The festive indoor/outdoor dining areas at Mama Shelter/Marseille.
winter, dry, cool and breezy—so pleasant at the terrasse, or at the bar by the pool. The palette of colors used in Provence is very different than that of Paris and should fit nicely in our own cityscape and our own indoor and outdoor spaces here in Houston. Marseille lies along the southern coast of France, along the Gulf of Leon, which connects to the Mediterranean Sea. A couple of great ideas I got from my stay at a small boutique hotel designed by the legendary Philippe Starck, the Mama Shelter/Marseille. At the hotel, the al fresco dining room is covered with an orange awning, which protects you from the elements but also provides an amazing glow on the guests’ faces—plus, happiness emanates from the colors and the patterns used on floor covering and pieces of furniture. What a positive effect of the design! At the bar, above the counter, a series of swimming pool floats were threaded onto fluorescent tubes—a fun surprise. There’s always a childish component in Starck's style! You will have to purchase the colorful tube floats late spring or summer when the supply is high and the choice of graphics and colors is huge! Think about polka dots (to match with the new Vuitton/Kusama collection) or stripes (to match with the Roche-Bobois/Jean-Paul Gaultier line). Dare to mix orange, hot pink and red or play with animal patterns (cheetah prints are the craze...again). The effect is so festive, it is like having your own resort cabana at home, celebrating the holidays in the most exotic place. FRENCH STYLE IN HOUSTON
Dress your formal dining table with Baccarat (shop their store in the Galleria) and Bernardaud (now in the Decorative Center), and the house in the style of Marie Laure de Noailles in her Parisian Mansion. You can decorate your backyard with a south of France feel to create a casual, full of joie de vivre atmosphere to entertain your guests after a sumptuous holiday meal. Cigars and liquors de rigueur. This tablescape from the Paris trade fair Maison et Objet features glass Christmas ornaments, sparkling wine glasses and bucket from le Chateau de Rivals. Breux reports seeing similar table arrangements this fall at the Round Top antiques fairs. 46
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