Thursday, October 10, 2013

{thursdays take two | glitter guide}

For today's repost we bring you a post from The Glitter Guide. Earlier this month they did an excellent post on Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months and we had to share! Enjoy this little Parisian retreat!

Take a peek at photographer Carin Olsson’s lifestyle blog Paris In Four Months or her jealousy-inducing Instagram feed, and you’ll quickly realize why the Glitter Guide team is constantly admiring (and yes, sometimes envying!) this gal. The Stockholm native moved to Paris with plans to stay for just a few months, but ended up making the city her permanent home — and who could blame her? She uses her freelance photography and writing skills to beautifully document her travels, her hometown and the Parisian life we’d all love to step into. We were thrilled when Carin kindly agreed to share her home, and some insights into the city she fell in love with!

Tell us about your blog, Paris In Four Months.
I started my blog, Paris in Four Months, when I decided to pack my bags and move to the French capital for four months in January 2012. That four month plan is the basis of my blog’s name. I wanted to share my experiences with my family back home and I also wanted to improve my photography. I saw the blog as a great motivator for this.

Later the blog turned in to so much more than that. It was through the blog I met some of my dearest friends, got some of the most exciting jobs I’ve ever gotten and it was through the blog that I discovered my love for photography. Today the blog is my creative outlet, and a place where I challenge myself to constantly improve my photography, and continue finding interesting and beautiful details wherever I go.

“I love storing my jewelry in empty Ladurée boxes. They’re too cute to throw away and they make such pretty decorations. They’re like small treasure chests! For some Parisian inspiration I recommend the book ‘Paris, My Sweet’ by Amy Thomas.” 

You also do freelance writing and photography, can you tell us about that?
I do both writing and photography on a freelance basis, and it’s something I would love to do even more of. I’ve written articles for ELLE and Food & Wine Sweden, and I’ve also done photography for ELLE Sweden. Being a freelance photographer is what I would love to do in the future.


“My personal style is quite simple and a bit toned down, but I love adding a bit of color in the form of ballet flats, a bag or jewelry. Ballet flats are by H&M and I think the necklace is from J.Crew, but from several seasons ago.”

Tell us about your living space — what is your decorating style? How did you go about personalizing your space? (We hear Parisian apartments are notoriously small!)
Creating your own living space in Paris can be incredibly hard. Not only are the apartments super tiny, it’s often very common to rent your place instead of buying, which, unfortunately, means that you have to respect several restrictions when it comes to decorating. In the older buildings elevators are a luxury that you’ll rarely find, so you can often see people moving in their furniture through the windows facing the street.

Even though I’ve moved five times (yes, you heard me right!) since arriving in Paris for the first time, I’ve tried to make every place as cozy and personal as possible. I have a weak spot for sweet and feminine items, which means that Ladurée boxes, scented candles and special jewelry pieces are all things you’ll find in my home. Several magazines are also spread out throughout my living space. While I used to buy them for simple reading and fashion inspiration, today I love to study the different shoots, model poses and how and where the light is hitting. It’s like free education in the form of glossy magazines!


Ladurée special edition box by Lanvin, the book “Paris, My Sweet” by Amy Thomas, scented candle by Byredo, home fragrance by Byredo, pink peonies from the local market. I love having fresh flowers at home and fortunately you can find them for a great price at the markets before closing time! 

Originally you planned to live in Paris for just a few months, what convinced you to make it a permanent move?
When I arrived back in Stockholm I just wasn’t happy. I remember landing in Sweden and just wishing that the plane would turn around and go back to Paris again. After being in Stockholm for a couple of weeks, I decided that I wanted to try and pursue my dream about moving back to Paris. I started planning and found myself back in Paris in January of the next year.

Was the move from Stockholm to Paris a difficult transition?
It wasn’t too bad actually. Because I’d visited several times before, and both Paris and Stockholm are in Europe, there weren’t really any radical differences. Many people asked me what the biggest cultural shock was when moving, but I still have to say that I haven’t really encountered a huge cultural shock yet. Yes, the language is a bit (read very) hard at times, and things that would be quite simple in Stockholm, like running bank errands or getting a cell phone plan, suddenly become a bit trickier.

What first drew you to Paris?
I had actually planned on moving to Rome but after yet another weekend trip to Paris during the spring of 2011 I simply fell in love with the city and decided that Paris would be the perfect place for me at the time. I still really can’t put my finger on exactly what it was that drew me to the city, but I’m guessing it was a mixture of a lot of different things: the beauty of the city itself (you can’t deny Paris’ beauty), the atmosphere, the food, all the sweets, the fashion and of the excitement of experiencing something new and so completely different from what I was used to.


“For me the Eiffel Tower never gets old. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it, it always amazes me.”

As a photographer, what inspires you the most?
It varies a lot actually. It used to be mainly Paris, the streets, my everyday life and the city itself, but nowadays I get the most inspiration from traveling. I love seeing new places and capturing them through my lens! I’ve also gotten more interested in fashion photography lately, which is something I want to do even more of in the future.

Dress by Zara, ballet flats by Massimo Dutti and bag by Prada. 

What are your favorite things to share on Paris In Four Months?
I think that my travels are always so much fun to share, which might not be what everybody visits my site for (believe it or not but I have a lot of Paris-lovers over there), but traveling makes me feel inspired, which leads to better photos in my opinion! It’s always nice to get away and see new things, no matter where you live, and on the plus side your own city often seems so much more inspiring once you get back.


I also love to share new restaurants, cafés and other cute places that I stumble upon while learning more about Paris each day. And I love to share fashion related posts on my site as well, which is something I hope to do even more of in the future.

How did you first approach photography and writing? Is it something you’ve always had an interest in?
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos and I’ve always enjoyed writing. I attend every single family gathering, special occasion and holiday with a camera in my hand. I’ve loved capturing details and moments for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until my move to Paris that I actually realized how much I truly loved it. I never imagined myself becoming a professional photographer, but life is funny like that sometimes.

The writing was more expected I guess. I’ve always loved writing and at the age of 10 I had already made my own magazine on my mom’s computer. I loved writing in school, and it was something I always thought I was going to focus more on in the future. Even though photography seems more interesting to me at the moment, writing will always be something I enjoy.

“One of my favorite things to do during the weekends is to visit the Parisian markets. My favorite market is Marché Maubert, located at Place Maubert, where I usually pick up some fruit, vegetables, flowers and a baguette or two.”

What are your favorite things to capture in Paris?
In Paris I love to stroll the streets and see what catches my eye on the way. Since the city is so beautiful on its own, it’s very easy to see potential shots during my walks. I usually focus more on the city, rather than the people living in it, which might seem a bit boring to some, but I just love the architecture, the streets, the parks and everything else Paris has to offer. I also hate putting my big camera in somebody’s face without asking first. I wish I could do it without them noticing, but since my camera is as big as a brick that’s nearly impossible.


“It’s hard to find a more picture-perfect street than Rue Saint-Dominique. It’s filled with amazing restaurants, and has an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. One of my best memories from this summer was definitely biking along this street with one of my best friends.”

What types of photos are your favorites to shoot?
I currently enjoy shooting fashion the most. Traveling to the different fashion weeks during the month of September as Nicole Warne’s (of the blog Gary Pepper) photographer is one of the most exciting things I’ve done so far. I love scouting locations, creating a certain mood, and watching an idea come to life through my camera. Sometime in the future I would love to give fashion editorials a shot!

You have an amazing fashion sense, can you describe your style? How has living in Paris influenced the way you dress?
I don’t consider myself to have an amazing fashion sense at all, but I like to keep it simple and quite feminine. Ballet flats, trench coats and blouses in light powdery colors fill up my closet. Pastels are my weak spot! Some people might call it boring but I would like to think of it as classic. I can never get enough of beautiful bags, which are my biggest vice… well, that and ice cream.


Everybody sees the fashion in Paris with different eyes, and I think it depends on several different aspects, including where you live in the city, how long you stay for, and in which neighborhoods you like to spend your time. But what I’ve taken from the city so far when it comes to fashion, is that it’s pretty conservative. I never feel comfortable wearing too short of skirts, dresses or shorts, and I always prefer to cover up rather than bare too much. I have to say that my style kind of suits the city quite well, so I feel very at home here with my trench coats and ballet flats!

“As soon as spring arrives in the city I bring out my dresses and more colorful pieces. But in Paris it’s always a good idea to bring a coat! You never know what the weather is going to turn into. Bag by Hermès, ballet flats by H&M, dress by Zara, bracelets by Pierre Caron and Claire Aristides.”

“Some of my favorite macarons at Café Pouchkine (inside Galerie Printemps). Caramel, chocolate/caramel, cassis and pistachio are always flavors that come back home with me.”

What are your favorite places in Paris? Neighborhoods, sites, cafés, etc.
I love the area called St Germain, the 7th arrondissement, as well as the 4th, the 5th and the 3rdarrondissements. I know that some people call these places touristy, or not “the real Paris” but I have to disagree. Yes, they’re very well visited by tourists, but they’re also the home to some of Paris’ most amazing places that I can’t get enough of. Jardin du Luxembourg, the border of the Seine along Île Saint Louis, Place des Vosges, Rue Saint-Dominique, Musée Rodin, Jardin des Plantes and Haute Marais are places you’ll most likely find me.

My favorite cafés, restaurants and bars constantly change, but right now I love visiting the Broken Arm and Telescope café for a cup of coffee and cheesecake. For my weekly éclair fix I go to L’Éclair de Génie in the Marais. The best Italian gelato is made by Pozzetto, and the caramel tart from Sadaharu Aoki is a must if you have a weak spot for anything caramel. Any café with a nice little terrace will do for me when it comes to people watching during a warm summer evening.


“Not only does Café Pouchkine have the best macarons, but the café itself is worth a visit. It’s so beautiful and the pastries are always so neatly presented. A vanilla croissant is another favorite of mine!”

“Musée Rodin is hands down my favorite museum in Paris. Not only is the inside gorgeous, but the gardens are absolutely breathtaking. The best time to visit is during late spring or early summer when the rose garden is in full bloom.”

What do you love most about the city?
It might sound silly, but I love that the city is so beautiful. It’s a city that I could stroll around in for hours and constantly see things I fall in love with or get inspired by. There’s nothing better than wandering the streets aimlessly with a friend and ice cream in hand. I love starting out in front of my apartment and not knowing where I’ll end up.


“The parks in Paris are extremely well kept, and are perfect if you want a little break from the city. Jardin du Luxembourg is so centrally located and is definitely worth a visit.”

“My favorite thing to indulge in would have to be a really yummy ice cream. My favorite comes from Pozzetto in the Marais. But Berthillon, Amorino and GROM are also good if I’m too far away from Pozzetto.”

“Macarons are certainly not my favorite kind of sweets, even though I have so many photos of them on my blog. It’s simply because they’re so fun to shoot. Their colors and beautiful boxes make for a fail-proof photo!”

“Visiting Jardin des Plantes during the spring when all the trees are in full bloom is just fantastic. I could spend hours taking photos of these beautiful cherry and apple blossom trees. The park also has some of the city’s best museums and even a little zoo!”

Any tips for someone traveling, or hoping to move to Paris?
This has to be the most common question I get asked through the blog, both through comments and emails, and it’s almost always impossible to give great advice. It’s so very individual, and I want to make sure that even though I’m an obvious Paris-lover, I encourage each and every person who is thinking about doing something similar to do his or her research before. I’ve actually written everything I know about this subject and gathered all my advice under the category “Moving to Paris” on my blog.


“Since the river is dividing the city in two parts you constantly have to cross bridges to get around town, which is something I absolutely adore. Every time I cross, I’m taken aback by the city’s beauty and have to remind myself  how lucky I am to be living here.”

How do you sparkle?
I feel the best when I’m doing what I love to do — whether it’s strolling the streets of Paris with my camera in one hand and an éclair in the other, or shooting something I love. Discovering new cities and places is another passion of mine, and I feel bored if I stay in one place for too long. To add that extra bit of sparkle, that everyone needs from time to time, a pretty bag always does the trick for me!

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