Spotlight: Catching up with Penny Drue Baird
Recently we had a chance to catch up with Penny Drue Baird, author and interior designer extraordinaire. She enjoys working with clients on both sides of the Atlantic, with a particular love for Paris. We were glad to have a chance to sit down and speak with her.
What originally brought you to Paris?
My love affair with Paris began with a college trip and a first love.
Where do you feel most at home in Paris?
My favorite part of Paris is 7eme coté St Germain, but there are so many parts of Paris I love. I feel most at home in any café especially with the aroma of coffee in the air. I’m also very comfortable in the Carré Rive Gauche and the Puces at Porte Clignacourt.
How do you find it working in France vs. other places you’ve worked in your career?
Since I speak French and have lived here for many years, I find it very easy to work here.
How do your best projects come to you?
My best projects are all my projects! Sometimes they come through word of mouth, but often from wonderful shelter magazines such as Architectural Digest or my books, Bringing Paris Home and the New French Interior.
Tell us about a project that was interesting?
I am currently working on a pied-a-terre which is cosy and will hopefully fulfill the client’s fantasy re: living in Paris.
What do you think are the hottest trends in Paris design / decor/ apartment living today?
In Paris the trend is casual and more modern than one would imagine. There is a humor to design and young people are shying away from formality.
How has Paris changed since you first came here?
One thing I especially love about Paris is that it doesn’t change very much. I love seeing the same faces in the same places.
How has your style changed since you first came to Paris?
Overtime everyone’s taste changes. Twenty years ago I was purely LouisXV, now I really like so many different styles. I prefer a cleaner look, although I both appreciate and use all styles, and periods of French furniture.
What was the most difficult thing to adjust to when you were living in Paris?
The most difficult thing for me when I first moved here was eating a proper lunch! I remember my very first lunch with a girlfriend a few days after moving to Paris. Walking to the restaurant I said to myself,” no matter what she orders, I’m only having a salad- no wine -that’s it! No matter what she says or orders….” I then arrived, and there was my friend with a bottle of wine and a terrine of pâté, and that was that. Entree, plat, dessert and coffee, wine and that was my last attempt at a New York lunch.
Penny splits her time between Paris and New York, where her firm is head quartered.