Postcard from…Carolina von Humboldt

Monday, May 5, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 1.39.46 PMDear AVENUE,

Carolina von Humboldt leaves no stone unturned in Paris 


Interior decorator Carolina von Humboldt’s global sensibility carries over into her work. Von Humboldt was born in Paris to Spanish and German parents and has traveled and lived across the globe. Her décor projects, which include the new Le Bilboquet and Estée Lauder’s European headquarters, are clean and refined but still have personality and touches of flair. Though she has lived in New York for the past 10 years, von Humbolt remains a globe-trotter and keeps an especially strong tie to Paris.  


Her expertise lies with . . . 

I like to travel as much as possible, but on this occasion let’s say Paris is my favorite place to travel to in the world! Not everybody loves Paris, but it is a city I know very well; I lived there many years and I go back very often.


Small by day, grand by night

I rarely stay in hotels in Paris because I have family and friends there, but I am a big fan of Parisian hotels and like to visit them in all arrondissements. Paris has a large selection of charming little hotels, all very different in style and looks, one from another. For drinks in the evening I recommend the so-called “grand hotels” (Le Meurice, Shangri-la, Hôtel Costes, etc. . . .)


Arrive by foot

I like to walk; Paris is a rather small city; one can do much without having to take any transportation, especially on a leisure trip! Lately, I take my Dutch bicycle equipped with a large wicker basket for emergency shopping. Some tiny streets that don’t fit a little car have two-way bike lanes, so it’s quite amusing and sometimes scary! You can stop at cafés and rest, read and proceed to the next little shop or stop.


Perfect Parisian day prescription 

I would recommend a café crème and a croissant au Café de la Mairie, outsideif weather permitsso you can see the strange and beautiful Saint-Sulpice church and the fountain. Then, walk the little streets and on a rainy day go to the movies at 11:30 a.m. There is always a single screening of a fantastic film and the theater is empty . . . I love it! After the movies you can walk across the [Jardin du] Luxembourg and have lunch at the Closerie des Lilas [côté brasserie]. Thenand now you deserve a taxidrive to l’Institut du monde Arabe, built in the ‘80s by Architecture Studio and Jean Nouvel; they have great exhibitions and a pretty view of the Seine. After that, you can cross the river through the Ile Saint-Louis and have tea in a cozy and delicious patisserie in Le Marais.


Everything is inspiring

Trips are inspiring because one can see different ways and habits: the way a table is dressed in a foreign restaurant, the way flowers look in a shop, the windows of a patisserie or how pieces are presented in an antique shop; the light on the slate roofs or the smell of the rain—everything is inspiring!


I can’t travel without

The book I am reading, sun glasses, La Mer cream, a colorful silk scarf, boots, a white shirt . . . and a bathing suitwherever you go a possibility might come up!



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