Throughout my children’s lives they have been "dragged" to out of town projects with me, which has allowed us to visit some incredible places. While other families were visiting the beach and Disney World, my kids visited museums, antique shops, and historic houses. Now that my children are college-age we have been able to enjoy travel together in a new way.

My daughter Laurel and I recently took a mini “Grand Tour” through Europe where we both appreciated the history and artistry that permeates the cities of France, Germany, and Switzerland, popping into antiques and flea markets between museum and cafe visits. I am so delighted that she shares my appreciation for art and architecture and has the stamina to pack it all in with me when we travel. 

In Lyon, France we met up with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew and slipped into this amazing antiques shop while waiting for our dinner reservation. No words can quite explain how crazy this was!!!

The next day I went to the big flea market in Lyon and met the most charming dealer. He’d taken an early buyout/retirement package after years with IBM and had always had a love of history and antiques, so he went into the antiques business. He had very fascinating and historically meaningful pieces. I bought the amazing “trench-art” pieces from WWI from him. They are vases, decorated by soldiers in the trenches made from various size munitions casings!

From another charming and artistic dealer, I bought these beautiful candlesticks and shells to use together or separately, and white bronze dogs (not shown).

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My daughter and I raced around Marseilles to quickly buy an extra suitcase to house these goodies for the plane back to Paris and then home. She, being seriously athletic was tasked with the job of lugging in all over, including the many metro stations with vast numbers of stairs… I’d say maybe that wasn’t the most fun part of the trip for her.

To wind up our trip we went back to Paris, and had snagged tickets to the amazing show of Klimt’s work at the Atelier-Lumieres. Klimt has a special place in our hearts as we recently purchased a little piece back in March of 2017, during another mother-daughter trip, and had visited the wonderful exhibit of Klimt’s at the Neue Gallery in June of 2018 together as well. It was extra special because my absolute best friend from childhood and her daughter came into the city and spent the whole day with us. The girls hit it off and it was definitely one of the best days of my life.

Laurel and I parted ways for our last few hours in Paris — she dashed off to see some of the sights she had to see before leaving and I dashed to the The Paris Flea market. It was an inspiration treat for each of us. I was able to see many beautiful pieces, but because the majority of pieces I was interested in were large, I opted to enjoy the looking and save the buying for a time when I could fill a container!

For Laurel, that last day afforded her the chance to see Notre Dame and I am so grateful.

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Lindley Martens’ love of art, nature and the transporting qualities of expression through fashion was seeded early in a rural upbringing outside of NYC. Her pursuit of design progressed as a student at the Memphis College of Art, then later at Rhode Island School of Design. After working in New York for Ralph Lauren as an assistant designer in the Women’s Classics and Accessories Divisions, Martens returned to Memphis, where her formative instruction in interiors took root first under the direction of the Rodgers Menzies Interior Design firm and later at Shea Design. She founded Lindley Martens Design in 2010 after a combined 13 years with these storied design firms. Her deep-seated sense of artistry allows her to create a story for each room’s distinct personality while retaining a sense of connectedness to the whole. Her spaces are inviting, tailored and timeless, a true reflection of the homeowner’s personality, layered with client’s special collections and one-of-a-kind treasures from her own travels.