La Vie en Rose : My Parisian Pad Down Under

Les fleurs dans l’atelier | florals in the study

Les fleurs dans l’atelier | florals in the study

Lucky me, after two years LIVING in Paris, to land in Australia and move straight into a charming and cosy little haven of French style.  Apart from a fromagerie and patisserie missing from my doorstep, I may as well still be Paris!

Set in a tranquil, palm tree fringed Brisbane suburb is my friend Catherine’s maisonette, which I’ve come to spend the summer in.  Timing couldn’t have been better; as she was moving to tropical Seventeen-Seventy on the Great Barrier Reef, I arrived and moved straight into her French-inspired abode, landing happily with my bum in the proverbial beurre.

Catherine fell in love with French style during a trip to Paris and the Côte d’Azur 12 years ago.  Her modern townhouse acts as a canvas for what she calls “the classic elegance of Paris merged with the vibrant colours of the south of France”.


Merging, or assemblage, is at the heart of French style. Meaning to group together found or unrelated objects, it creates a delicious, dynamic tension for which the French are famous, in their wines as well as lifestyle. A Chanel purse swinging off your shoulder and white sneakers on your feet … messy bed hair and a perfectly drawn red pout … vintage chandeliers against modern furniture … or a cheeky “Non, non, non, pas possible” could mean “Perhaps I will let you seduce me … but convince me first”!

The French have an innate ability to create an intoxicating mix of finesse and flamboyance with ease
— Catherine

In a country full of architecture designed to withstand the harsh Aussie elements, it’s a treat to escape into a cocoon of French-style soft textures and feminine colours paired with modern furniture … while sipping a glass of champage, bien sûr.

create your own vie en rose :

RULE #1 : Embrace contradictions and be audacious with your personal style

  • Mix the old with the new - an 18th century dresser and ultra-modern lighting. 

  • Display exotic, eastern art alongside a pretty duck egg blue sofa. 

  • Pair chinoiserie pieces like blue & white ginger jars with bright pink peonies.

  • Create a balance between comfort and style - weave treasured, less-than-pristine family heirlooms in amongst your modern pieces.

  • Add orchids, peonies and roses for instant lusciousness and they don’t always need to be fresh; quality faux blooms are gorgeous too. :

Feeling the blues

Feeling the blues

Get Catherine’s look :

·          Maison & Jardin

·          Vanilla House

·          Anthropologie

·          Verandah House

·          Rylo Interiors

·          Magnolia Lane

·          Christofle Paris

·          Grovely Style Co

·          Fragonard

Shop flea markets, garage sales and antique stores for unique treasures
— Catherine


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