Bonjour, I'm still in Paris mode you know it was such an amazing day. Long, and tiring but so inspirational. Gem and IÂ had breakfast in Merci (of course),Â wandered the streets the sun was out, popped into a few interiors stores, had a few coffees (all of which were bad but lets not focus on the negatives), ambled along the Seine, had meetings and generally figured out a plan for a few things.Â Sometimes you just need to get out, breathe some different air, and take inspiration from some different places in order to figure out stuff. Today although pretty shattered I feel incredibly inspired. The thing I love about France is that hundreds of little independents from butchers to tiny little interiors stores co-exist, trade and make the retail landscape a totally exhilarating one. Not like here and maybe not so much in London but our high streets are so boring. You'll find the same stores in different cities, they all look and feel the same yet in France and more specifically Paris bakers hold their weight against the big boys, hardware stores sit alongside global chains. Home grown one off boutiques abound - in Paris small is beautiful and hats off to them. Talking off hats off, have you guys seen the latest issue of Rue Magazine? It showcases Nate Berkus (a US interior designer on the cover) in his new LA pad and interestingly enough Nate has embraced the dark side. Can't tell you how exciting this is - all those naysayers telling me that dark interiors are depressing, a fad, blah blah blah and yet Nate whose style I like has crossed over. It's interesting because Nate is not known for pushing boundaries as such,Â he designs in a classic kind of way. The whole house isn't dark so we can't get too excited yet but whatâs fab is I feel a shift in the air. Dark hues rather than being perceived as kooky and 'on trend' are here to stay. You only have to look at the difference between the dark and light rooms in Nate's pad to see why! Convert across to the dark side I tell you, its way cooler over here!