Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Inside Joanna Gaines’ Amazing Paris Field Trip: All the Dreamy Details

Joanna Gaines just wrapped up a swoon-worthy excursion to Paris with a group of creative women and her oldest daughter, Ella. Since the very first season “Fixer Upper” aired on HGTV, it’s clear that Gaines has a special place in her heart for French design. Fans have seen her do everything from hosting flea markets in her stores to designing a line of French country furniture. She returns to Waco, Texas, full of new inspiration after diving into the art and design of Paris. Do you want to go too? Here’s a guide to the dreamiest places on their journey!

Gaines spent an inspiring week in Paris with a small group of women, including designers from her and husband Chip’s company, Magnolia, and their oldest daughter Ella, who turns 16 in October. Ella recently helped her mom with design work, including shirts to raise money for the new St. Jude’s and Gaines book cover.

The creative women took part in travel expert Eva Jorgensen’s Paris By Design journey, which she describes as a week of “creative inspiration, exclusive visits with local artists, delicious food, sisterhood and more in the city of lights”. Jorgenson, the author of Paris By Design: An Inspired Guide to the City’s Creative Side, limits each trip to no more than nine women to keep the experience intimate.

Gaines and her fellow travelers shared a glimpse into their artistic adventures via their Instagram Stories. They did hit some must-see spots for tourists, including watching the Eiffel Tower light up at night.

According to the Solo Sophie website, the tower is lit up every night from dusk until 1am, but at the top of each hour, the tower sparkles with hundreds of thousands of lights for a full five minutes. Gaines shared a video in which she joyfully posed with a small illuminated replica of the Eiffel Tower as she stood in front of the real one as it sparkled.

Gaines also shared photos of beautiful shops, meals, and everyday art — such as the mosaic tiles found in the metro system and the black and white Neighbors Columns outside the Palais Royal.

One store they visited was Merci Paris, which The Shopkeepers site has named a “must-see, must-go and must-see store” for anyone into interior and fashion design. Visiting Merci is like stepping into the editorial office of a magazine; there is so much inspiration and discovery.” Gaines shared photos from the store, including a wall of built-in black bookshelves and a modern living room with a huge wooden coffee table.

Gaines also shared a beautiful snapshot of dozens of creative bouquets sitting outside Monceau Fleurs, a quaint flower shop in a charming blue building, as well as a video of Ella walking under a weeping willow tree that looks like the one in Square du Vert Galant, a spot along the river Seine with a scenic cobbled walkway and a special view of several architectural gems.

Even the photos of the food Gaines shared looked like works of art. She shared snapshots in her Instagram Stories of pancakes at Breizh Cafe, French onion soup at Au Pied de Cochon, a picnic of fresh cheeses, baguettes and veggies and salads on Sunday in Soho — a cute cafe opened by a New York City couple.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cia2tsbDuFS/

One of the coolest aspects of the Art & Design tour was all the experiential learning. Gaines and her companions got to immerse themselves in artists’ homes or studios and even take mini-lessons in their crafts.

Gaines was particularly impressed with visiting artist Nathalie Lete in her eclectic, colorful Parisian studio, which she wrote was “a dream.” In the US, Lete’s art can be seen on many home design products at Anthropologie. Gaines shared multiple photos of the whimsical studio and close-ups of her art.

More than one, with a little girl walking through a forest of giant fairy mushrooms, Gaines wrote, “I want to live among the mushrooms.”

In another photo of quirky paintings and ornaments of cats in clothes, Gaines wrote, “I think I need a cat now.”

The group also had a perfume-making workshop at Francophile Chelsea Brady’s apartment and decorated cakes with fresh flowers with dessert master Frank Adrian Barron, author of the new book Sweet Paris.

Jorgensen’s Paris By Design tours cost approximately $5,600 per person, excluding airfare. The October trip is sold out, but she has a waiting list on her website for those interested in future dates.

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