Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stylists' secrets ...

What if you could visit at of all the fabulous, unique shops in Paris and Amsterdam that only the design pros know? Would you like to shop the same stores that a world-renown stylist and photographer frequents to source distinctive props, accessories and objects that she uses in the sets and photographs she creates? I don't know about you, but I'm a definite yes!

If you're anything like me, you'll love two books written by stylist, photographer and author Pia Jan Bijkerk - 'Paris: Made By Hand' and 'Amsterdam: Made By Hand.' With residences in both of the title cities, she is vastly familiar with incredible artisans. Pia creates and photographs her work for international magazines and advertising agencies, including clients: Vogue Entertaining & Travel, Real Simple, Marie Claire, and Saatchi & Saatchi.

In her first book, Paris: Made by Hand, Pia takes us off the grand boulevards to 50 out-of-the-way boutiques of Parisian artists who create handmade, unique and chic treasures. Pia has been "collecting these special addresses in [her] stylist's little black book over the past couple of years, and now with great delight, shares them all."

Pia tells us that, "So that you don't have to deal with the Metro too often, each chapter is 'a wander,' designed so that you can walk from handmade place to handmade place with ease. But, even if you are not planning a trip to Paris in the near future, there is plenty of inspiration on each page, and boutiques that can be found online."

After estatic reviews of Paris: Made by Hand from British House & Garden and Vogue Living, and kudos from some of the most revered design blogs, including Design*Sponge and Decor8, Pia wrote her second Made By Hand guide.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand takes us on ten 'wanders' through Amsterdam to find great sources for antiques, collectibles, furnishings, jewelry, clothing and much more.

Pia's intimate knowledge of Amsterdam comes from her part-time residence there (in a houseboat, no less) as well as her professional, insider connections. In Amsterdam: Made By Hand, Pia connects us with "Dutch ateliers tucked away on the cobble-stoned backstreets of the old Canal District and boutiques that Dutch designers and stylists have kept well-hidden inside their black books ... until now." Guide visits in the old, quaint city takes us to see the work of artisans in wood, ceramics, metals and fabric.

Pia describes her guide best. "This is a book for all professional designers and decorators and lovers of design and decorating, lovers of all things handmade, the chic and unique, and of course, Amsterdam."

Both books can be ordered online from my favorite bookstore, The Little Bookroom, (which I really enjoy visiting, and think you will too) or through Amazon. You can also visit Pia's blog for great inspiration. Her photos are fantastic, and her blog is among my favorites! I can't wait for her next book, due out in 2011.

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