It’s been six weeks since we arrived in Paris, and these first six weeks have been consumed with the mundane tasks of getting settled in. I’m used to experiencing bureaucracy coming from Washington, DC, but the French take it to a whole other level. After four meetings at the bank to set up our bank account (that’s one meeting per week, so four weeks to open our bank account), we were then able to start the process of getting our internet and phones set up, which was another 7-10 day wait. I hate to admit, but life without internet is tough! However, at the same time the flowers are starting to bloom and the temperatures continue to climb, we feel we are settling in and really beginning to enter into this new season in Paris.
Our apartment is lovely and situated in the midst of art galleries, fabric showrooms and design stores. The Pierre Frey showroom happens to be our neighbor! I haven’t had much time to visit these local shops due to all our random errands and bank meetings:) but, I do want to share one fabulous place that I visited that left me reeling with inspiration…my new hair salon! I’m a bit fickle when it comes to finding a good hair salon because I’ve had a few bad experiences in the past and adding a language/cultural barrier to the task of finding that special place, it felt a bit overwhelming. I did a bit of research and came across David Mallet’s salon. I had heard good things and apparently he has a great reputation in Paris as being one of the best hair gurus/salon. I wasn’t ready to shell out the dough to have a cut with THE David Mallet as I just wanted a trim for now, so I made an appointment with one of their senior stylist, Etienne. He was fabulous! Think Lenny Kravitz with a rocker afro and a french accent. He immediately knew what I needed, and I immediately knew I was in good hands. I went with a style that was less Amélie and more Marion Cotillard…again, I wasn’t quite ready for a full Parisien transformation.
The hair cut was wonderful, but the salon space was magnificent! Located in the 2nd arrondissement, the salon is on the second floor of a Haussmann style building. Beautiful scrolled iron handrails lead you up to the front door, where you enter into a light-filled space with 14′ ceilings, herringbone wood floors, and gilded 19th century moldings. And those were just the « bones » of the place! As I was seated and offered an espresso, it didn’t take long to notice the large, stuffed ostrich looming in the middle of the room. I can only describe it as being fabulous and quintessentially Parisian as the French have a way of adding elegance to a space in the most unexpected and sometimes quirky way. As I made my way through the salon to have my hair shampooed, I peeked into the next room which housed two stuffed, white peacocks, perched on a stand as if they were holding court. Then, as I stepped into the shampooing room, I was greeted by a beautiful, stuffed leopard languishing on the floor. Although these taxidermied creatures made me a bit sad (I made myself believe they had died of natural causes:), I would be remiss to not acknowledge the exotic and sophisticated vibe that they lent to the salon’s interior.
I also loved that the salon was designed juxtaposing the Haussmann style building with more mid-century style furnishings. The client chairs were the familiar Eero Saarinen « Tulip » chair, and the salon mirrors were a simple design made of a steel frame. I appreciate interiors that mix different design periods as the eclectic mix is what creates the personality and atmosphere of a space and sets it apart from the norm. The salon also had a beautiful garden terrace that you often see in Paris for those lucky enough to have balcony space. I’m going to stop here and let the photos do the rest of the talking. As you’ll see, there is a certain je ne sais quoi!