach (one of my personal favorites), Suzanne always had the desire to create something of her own. It was over lunch one day with a mutual friend that we brainstormed ideas for her vision. Over the course of several months, Suzanne set her designing mind into motion. While her foodie partner was busy exploring the gourmet markets of Paris, Suzanne spent many an afternoon carousing Montmartre and the Sentier in search of just the right fabrics (an exercise I know well), not to mention the virtual world… I introduced her to my trusted manufacturer… she impressively designed her own website… et voilà! Square Modern came to life.
What exactly is Square Modern and why is it so unique and eco-friendly? In the words of Suzanne…
Square modern is a limited edition collection of pillows/cushions using reclaimed designer fabric remnants. The idea came about as an interest to introduce the European Community to “Mid-Century Modern” textile designs, in addition to other beautiful modern classics, popular in the United States. These designer fabrics are selected from some of the most exclusive textile manufacturers that exist today: Maharam, Kvadrat, Knoll and Kravet. Square Modern uses primarily reclaimed fabric remnants, often found in limited supply. Therefore, the collection is produced in limited quantity and will continuously change as interesting textiles become available. All cushions are produced in Paris.
I am very proud and excited for Suzanne, living her dream in Paris, a life she could not have foreseen in New York. I for one, possessing a passion for interior design, particularly mid-century modern, already have my eye on a few coussins…
Square Modern is based in Paris and available internationally. Join on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest limited edition pillows!