I was browsing the New York Times online last month and found an article in the Home section about an New Yorker named Kein Cross who recently rented and renovated the most charming little house in Paris. I thought it was so cool, that I emailed him and asked if we could meet, so I can photograph his house. I discovered that he lives three doors down from me, so not only are we neighbors, we are now friends.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Dallas, Texas. Our family home since the early 1800s is Bentonville, Arkansas.Having an on the go artist for a mother, with five marriages, I moved a lot having gone to 17 schools before I graduated from High school.
When did you fall in love with Paris and what was your first experience here like?
I cannot remember ever not being in love with Paris! I think I was born with Parisian blood pulsing through my veins. I can remember begging my parents to take French, before I had even reached the age to enter elementary school.
Why did you decide to rent an apartment and how much time do you plan on spending here? Also, tell us about the experience of finding your apartment.
I first wanted to rent a home in Paris, so I could get used to the basic business dealings involving real estate in Paris. I am however Pershing the purchase of my home here.Last September when I first began looking at apartments, it was a difficult experience. I first looked on Craigslist. Don't go there! Is the advice I give you! There are many people on Craigslist that are dishonest. As sophisticated as I think I am, I was taken for a large amount of money.I work with an organization called "Vingt Paris " I cannot recommend them highly enough! Headed by Susie Holland, they are a very honest, helpful, and talent filled organization. It's through them that I located my "Perfect petite Palace"! If you was a wonderful experience in finding a new HOME in Paris, give Ms. Holland a call.
You have had many interesting jobs in the fashion and design worlds in New York including working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, creative director of Barney’s, fashion designer, and having your own home shop. Please elaborate on them (and others I may have missed) and tell us how you started the design business you have now.
I sometimes feel, I have already lived many lives, and have had many different careers.Intending to go from extremes in my life, I have worked in a slaughter house, to having been a fashion director at " Bergdorfs, New York . Enjoying all my jobs, well until I don't anymore and reinvent my life and myself.
What defines French style for you?
French Style, wow, so much can be said about French Style! For me it is simple, everything in Paris is based on detailed design, it can be seen from the uniforms of public assistance professionals, to the most basic of food purveyors. To put in a simple sentence, " the French take the best of all world design from all periods of time and cultures, and combine them beautifully in a uniquely French way to create French Style."
You have design clients in France. What are some of the differences in working with the French and the Americans and is there a different attitude or approach to design in France?
I am very fortunate that my client base is Word Wide. With this educated worldly client base the world is a playground of people and places, no borders, and free to mix styles. I guess that makes my clients French in their Lifestyle. I find no cultural differences in my clients. Maybe design is the answer to bring all the people of the world together!
What are some of your favorite home and antique shops in Paris?
As I do live to shop, and shop I do, all levels all venues. I can find some of the most fabulous items or design ideas in the lowliest of venues. But my overall most favorite shop in the entire world, hands down is " Bazaar Hotel de Ville "! There is no other store known to man with such an array of products under one roof!
Who do you think has true Parisian chic?
True Parisian chic, that's easy, just open your eyes on any street in Paris, the people all the people have true Parisian Chic! You can see it in every stitch of there being! Viva La France!
If you could decorate an apartment or home in Paris for anyone living or dead who would it be and where would it be?
Well, I have actually already done this. it was the most perfect circa 1734 house two floors, an open plan layout, in a hidden garden, located in Le Marais. I now call it home.
What do you prefer about Paris?
Well my favorite word to use, that I don't through out to freely is perfect. Paris is Perfection, Tres, Parfaite!
Checkout Kein's websites
Eye Prefer Paris Photos for Sale
I am happy to announce the sale of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 17 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my courtyards, doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotteís professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com