Monday, August 3, 2009

The Object of My Desire: Fit for a Queen

All roads seem to be leading me to Paris this summer, even though I've solidly been on US soil for at least the last nine months. Not only have I devoured the book, The Private World of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, but I am also flying through My Live in France by Julia Child in anticipation of the film Julie & Julia's Friday release. To compound mon désir Parisien, I continue to be delightfully surprised by the French treasures that are plentiful in flea markets and thrift shops. One such specimen is this 1920s postcard I found recently in San Francisco of Marie Antoinette's bedroom at the Petit Trianon of the Versailles palace. This postcard shows the bedroom décor of a queen who had her king , Louis XVI, build just for her as a personal retreat just yards away from the royal residence.

The bedroom décor in the card was probably from the late 1800s, but you can see in the image to the right how it was updated during a recent and extensive re-do of the Petit Trianon, which reopened to guests last year.

While I was there in November, it was too late in the day to visit Marie-Antoinette's on-site getaway, but I did take in the controversial Jeff Koons exhibit that was installed throughout the rooms and the grounds of Versailles. I can understand how people might be disappointed to see Versailles taken over by Koons's contemporary work, but it was also an opportunity to see the centuries-old palace literally reflected in a different light.

While impossible to miss his in-your-face installations like the hanging lobster in the Salon de Mars or a porcelain sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles, I walked right by this bouquet of flowers that was perched in Marie Antoinette's big-house bedroom.
It has a semi-naughty name that's not safe for family reading, so I'll retranslate it into "140 jerks," a term I'm sure could have described some among the the royal court who used to hover around the queen's presence almost 24 hours a day.

For more décor sure to keep your mind wandering, pick up The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powell's.

Amusez-vous! Et à la prochaine!

The Elegant Thrifter

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!


  1. Great post! I've been to Paris/Versailles in 1999 and again in 2000. It's too beautiful for words. The best things are pictures which speak perfect French :+) May your dream to live there come true for you. Oh, and "Julie/Julia" yes! I've got to see that one too! Give it a rating and let us know how it is if you get to see it first. Many thanks and {{hugs}}, Franny

  2. What a beautiful site! I saw the link on Knack and just had to click over. I love ideas for thrifted finds!


  4. I've got Euros in my wallet! How about now??

  5. It's amazing that I live approximately half an hour by air from Paris, yet I've only been once! Here in the UK we must get blase about the things we have and instead yearn for far flung places... I'm beginning to yearn for Versailles though :)

  6. ok, mr thrifter, i'm game if you are :) i'm packing as i send this, what treasures we could find & decorate along the way gio



Blog Widget by LinkWithin