Saturday, October 25, 2014

Maman - French Brocante Meets Michelin-Starred Chef: French Café & Bakery SoHo, NY

Just how good is Maman French Bakery and Café?   ... drive for over an hour to get there... line out the door all weekend ... 30 plus minute wait time just for their chocolate-chip cookie, good.   That's how good.  That is exactly what happened this past weekend at Maman.

Maman, meaning "mother", a new charming café in SoHo, New York, opened earlier this month.  Maman offers baked goods and regional dishes from the south of France.  A French Brocante meets a cozy French country menu of seasonal homemade comfort foods: Parisian ham, quiches, focaccia and brioches breads, galettes, and farm fresh salads along with a variety of French pastries such as lemon-thyme madeleines and raspberry tarts.  A happy way to begin your week.

Armand Arnal, Benjamin Sormonte and Elisa Marshall

Benjamin Sormonte, a French-born lawyer and partner of a hospitality company, the Experimental Group, in Montreal; and baker, designer, event planner, and girlfriend Elisa Marshall imagined a French bakery in New York that evoked the simple joys of their mothers' kitchens.  "He loved to cook, and I loved to bake."  "Everything we learned to cook and bake came from our moms."- Elisa

The couple recruited their friend, Armand Arnal, who's restaurant La Chassagnett in Provence earned him a Michelin star, to collaborate on their seasonal comfort-foods.  The trio opened this charming, Parisian-inspired space by incorporating Ben's grandmother's set of French china and framed family photos. 

Visit their Facebook page for Maman's Daily Menu. 


Elisa enlisted Candice Kaye Design to hand draw the custom sweet textiles, business stationary, menus and paper goods for Maman, including branding a rabbit theme which also recurs throughout the café and bakery.  

Elisa and Benjamin loved their pet rabbits as children,  so it was natural for a rabbit theme to run throughout the design, the textiles, and the pillows.   Even the vases on the custom-built farm tables imported from the south of France, are rabbits that charmingly display flowers from their ears.  

Brocante items found in France and America by the unerring eye of Elisa Marshall create a warm inviting space you will want to come back to again and again.

 A sweet surprise.

Samples of their coffee and hot chocolate served from a vintage French fruit crate.  Here's to a charming café and bakery, coffee & pastries . . .

Tables are beautifully set to host a special luncheon, afternoon tea with French Pastries, or a family breakfast on Saturday mornings. 

Fresh raspberry tart charmingly displayed on a vintage french compote.

Delicious pastries made daily - a wonderful treat on a fall afternoon.

The handmade blue and white"tiled" tie-dyed wallpaper is from Burkina Faso, in West Africa, and bought at the L'Aviva Home a neighbor to Maman.  Isn't the rabbit vase sweet with his halo of flowers.

A charming mix of blue and white plates , some vintage, some new, bring an old world elegance; reminiscent of a French farm table that you would find in a home in Provence, rather than a commercialized New York bakery.  

Everything is charming!

I had the great pleasure of speaking with the talented Elisa after I found a picture of their charming Bakery and Café and I just had to call and find out about their brocante-filled space.  She sent me to their Instagram and Facebook pages, and I have to say I LOVED IT ALL!  It was wonderfully done, and I can see why they have had great success since they opened.  I am hoping they will come to the West Coast soon.  If you live in New York, or are planning to go, have a cookie or lunch, and give this talented, and very personable trio a hug from me!

I hope it's lovely where you are...

All the best, Rié

*Pictures provided by Candice Kaye Design

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Chic: Garden . Style . Home

Home and garden is a season-less passion for me: linens, dishes, fresh flowers or orchids, new annuals for the garden and patio; add a destination store and you have my idea of the perfect day trip to start the weekend.

Located just south of Santa Barbara in the quaint beach town of Summerland, CA, Botanik is a destination for the home and garden.

French market baskets, fringed Turkish towels, rare orchids, candles, and beautiful linens...   I bought the "laced" top french market basket shown above.  It is perfect for a picnic that can be put together simply with a delicious loaf of bread, a good cheese, the best salami with fresh cracked pepper, fresh fruit, and sparkling Lorina French Berry or San Pelligrino.  Toss it in the back of your car and your ready for your day trip.

Season by season, Botanik has an ever-changing and inspiring inventory of chic gifts, furniture, and accessories for the home that will keep you coming back on a regular basis.

Timeless and classic, white orchids are always a personal favorite... I will venture out to deep purples, tigered rusts and yellows,  but I always return to the simply glamorous whites.  Before your guests arrive, tuck one beside their bed on a table with books, new and old, or a magazine your guest might particularly enjoy, along with a good reading lamp, alarm clock, and a bottled water paired with a bowl of fruit or tempting cookies, and a scented candle.  Creating an inviting retreat where friends can get away and relax, as if they were on vacation, even though it's only for a short period of time.  When it's time for them to leave, add a gift card and send them home with the orchid as a reminder of your time together.

Simple pheasant feathers in a tribal pot is a great autumn accent.

Anyone who loves to bring the outdoors in as much as I do needs a good collection of vases, urns, and cachepots.  Bontanik's collection is neatly arrayed on shelves with many styles to choose from, so you're sure to find a perfect match for your fresh cut bouquet or flowering plant.

Almost all designers at some point become fascinated with exotic plants, their scale - huge bold leaves that look wonderfully professional- accenting a designed space.   Most exotics begin their life indoors in pots, and can be moved outside once the weather gets warmer.   My favorite are orchids which add a sophisticated touch to a room and last longer then cut flowers.

Les Indiennes pillows, decor books (Charlotte Moss always a favorite) and artisan dinnerware will led you outside to their gorgeous garden area, where succulents and topiaries beckon you to take them home.

There has always been something rather romantic to me about a porch or a secret garden;  Botanik's outside garden is no exception, inviting guests to linger in the sunshine and smell the ocean air. 


For easy entertaining, take little pots of succulents and line them down the center of a dinning table with lots of candles on an Indian print table cloth, along with artisan pottery and simple delicious food -this makes for a casually elegant evening with friends.

Summerland, CA  is a charming town with their many antique and brocante shops, a perfect stop on your way to or from Santa Barbara or Montecito, CA.  Botanik is a don't miss, must plan a day trip, shop full of inspiration you will enjoy time and time again.  If you don't live within driving distance, they have an online shop as well.  Enjoy!

2329 Lillie Ave
Summerland, CA 93067

Since posting, I have had the great pleasure of receiving a thank you email from the manager, Molly, and have discovered the owner of Botanik also owns a charming children's store in Summerland as well - Amelia Jane.  Here is the information:

I hope it's lovely where you are...

All the best, Rié

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Joyce Horn Antiques & Betty Lou Phillips, with Segreto Finishes and Designer Nicole Domercq Zarr - It doesn't get any better then this!

Chair From Joyce Horn Antiques

In Betty Lou Phillips' new book, "The French Way with Design" beautiful photos of inspiring rooms filled with European antiques, leaves one to ask, where would I acquire antiques which are usually passed down from one generation to the next?  The answer: Joyce Horn Antiques in Houston, Texas. 

Joyce Horn Antiques, Houston TX

Isn't her store gorgeous!  Joyce and her daughter Reid, are armed with educated eyes, unerring taste, and amazing confidence in buying just the right French antiques and accessories, along with some Italian, Spanish, and Scandinavian pieces.  Each piece is personally selected in Europe by Joyce and Reid.  For those of us who do not live in Houston, Joyce Horn Antiques has contracts for shipping throughout the United States.  How great is that!  On a personal note, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Reid over email, she is personable and incredibly generous, just give her a call and she would be happy to assist you.

 Betty Lou Phillips, "The French way with Design" Page 194-195

The picture above features the design work of Nicole Domercq Zarr from Triangle Interiors, Inc., Houston; the gorgeous, newly painted 19th C. French Directoire style buffet and the custom made Italian dining table are from Joyce Horn Antiques.  The signature plaster finish on the wall is the artistry of Segreto Finishes.

 Joyce Horn Antiques while in France

A yard sale of my dreams; this picture is from when they purchased the buffet, shown above, in France.

Page 160

Directoire style painted 19th C. commode with faux marble top and 19th C. French Louis Philippe style mirror with original mercury glass form Joyce Horn Antiques.  This powder room was designed by Nicole Domercq Zarr, while the wall artistry is by Segreto Finishes.

 page 177  French Iron Coffee Table From Joyce Horn - Designer Nicole Domercq Zarr

Page 165 Antique French Iron Chandelier From Joyce Horn Antiques - Designer Nicole Domercq Zarr

Page 162 19th C. French Confit Jars and Crock Pots From Joyce Horn Antiques - Designer Nicole Domercq Zarr

Page 166 19th C. Architectural Prints Newly Framed - Joyce Horn Antiques - Designer Nicole Domercq Zarr

Page 8 Custom Made Italian Pedestal Table and Custom Made Italian Chandelier From Joyce Horn Antiques - Designer Nicole Domercq Zarr

Page 201

A loggia with a fully equipped summer kitchen is ideal for entertaining en plein air.  The beautiful French Iron Table is from Joyce Horn Antiques; the designer is Nicole Domercq Zarr.

Antique Shops and Designers

With her amazing taste and her ability to find the perfect piece, it is no surprise that Joyce has created a beautiful home which has been featured in many articles and magazines, including Antique Shops & Designers.

Antique Shops & Designers Magazine

This breathtaking photo is the entrance of the home of Joyce Horn; the plaster finish isn't in an old Chateau, it is the artistry of Segreto Finishes.  Leslie Sinclair, who owns the Houston-based company, produces the most beautiful and specialized paint finishes. See the post here.  

Leslie's Segreto Finishes can be seen in Philip's book, "The French way with Design" as well.   Leslie's work is featured in the designs of Nicole Domercq Zarr and Pamela Pierce. You can see much more of Leslie's finishes and Joyce Horn's beautiful antiques in the much anticipated release of Leslie's second book, Segreto Style.  Available for pre-order here at and will be on its way to you the first of November!

Joyce's home as seen in Antique Shops & Designers Magazine

Antique Shops & Designers Magazine

"Crafting the interior of a room is like building a painting using scale, color, balance and for me, sentimental attachment." - Joyce Horn

Photo Antique Shops & Designers Magazine

The charming and never-out-of-style 1910 Haywood Wakefield wicker set acquired in 1969 for the living room in her first apartment, still resides in her home today...

"I believe in keeping the things that say who you are." 

Antique Shops and Designers

Suggesting the sophistication of a former era, the mirror is the center piece to this beautiful powder room; for the French, attention to details and finely crafted furniture is the standard quo.  Joyce Horn obviously had this in mind when she designed this space.  The brass basin, that vase... the hand painted vanity... unshaded sconces wash the aged walls with light, creating a beautifully adorned space.

Get your credit card ready ... While I was building this post, each photo I found was more beautiful then the next, I started with close to 80 photos, and finally, painfully, I gave up the idea of posting them all. Here are just some of my favorites.

That's not wallpaper! Throughout the store, all the wall finishes are by Leslie Sinclair's Segreto Finishes.

Your Invited to Attend
will be hosting a book signing for Betty Lou Phillips on November 11th at Joyce's store!  
This book has been sold out in many bookstores for weeks, including my Barnes and Noble.
It's a lovely book, and a must buy.
If you live in or around the Houston area, you will not want to miss this special event. 

 This Tuesday, October 14th, a new shipment is available for purchase from France
 at Joyce Horn Antiques!! **

I hope it's lovey where you are ...  All the best, Rié

*A personal thank you to the amazing Joni Webb the author of the blog Cote de Texas, who first introduced all of us to Joyce Horn Antiques.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...