ANNE AND HER FAMILY ARE EXTREMELY ARTISTIC. Her father was a florist for many years with his own shop in Temple City, California. The night before our wedding he insisted on staying awake into the early morning hours to personally handcraft all the corsages and flowers for our tables. I have always appreciated his contemporary flair and style.
Anne’s brother Paul is a musician and has been singing and writing songs since his early teens. Her sisters are very artistic and creative as well.
Anne has always had a natural ability for creating warm and comfortable spaces. Her style is rustic and European and she has always enjoyed creating fun displays. Until recently, our home was the canvas for her art, but with the opening of Fleur, she now has a bigger and more public space to show off her creative talents.
The basic space is rustic, and combines hardwood floors with old school concrete. The walls are painted the same signature easy-green that has been Fiore’s trademark since the day it opened. We give Anne’s sister Clare and husband Ray the credit for picking the color. They brought it to us a few nights before the opening, declaring that our white walls desperately needed color. Without hesitation the four of us began painting into the early evening light, and immediately knew that the color was just right.
The overhead lights in Fleur are classic restaurant fixtures. Although not original to the space, I found them in an antique shop on Altadena Avenue in neighboring Pasadena. It turned out that the same shop owner had also sold us the aluminum counter that hosts our cash register in Fiore. I tried to negotiate with him for the fixtures, but he wouldn’t budge. Although forced to succumb to his price, I felt better when I learned a similar fixture was priced much higher at different shop just down the road.
The long table that anchors the room was moved from Fiore where it lived briefly after the Café first opened. I wrote about this table in our first book and customers still ask me if it’s for sale.
The furniture and merchandise selection for sale at Fleur is all Anne. She finds stuff everywhere and has a knack for sourcing items, while remaining thrifty and frugal. She intuitively knows an item’s worth and refuses to pay a penny more.
Anne is strongly influenced by unique vintage and antique finds. Magazines are stacked all over the coffee table and overflow into baskets on the floor. She also gets some of her inspiration from photographs of antiques found in different parts of the world.
A few months have passed since Fleur’s opening, and Anne continues to bring in new and different inventory into the shop. Each item is unique and can stand on its own, but when it’s staged in Fleur it seems like the pieces dance harmoniously together.