Learning from Mimi
At age three Emily already had her eye on one of her grandmother's chic finds: a round gilt-metal table with a stylized "wheat" base and a glass top. Emily said, "Mimi, when I grow up I'm going to have a table just like this."
Emily and her twin sister Julia, now age four and three quarters, know that fashion icon Coco Chanel had a similar table in her Paris apartment on the Rue Cambon. (Their grandmother has on display a vintage book open to the page that shows this.)
Helene B., or "Mimi" as the twins call her, is an elegant former teacher from Montreal who now can be found assisting customers at Interiors Market. She began introducing the girls to fine art when they were babies, using pieces around her Atlanta home to stimulate the twins' minds by asking them to find the biggest shape or the longest line, or to identify colors.
Figures and anatomical sculptures are a passion of French-speaking Helene's. She and her husband recently took the girls to the High, not to the children's area, but to the Louvre Atlanta exhibition to sketch and view the busts of Voltaire and other luminaries.
When Helene became a grandmother, many of her friends thought she would have to put away her vast collection of fine objects. Instead she chose to keep everything out and teach the twins to be at home around these things. Her dressing room is a fantasy hang-out for all little girls.
But more important than an appreciation for art and beauty is the sense of belonging and wonder Helene offers the girls. Beneath the grand rock crystal chandeliers are pint-sized furnishings that let the twins know they are welcome.
Many thanks to Helene for generously giving us a sneak peek at her exquisite collections.