Tuesday, April 28, 2009

La Belle Elle

Not to be one of those annoying self-loathing Francophile Americans, but why is their Elle Decor so far and away better than ours?  I like the American edition of course, I can happily flip through it and remain entertained for a good five minutes, but the French one?  I'm there for at least twenty, usually more.  I actively covet most every trinket listed, I'm thrilled over and over by truly new ideas for rooms, and I never look at a photo and think "hmmm, looks like Restoration Hardware...next!"

Case in point, from December's issue  

How fabulously brave is this?  How totally punk (in the most beautiful, refined way possible)?

And would it ever have occurred to you to paint your dining room wall plaid?

Probably not, but how awesome does it look?!

Possibly my favorite bathtub ever, I have been thinking about it for months:

Definitely my favorite lamp ever:

One of the better kitchen storage options I've seen:

I think a shallow armoire like this is genius...deep shelves are useless unless you are actively trying to stow food away for years on end, never to see the light of day.

And let us just take a moment to celebrate...color, glorious color:

Are you listening Margaret Russell?


Lucinda said...

I really like the yellow! Thanks for stopping by my blog, it looks like we got started around the same time. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is out there? Anyone? Bueller?

TmJL said...

Ok I totally agree with you that the french version outdoes the American (I mean, it's really not that hard). But think of it this way: If you saw what they put in the the French Elle in the American... I'm not sure it would go over to well with the general public. Not that I don't completely agree with you. But just looking at the audience... Although, perhaps it would be good for our society to learn a little bit about style.

So Lovely said...

So strange you are writing about this. I received my last copy of Elle Decor and will not be re-ordering. Its just become so dull. Right now my only way to get any interiors fix is Living Etc. But at $10 an issue its all a bit silly really so I go on their website and indulge there.

wambalus said...

vive l'ecosse! fashionistas seem to have periodic love affairs with tartan. All those grannies in Glasgow are suddenly chic, how funny.

But yes I agree American Elle is very pedestrian compared to its European counterparts.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Lucinda - The ether that is the internet does feel quite vast sometimes doesn't it!

TmJL - Perhaps, but maybe Americans tend to be underestimated as it relates to these kinds of things?

So Lovely - I know, the landscape is bleak these days. And yes, $10 for an issue is a little offensive, but it's one of my few vices so I rationalize the purchase! There's something really luxurious about the actual magazine...the paper is nice, it's a little bigger than normal...I don't know, it's the small things I suppose.

Robin - yes, I know the tartan thing has been done before but I still love it. Especially with the color scheme they've got going there and that wonderful wall covering, whatever it is (wallpaper maybe?).

Beaman the Interiors Chap said...

I love French design and the French savour faire. It's hard not to be bowled over when visiting France with the natural elegance and sophistication of their design and art.

Luckily I live just 22 miles from France so I can get my fix of the nation's culture pretty easily.

Terry B said...

My wife Marion loves the French edition too. And when I page through it, I see why. In general, I find that when you look at photos of French homes and apartments, however beautiful and interesting and they are, there are always wayward pipes and radiators and things that base the space in reality. There isn't the obsessive overdesigning of precious materials and pure acreage of living space that plagues Metropolitan Home and such publications.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Terry- I couldn't agree more! My favorite image ever is from a french home magazine that I saw literally ten years ago that was a picture of a gorgeous couch that had been scratched up by a cat on one end. It was so unexpected but fabulous, I can still see it clearly in my mind after all of this time.

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