Back in 2018 I visited Paris for the first time. I never had romantic visions of the city – no daydreams of romantic strolls under the Eiffel tower, or picturing myself in a chic beret with a baguette tucked under my arm. I had always figured the whole city was probably a bit overrated. My previous visions of Paris were mostly what Paris proved to me it wasn’t. I expected people to be rude, the streets to be dirty, and the whole place to reek of “I’m better than you,” amongst other things….
But none of that was true. Nobody was outright rude, but I did have a few awkward moments due to my language barrier (I have no French skills whatsoever, that’s on me) so no feelings were hurt there. The streets were about as clean as any other large metropolitan city I’ve ever been to, and the smell was generally a non-issue. The one lasting impression that Paris DID leave on me however, was its beauty.
It was like the understated beauty of french women that I’d read about time and time again. All the parks and museums and cafes just exuded charm. It was unfussy, classic, and timeless. Sure, plenty of tourist traps. Sure, plenty of people trying to grab my wrist to sell me a trinket. I never had an idealized version of Paris in my head, so there was nothing to squash. Paris was just as beautiful as it was a normal, functioning city.
By far my favorite memory of Paris is sitting with my friend Sabrina in the sage green chairs at the Jardin du Luxembourg, groggy from enjoying a thick Angelina hot chocolate a few minutes prior. We sat for over an hour, people watching, chatting, and relaxing in the shade. It was so calming, and for that reason those chairs made an impact on me. When I got home, I missed that aspect of the French lifestyle that I’d soaked up in the short time I’d been overseas. The abundance of places to sit and relax. The culture of long lunches and walking places and bakeries on every corner. A slower lifestyle. A lifestyle we have long forgotten in the US.
The memory of the green chairs began to symbolize that to me. I began to search for ways to find that Paris vacation chill in my own life. I even found the original manufacturer of the chairs online and gawked at the price of owning just two of them, $790-$1770 depending on the style. Then, while browsing Target, I found a metal stacking chair that looked a bit familliar… inspired if you will.
A few trips to the hardware store later I was set and spraying down my new chairs. I’d found a green that I deemed “close enough” and got to work. All I really needed was two steps – a quick scratch with some sandpaper and then on to the color.
I ended up using Rustoleum spray paints and was really impressed with the coverage. I’d bought 4 cans since the outside space I’d be painting them in was notoriously windy, but only ended up using 1.5 cans to coat 2 whole chairs!
Below is my finished product! They fit perfectly on our balcony and are comfy enough to sit and enjoy a few drinks! Granted my chairs are a bit more cool toned than the originals, but I love them just the same.
Do you have any summer DIYs planned?
What is your favorite travel memory?
Let me know in the comments!