Today, visible repairs, creatively handled, can signal love, individuality, environmental awareness, or all three.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Aristocracy partied here. Laughter rang down its magnificent staircase. Over the years, the château passed from owner to owner, but in recent years had been empty when the couple purchased it from an English-Irish syndicate.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Somewhere along my route to becoming a gardener, I’d heard that planted rhubarb crowns wilted and died if you moved them.

If a six-deep battalion of bottles, pots, and packets already line your kitchen shelves, G. Detou is a dangerous place.

Practical, certainement, but buying books online does lack the romance of browsing through a certain iconic Parisian bookshop.

Google “songs about …” and you open the door to a pantheon as immense as, well, the Pantheon. Imagine titles like “Under the Bridges of London” or “Under Toronto Skies”. A little lacking in romance, non? Until you replace those cities’ names with “Paris”.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: City of watery reflections and limpid light, Venice has a terroir that seems uncannily right for the production of exquisite glass. Nor is it hard to see, given the Venetian passion for decoration, why the area has long been known for mosaics.

Fragrance can evoke mood, place, or, in the case of French candle maker Germauld, complete scenarios inspired by the life of Mademoiselle Simone, who founded the line in 1947.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Books crammed in from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling, hand-lettered signs, a feeling of bohemian creativity, empty wine glasses that will be filled at the conclusion of this fictional book-reading: this is Shakespeare and Company.