The summer of 1984 was extremely memorable for a couple of reasons. For years I had been receiving alluring brochures from the Parsons School of Design announcing their summer program in Paris. Previous times I relied on the usual bag of excuses for not signing up. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I don’t want to be separated from the man in my life. But that year I made up my mind to make the time, find the money, and grab the chance to be on my own. The Parsons program would not only get me back to Paris, but allow me to experience my fantasy of living there as a student, albeit a senior one.
Familiarity with the layout of Paris, a Metro pass, and my garret-sized room on the Left Bank eased me into feeling like a Parisian. Each morning fortified with coffee and croissant, we toured the city listening to our erudite professor bring alive the structures and former inhabitants of centuries old edifices, churches and neighborhoods. In the afternoon, following a leisurely two-hour break for lunch, the group reassembled at the Louvre’s Musee des Art Decoratifs, where another distinguished professor lectured us on French interiors, furnishings and the decorative arts.
My darling husband Jim called me daily, sometimes in the middle of the night when he forgot the time difference, or when he could not wait until morning to reveal the latest bit of positive information he had uncovered while exploring Decorating Den as a way out of his early retirement. We were both having the time of our lives, but on two different continents.
When my Parsons school days were coming to an end, I feared post-Paris depression, but Jim was already making plans so I would not have a free moment to feel blue. What I had anticipated as an anti-climax turned into a crescendo that has yet to peak. By the time I returned home, our getting involved with Decorating Den was a fait accompli.
From the beginning what made us feel good about our company was the realization that Decorating Den’s interior decorators, like Anne Fawcett, were making the world more beautiful one room at a time. When Jim was looking into the company twenty-six years ago Anne was one of first franchise owners he interviewed and one of the ones who convinced him that he and I were a perfect match for the Decorating Den business model.
Anne continues to amaze us with the gorgeous rooms she creates for her grateful clients. Next summer when Jim and I lead our Decorating Den colleagues on a grand tour of Paris Anne and her husband Don plan to be a part of our genial group.