17Jun

Top 10 Best Flea Markets in France

The Porte de Vanves flea market in Paris is one of the best flea markets in France.

Porte de Vanves flea market

France has amazing flea markets, filled with vintage and antique furniture, kitchenware, paintings, vintage clothing, books, and home decor. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop for travel souvenirs and unique items to decorate your home!

1. Port de Vanves in Paris

This is known as one of France’s best flea markets, appreciated for its size and variety of items. Every Saturday and Sunday, 300 vendors sell items from France and beyond until 1pm.

Finds: Paintings, ceramics, 60s/70s era items, vintage clothing

2. Cours Saleya in Nice

Every Monday from the morning through mid-afternoon in sunny Nice, 200 vendors congregate to sell high-end collectibles. Although most finds here are pricey, you can find bargains at the adjacent Pierre Gauthier market.

Finds: Silver, vintage clothing, ceramics from Monaco and Vallaris, rustic wood items, and jewelry

3. Braderie de Lille

This is the best flea market in Europe and is held once a year in September. Thousands of vendors gather from Saturday morning through midnight on Sunday. Millions of visitors come from all over to shop.

Finds: Everything!

4. Annecy in Vieux Quartier

This is the most picturesque flea market in France, although smaller. The items reflect the town’s position as the gateway to the Alps. It is held on the last Saturday of the month.

Finds: Paintings, wooden chests, armoires, milk jugs, ski equipment

5. Villeurbanne in Lyon

Every Sunday morning 400 vendors join to create one of the biggest flea markets in France.

Finds: Rustic collectibles, kitchenware, furniture, copperware

6. Allees Jules Guesde in Toulouse

This flea market is held on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of each month. Toulouse is a great place to visit and enjoy the pink medieval buildings and theme park dedicated to space exploration.

Finds: Books, military memorabilia, African art, fine French porcelain

7. The Porte de Clingnancourt

This is a combination of 12 flea markets, held every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. There are thousands of stalls that offer all kinds of collectibles.

Finds: Marche Vernaison on Rue des Rosiers offers kitchenware, books, and table lamps. Marche Daupin features market jewelry and ornate antique furniture.

8. Boulevard Beranger in Tours

This flea market is held once a month in the “Garden of France.” There are about 150 stalls. Once you’re done exploring the market, enjoy Tours, where you will find amazing architecture, vineyards, and botanical gardens.
Finds: Fine French porcelain, books, furniture.

9. Place Viarme in Narites

About 100 vendors set up shop along the Brittany cost. This picturesque location on the Atlantic coast is a great place to spend the day shopping for travel souvenirs.

Finds: Vintage nautical memorabilia

10. L’espace Mosson in Montpellier

Every Sunday in the far south of France. There are food stalls with delicious snacks of merguez and andouillette sausages.

Finds: Antique and vintage furniture, blue and white enamelware, paintings, and pottery.

3Sep

Travel Photography Tips

Consider these tips for taking photos on your next vacation!  Take photos that you can proudly display in wall galleries or individually spread throughout your home.

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

1. Research your destination’s best views and local attractions

2. Think about where in your home you would want to hang individual photos or where you would want to create a wall gallery.

3. Try an interesting or unusual angle. Go for higher ground and shoot from above, or crouch down to shoot from below to make the shot more interesting.

4. Get close up shots to reveal interesting details and composition.

5.  Shoot your subject off center. Try the “rule of thirds”  and place the main subject approximately one third away from the center of the photograph. This will capture interesting background objects as well as the person you are with.

6. Shoot a series of like shots (high to low, vertical, off center, off focus) for a wall gallery or hall display.

7. Frame your subject. Find scenery or objects that cast a frame around the person or subject you are trying to capture.

8. Take photographs immediately before or after sunset when the colors are most intense.

9. Show scale by placing something smaller in the foreground.

10. Consider background action and how it will affect your subject. Make sure any unwanted objects are not in the picture (cars, garbage cans, poles, people making weird faces or distracting from the main subject).

11. Look for opportunities to take funny photos.

12. Don’t do the same pose every time. We all take photos in front of locations to show we were there. Mix it up!

13. Don’t forget to take pictures with yourself in it.

14.  Look for scenes that represent the culture of your destination (people, vendors, streets, architecture, landmarks).

15. Look for lines that lead your eyes through the picture.

16. Play with camera modes. If you want to make a person stand out from the background, use “portrait” mode. This will reduce depth of field and make objects further away from the subject blurry. If you want to create depth of field, try using “landscape” mode.

17. “Stitch” your photos together. Sometimes a scene is too big to capture in one shot. Take several overlapping photos and then put them together on your computer at home.

18. Take advantage of the focus feature. When you press the shutter half way, the viewer will display boxes over people’s faces or over subjects it finds in the scene. Use this feature to ensure that your camera is focusing on what you want.

19. Use the flash in outdoor shots. If there is bright light behind your subject, the camera will think that the whole scene is bright. As a result, the camera will darken the picture to overcompensate. Using flash will balance the exposure.

20. Turn off the flash when you want to capture natural lighting. Dawn and dusk can produce brilliant colors, which the flash can ruin.

21. After taking a picture in color, try taking it in black and white. You will be surprised at some of the things that stand out in black and white and not in color.

22. The histogram is a horizontal bar graph that illustrates the dark and light tones in the picture. Vertical lines to the left demonstrate the dark tones, and vertical lines to the right demonstrate light tones. If the lines are running off the page, your photo may be under or over exposed.

23. Learn to choose proper settings for different lighting conditions. White balance is different in daylight than it is in indoor lighting. Choosing “Auto” is a missed opportunity in some cases. Play with settings like “daylight,” “cloudy,” “shade,” or “fluorescent.”

24. Look at pictures right after taking them and make sure you got the shot you wanted. You can always redo a picture on the spot, but you can’t always travel back and shoot again.

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

26Aug

Travel Inspired Decor Ideas

Travel Inspired Decor - Rippled Tile

Travel Inspired Decor - Rippled Tile

Rippled tile looks like a cave or desert.

Travel Inspired Decor - Parisian Chandelier

Travel Inspired Decor - Parisian Chandelier

Vintage Parisian Chandelier, reminiscent of a trip to Paris….

Travel Inspired Decor - Chandelier Decal

Travel Inspired Decor - Chandelier Decal

If you don’t want to fully commit to the chandelier, try these chandelier decals. They’re removable and inexpensive. Find them on etsy.

Travel Decor - Suitcase Table

Travel Decor - Suitcase Table

Try stacking vintage suitcases to create a table.

Travel Decor - Photo Fabric

Travel Decor - Photo Fabric

You can print fabric using your home printer, and then make them into throw pillows.

Travel Inspired Decor - London Map Pillow

Travel Inspired Decor - London Map Pillow

This London map pillow is a creative way to include travel inspired decor. Find more like these on etsy.

26Aug

Travel Inspired Decor

Traveling to new destinations can be inspiring in many ways. The architecture, colors and culture can be very intoxicating. It’s hard not to bring back souvenirs, original artwork and furniture, but the good news is that you can incorporate them into your home.

Travel Inspired Decor - Moroccan

Travel Inspired Decor - Moroccan

  • Choose a theme for your entire home, or decide on one for each room.
  • Choose a focal point: Did you bring back a piece of furniture that can inspire the decor of the room? If not, try to find a piece that reminds you of the destination you’re trying to emulate – like a Navajo rug, Turkish table, or vintage trunk – and then take it from there.
  • Tchochkes: If you brought lots of small items back, scatter them throughout the room, or display them on a shelf.
  • Use some of your souvenirs for unexpected things – if you found some fabric, make them into pillows or a tablecloth.
  • Use the color palette of the region you are inspired by to accentuate the room.
  • Bring back original artwork.
  • Consider compatibility when mixing styles – don’t mix more than two or three.
  • Don’t develop the style too literally!