Interior designer Penny Drue Baird, who runs Dessins LLC based in New York and Paris, lists 13 books that have inspired her—many reflecting
her “unquestionable addiction” to the City of Light. “Books … feed
our fantasies, nurture our souls, and basically enlighten every aspect of our
journey on earth, “ says Baird. “I find books intrinsically beautiful. I love
having them around me and find them integral to home décor.
Traditional rotunda setting with center table—executed with streamlined moldings, a modern take on a stone floor, and
pilasters functioning as standing lamps. From The New French Interior by Penny Drue Barid (2011, The Monacelli Press).
“I made my first trip to Paris when I was 18,” says Penny Drue Baird. “Unlike what all my friends and clients believe, it most certainly
did not result in a coup de foudre.
It was when I was there about three years later, when I was crazily ‘in love,’
that I became unquestionably addicted to Paris—and, truth be told, especially
to those sauces! That was the true beginning of how the City of Light got to be
an ongoing part of who I am and what I value.”
A pair of glass panels found in the Marché aux Puces are used as swinging doors and mark the entrance to this dining room. From The
New French Interior by Penny Drue Baird (2011, The Monacelli Press).
That Paris has been central to her life is evident in so many ways. Baird has kept a residence there for 11 years. In addition to
her interior design studio on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, she has a
companion studio on rue Jacob in Saint Germain. And then there are the books
about Paris—those on the list she compiled for Designers & Books and also those she herself has written, on
designing interiors in the French style.
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