Pictured here is a window at the inimatable Astier de Villatte on Rue Saint Honore in Paris. The boutique is located in an 18th century building, in a shop once occupied by “Le Singe Violet” – The Purple Monkey – as Singerie
was very chic and in vogue then. Today the stunning antique shelves are lined with gleaming white ceramics (also available here at MAISON K), whimsical gifts, and books including Astier de Villatte’s newly published english version of My Paris Life, soon arriving at MAISON K. The everlasting bouquet here is made up of handmade paper flowers – a beautiful melange of colors and shapes which echo the exotic and higher than high hairdos of the 18th century. Today the most amazing hair dresser is Julien d’Ys – he creates other worldly coiffure for exhibits and shows around the world.
There was promise of rain, but instead the skies parted as we ambled down the granite path, past the 1919 Reginald Johnson villa of Lotusland. (Johnson was Architect of the main SB Post office and Bellosguardo as well.) Surrounded by magnificent stands of “dragon trees“, euphorbia, cactus, palms,
ginkgo, on and on, a tour here is a grand adventure in a peripatetic garden of Eden. The property was founded in 1882 as the commercial nursery of Ralph Kinton Stevens. Santa Barbara’s rare Mediterranean climate proved an idyllic atmosphere where rare and exotic plants flourish. Fast forward to 1940. Madame Ganna Walska, a much admired personality and opera singer, leaves her native Europe, on the last ship out before the war, and purchases the property in 1941. Over the decades, she worked with numerous renown architects and landscape designers to evolve the property. In fact, she herself evolved from grand opera diva and socialite into a passionate visionary and creative landscape designer in her own right, leaving us with a magnificent, creative, horticulturally significant gift for all time.
A wonderful aspect of big cities is, there’s always something – new to you – to discover. For years I traipsed from Right Bank to Left Bank along Pont Neuf obliviously passing by a city gem, now one of my favorite destinations in the heart of Paris. One day I ventured through the narrow passage that leads into Place Dauphine. Created in 1607 by King Henri IV in honor of his son, it’s the second of Henri IV’s public square projects (the first being the idyllic Place des Vosges). Situated on the western tip of Île de la Cité, the triangular shape of this tree filled “square” is a part of it’s surprise and charm. Enjoy an aperitif or dinner at Caveau du Palais, which sits on the cobble stone drive facing the place.
In addition to the fragrances mentioned above, another Astier de Villatte candle I love is “Cambridge,” a soft delicious rose scent like no other. Pictured here is the visual equivalent, a magnificent rose arrangement from Dani Roses at Hotel Costes on Rue St. Honore in Paris. From this singular color arrangement of palest pink to vibrant mixed bouquets, this super chic floral boîte is sure to delight. After perusing the roses, step inside this spectacular Hotel for tea or lunch on the patio.
Astier de Villatte’s handmade dinnerware from Paris is unique and timeless. The French ceramics maker creates every piece by hand, in dark terracotta clay, then finishes each item with a milky white glaze.
Judy Foreman is a marvelous champion of tastemakers and businesses in our community.
She has an incredible sense of style and is always scouting out beautiful things. She’s curious and excited to report on what’s new and exceptional in fashion, home and lifestyle venues.
As a wonderful writer, she has shared her observations and finds with all of us for years – and we are all more informed and richer for it! Keep abreast of all her latest style, home and fashion finds in Santa Barbara and Montecito via Noozhawk‘s articles by Judy Forman! Thanks to Judy for the article’s feature photo of Maison K’s Astier de Villatte tableware.
Email or call us at 805-969-1676 when you’re looking for a special piece, or complete set, of Astier de Villatte tableware.
Did you know Astier de Villatte ceramics are made in the workshop that once housed Napoleon’s silversmith?
Entirely handwrought in Paris, these ceramic plates embody a French style that is simple, unique and timeless.
Astier de Villatte Discovery
I have been in love with Astier de Villatte ceramics for years. I first discovered the line in 1996 at a gorgeous little shop in San Francisco, which prompted the start of my own personal collection with one small exquisite plate.
“Simple Side Plate”
At the time I was buying and developing product all over the world for a candle retailer. Our merchant team would usually start its global trek at the gift show in Paris for inspiration; to see what trends and colors were unfolding. I would walk down the aisles filled with wonderful creations, scanning the booths for inspiration. I was always fixated on the Astier de Villatte presentations, vowing to sell their wares when I would have my own business one day. Fast forward to 2002 and the dream of owning my own business became reality, and that included selling what I consider the most beautiful ceramics in the world. Handmade in Paris in the Bastille, in the workshop that used to house Napoleon’s silversmith, the Astier de Villatte ceramics have a handwrought appearance that is treasured by its followers.
The base is black clay with a super complicated white glazing technique that only one or two workers have mastered. There is a fine line between too much and too little glaze. Almost every major company has attempted to copy the Astier de Villatte look but none have succeeded. From Vietri & Juliska to Target and World Market, everyone does try to emulate the look but Astier de Villatte is incomparable!
Because the line is all hand wrought and there is such global demand, it is sold in very few places. It is highly collectable and collectors are passionate about their plates, which are very user friendly. Most people use them everyday — the line is to be used, not just admired from afar.
Regence Fish Platter
The styles range from “simple” which is just that, classic and lovely in its simplicity to more detailed expressions. Every season there are more designers and silhouettes be they plates, vases or candle holders. Every creation is divine! We invite you to start your Astier de Villatte collection today with one piece or many. View our collection here at Maison Kor call to order (805) 969-1676
Add a festive touch to your table with this vintage lassi cups. Once used for the Indian yogurt beverage “lassi” – they are each a unique piece hand incised with charming designs, they can be used as vases or scattered about your table to add a golden glow to your table. Behind them, the white ceramic luster of Astier de Villatte from Paris makes every table a beautiful landscape. Accent pieces include candlesticks, pedestal dishes, vases and bowls.
The world of John Derian is full of whimsical cut art and color. Astier de Villatte is famed for their bright white hand made ceramics in a multitude of marvelous silhouettes. Combine the two and you have the collection shown here. Very limited assortment available now.