The French Connection ... Neuvième (9th) Note ... Lighting!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

hello again, this week's from the Maison et Objet salon is all about lighting. I still have some other topics but I will probably mix them up in the future as I am itching to cover something else!

But for today I am going to share some photos about lighting because I seem to have captured more than a few pictures of lamps and other lighting features.

One that was in abundance was grouping of fixtures to form a display that almost seemed like one big light ... check this one out, it was huge, made from individual hanging lights in the same shape but various sizes hung at different lengths! you could easily play on this idea but in a smaller size, it was definitely striking.

Here's an idea of this years shapes in lighting:

photographing lighting is not easy, but you get an idea of this year's styles .....

This is a room size chandelier .... breathtaking!

also, this chandelier-shaped floor lamp is a stellar idea ...

These combined with all of the lamps in prior posts (color and whimsy) added up to a vast selection for the year's trends ... guess we are being told to lighten up, eh!!

à trés bientôt!

*all images courtesy of Kimberlee Mancha

Our guest correspondent for The French Connection is Kimberlee Mancha, mother of Johnelle and co-founder of Mignonne Décor. Now living in France, Kimberlee started our sister shop "The Bohemians" in 2009. She will be providing live updates for all you Francophiles and lovers of beautiful European inspirations.

Salvaged Chic of the Week: Custom Reclaimed Counter Keter Salon

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This week's Salvaged Chic Of The Week is cool. Johnelle and Brian have done it again with the latest addition to the commercial design project they've been working on for Keter Salon, on 4th st Berkeley. Nestled on the second floor above Molly B, and next to Bette's Diner, Keter Salon has open & airy feel that Johnelle and Brian have had the pleasure of transforming! Johnelle's inspiration for the redesign of the salon was to create a well curated rustic modern design that you can see in their latest creation:
This amazing revamped counter is sure to wow new, and returning clients when they see it. The new reclaimed doug fir counter is a reimagining of their formerly somewhat dated counter (see pic below, and also note the old carpet which was removed as well in the remodel and revamped with herringbone flooring custom done by Brian Hill). With the remodel, the counter became even more of an eyesore, as it felt out of place and did not fit with the rest of the updated space. Johnelle knows that good redesign means a cohesive redesign. Leaving such details out can make you question the intention of a remodel, if all parts of a space don't tell a story! Yet again, this small detail can be amazing inspiration to show you what an eye for potential Johnelle has. She and Brian saw the old counter and knew they could remake it into something incredible. Here you see the "before:"
How perfectly is the reclaimed Doug fir counter balanced with the mural behind it?! Johnelle did that too...I know, she is JUST that talented! I have to admit that it doesn't end there either...Johnelle and Brian designed and built the mirror behind the counter (reclaimed wood frame built around custom cut mirror) AND designed and installed the custom hand-milled reclaimed wood herringbone floors too...hey guys, want to stop by my place later??
Not only is this a project that could be done in your own home on top of laminate or old tile you're sick of looking at, but knowing that they're available for commercial projects is huge. The interior and furniture design Johnelle does is so impressive, and now it doesn't have to end there. Commercial projects are one of the greatest spaces to revamp because they're so dramatic and customers remember that!
I've loved having been in Keter last year before our renovations began and coming again; it's just incredible how much a new design elevates a business. Showing how you feel and think of yourselves on the inside (but on the outside) will impress your current clients/customers and wow the new ones you're hoping to pull in!
She's good and she know's it! Here's Johnelle in front of the AMAZING vintage lockers she scouted for the Keter dressing room, so perfect. Bringing in new furniture pieces adds character and a story to your space. We offer guided scouting services where we accompany you to find the perfect furniture or decor your space needs, or we can scout for you if you don't have the time or you know exactly what you're looking for.
One of the best parts about our work with Keter, and an important one for you to remember, is that this wasn't all done at once! The custom hand-milled floors, vintage decor, custom upholstered bench seat and pillows, light fixtures, new mirrors and workstations, mural and counter were all done in phases! Often as a business owner it's hard to think about committing to such a big overhaul, but that's what's so great about working with Johnelle--she understands what being a small business owner is like and she will help you to create a cohesive design with a plan that works for you and hits all the major updates in phases so that it isn't overwhelming.
If you have a commercial project, or you've been inspired by some of Johnelle's creations for your home, please feel free to email us at to get more information and to get the ball rolling on your new and improved space in 2012!
All photos taken by Johnelle Mancha.
Rebekah is a member of the Mignonne family and former Mignonne assistant. She now freelances and owns the company A & B Creative, read her blog.

Salvaged Chic of the Week: Beryessa Velveteen Couch

Monday, February 20, 2012

This week's Salvaged Chic Of The Week is Berryessa, a formerly dated and somewhat sad looking couch that now has a new rocking velvet upholstery and a timeless look that will last the ages!
Check out the before shot of Berryessa... frumpy and dated she was screaming for a makeover! We removed the dated skirt, as we wanted a more streamlined look. Part of our consultation process when you bring in a piece, will be to discuss whatever changes you want to make in addition to the new upholstery. This is the clients chance to discuss any areas that they are wanting to change, reinvent, or update. Examples such as adding tufting, buttons, different colored piping, thicker cushioning or the removal of a skirt are all details that we can address. Knowing that upholstery can be an investment, Mignonne strives to create redesigns that can be knockouts in a space!
Our client selected this rich gray velvet fabric to reupholster Beryessa with, as they wanted something durable & kid friendly, but also something that could be adorned by them and their friends. We think it turned out beautifully, and removing that dated skirt also really allows you to see the silhouette and cute feet! Beryessa has gone from blah to WOW with it's make over.
We love how velvet couches can have either a romantic look; with their warm textures and how they can also allow the shape of a piece to really be highlighted:
Or a modern look, accented by art, graphic pillows or area rugs:
Remember, we can also customize pillows with fun vintage or new fabrics that you can switch out with the seasons, or your mood! Pillows are such an easy way to update the look of your space and make sure that your newly reupholstered piece continues to evolve throughout the times and your taste. These are some of our favorite combinations of velvet couches with fun pillows:
We now sell fabrics, so your reupholstery project is even more convenient. Send us a photo of the piece you're hoping to have reupholstered and we can give you a quote. After that we can set up an in-store appointment to look at our selection of fabrics and come up with a cohesive design for your chairs or couch! Email for more information.
Berryessa photos by Johnelle Mancha, additional images: One:; Two:; Three:; Four:; Five:; Six:;
Rebekah is a member of the Mignonne family and former Mignonne assistant. She now freelances and owns the company A & B Creative, read her blog.

The French Connection ... Huitième (8th) Note ... Everything is nicer with a little whimsy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

bonjour chérs amis! so sorry for the delay, we are recovering from an internet blackout too complicated to describe but so happy to be back. I am ready to continue sharing about the fun times à la Maison et Objet, when last I wrote I promised whimsy so here we go!

Because optimism and general good spirits have been in short supply in the world, designers have decided that colorful, whimsical and affordable are ways to improve our dispositions and make our homes happier! there were lots of little ways to do this on display at the design conference.

Garlands, for example ... were to be found everywhere and in many forms ...

to be hung in a doorway or over a window, or in a kid's room near a closet, around a bed or crib ...

or as added accoutrements for a lamp or chandelier

Another playful feature were fun déco objects just for the sake of conversation ... like these huge fruits

or other whimsical objects ...

There was fun furniture to dream about ... but these will be dreams that make you smile!

tee hee!!!

designers from ALL over were getting in the spirit of things .... even playful Germans!

this reminded me of one of those alien bar scenes from a Star Wars movie!!

this aspect of the show was definitely a bit of fantasy ... but I also found it inspiring to see how designers, small and large, were opening up their hearts and humor a bit and acknowledging the role that color and laughter can play in making a house a home.

Believe it or not, I still have quite a bit to share from this designers dream date ... next up, the lovely world of lighting!

jusqu'a la prochaine fois!! beeeee-zooooooo!

*all images courtesy of Kimberlee Mancha

Our guest correspondent for The French Connection is Kimberlee Mancha, mother of Johnelle and co-founder of Mignonne Décor. Now living in France, Kimberlee started our sister shop "The Bohemians" in 2009. She will be providing live updates for all you Francophiles and lovers of beautiful European inspirations.

Salvaged Chic of the Week: Isabelle

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Such an amazing piece!! Meet: Isabelle.
A fantastic client project we recently completed. I love the hearty shape and weight & how it feels toned down and not as massive because of the fun pop color and slate grey detailing around the drawers and sides. Isabelle (named after her equally stylish owner) is a vintage Federal Style maple chest that turned out gorgeously. This is the one problem we have with custom projects...we fall in love with them and they're not for sale!

This is another fabulous example of how effective our design services can be. Johnelle went over to Isabelle's house for a hour long consultation and helped her client decide what she wanted the look of the room to be... what furniture and decor could stay, what needed to go, and what should be introduced. Immediately Johnelle saw the potential that this chest of drawers had. This dresser had great bones, original and interesting pulls (which isn't always the case), and a sturdy frame and drawers...but the finish was drab and lack luster. She and Isabelle talked about the transformation that the piece would have and how that would help propel the transformation of her space which was screaming for a little color.

Johnelle has a great eye for knowing what a piece could be, which is key when
she does in-home consultations. She can help to see what other furniture, or
art is detracting from the desired feel of the space, what you need that
you don't have, and most importantly--what do you have that could be
used in a different way or revamped to fit with your new
and improved space! Often an outside eye can help
you to better see how something you already
have could be made new again.
Sometimes it's hard to know how to continue to elevate your
space on your own, and that's when a guided buying trip with Johnelle
can be so effective! She can help you to find project pieces that she can revamp
and make to fit perfectly in your space.

We offer several different services that can custom fit to
whatever your needs may be. Our services include: "Design Me:" Johnelle has a knack for finding pieces with tons of potential--come by the store and
pick something that has yet to be redone, and come up with it's new design.
"Build Me:" Brian Hill can build a custom piece
(like the redwood farm table in the first photo below he built for a client)
that fits your space perfectly. "Revamp Me:" You can bring in furniture
you already have and come up with a design for Johnelle
to give it a new look. "Reupholster Me:" Do you have something with
great bones that's looking a little sad and old these days? Bring it in and you
and Johnelle can create a new one-of-a-kind look for your chair or
couch that will fit with your new look more and that will become a unique
conversation piece (like she did with the loveseat below).

Spaces can be beautiful, but we love them even more when there is something like Isabelle in them to give it that POP, we love creating pieces that can be showcased,
like we know this one will be!

Isabelle would also be really fun in a more boho space as well. I think she would
fit in just fine here!

If you want to schedule an in-home consultation yourself or get more info on any of our other design services don't hesitate to write!
Isabelle and Mignonne furniture photos taken by Johnelle Mancha. Other images: One:; Two:; Three:; Four:
Rebekah is a member of the Mignonne family and former Mignonne assistant. She now freelances and owns the company A & B Creative, read her blog.

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