Monday, April 13, 2020

Book Review: Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris

© Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris, Flammarion, 2019
The introduction to Flammarion's Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators includes a poignant passage about our favorite places, and how those places can impact our lives.

"The space that surrounds us has a direct impact on our behavior, our attitude, and our energy. We know that forest bathing soothes the spirit. Contemplating natural, wide-open spaces--a mountain landscape, a sun setting over the ocean--lets the brain "rest." Similarly, the layout of the space where we work every day or come home to each night can stifle our creativity--or conversely, enhance it."

The 34 homes and workspaces featured in Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators are a testament to the power of creativity and personality. Each space is a unique reflection of the life and personality of the people that live there; each space also features a distinct energy and vibe that is captured beautifully in the 687 color photographs featured throughout the book. Above all, Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators is a celebration of how  personal space can reflect and direct energy, behavior, creativity--and life.

© Tomoko Yasuda from Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris (Flammarion, 2019)
Readers are given introductions to the people behind each space. These introductions include a bit about their personal lives, their job, as well as their neighborhood. Each section includes multiple wide shots of the apartments and close-ups of various details, typically favorite personal or sentimental items. The additional information provided with close-ups and even quotations adds a unique layer to the book; the personal quotations and tidbits feel like you're being given an inside glimpse to the lives and even habits of those that made this space their home.

The interior spaces featured in this book are eclectic and varied, as one might expect from a glimpse into the lives of homes of people with different lives, jobs and neighborhoods. There are picturesque white walls punctuated by carefully arranged books and a singular knickknack; there are closets stuffed with clothes, covered by a drape cloth; there are plants, piles of dishes set above country ovens, paintbrushes and pottery wheels. Despite the differences showcased in each space, there is one thread that runs throughout the book: these are definitely, distinctly, inescapably Parisian spaces. If you're a Francophile or someone that simply spends a lot of time reading up on Paris decor, you will recognize different facets of Paris in each and everyone of these photos--even in the spaces that happen to be outside France.

© Tomoko Yasuda from Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris (Flammarion, 2019)
If there is one thing I have taken away from browsing through Creative Paris, it's a greater understanding--or at least, acknowledgment--of just how influence a space, whether it's a work space or the refuge of home, can have on a person. So many factors influence how people cultivate their personal space; a desire for simpleness, a desire for chaotic creativity, a desire for something that reflects their travels or friends or family. All of these factors combine to help people curate a home that is distinctly "theirs." Combined with current events that have many us at home for an indefinite period of time, there may be no better time to take a closer look at what we want our spaces to be, and how our personal space can impact our mood, feeling and energy.

As always with Flammarion publications, the photographs featured in this book are masterfully shot and reproduced in crisp high quality. The book has a pleasing, easy to follow layout that lets you flip through space after space, taken in both the wide and detail shots at your leisure. In addition to the introductory texts and quotations throughout, the book features an index of Parisian must-see destinations akin to what is normally featured in the "My Little Paris" site.

I recommend Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators for anyone who wants a bit of Parisian interior design escapism. Who knows--it may just inspire you to give your own home a thoughtful re-imagining.

[A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher]

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