Art & Accessories

Sally’s and my presentation on “Creating French Style in your Home” on Sunday at the French Cultural Center was a HUGE success! We came away feeling there is still a place for elegant, classy and sophisticated traditional interiors in the world. During the post presentation social, while champagne and madeleines were being served by the staff from the fabulous Newbury Street French restaurant La Voile, a lady approached Sally and told her, “I’ve been waiting 20 years for someone to do a presentation like this!” Another came up to me and said, “Now I understand why and how the parts and pieces fit together!” Happy Dance!!! It made us feel like our hard work had paid off!

During the presentation, these slides in particular created quite a discussion. I was going thru my Mirrors and Mantels section of the presentation (We had 10 topics/touch points.), explaining and illustrating how and why mirrors were placed and used in 18th century French homes to reflect light and/or to visually expand a room. Using this picture I took of a room in the Musee Carnavalet, I asked whether we were seeing into another room or were we looking into a mirror?

carnavalet, photo  by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

The answer is we are looking into a mirror. But you need to look twice to notice the picture hanging in front of the mirror. with the window and lantern appearing as they do, it is easy to think you are looking into another room with a window beyond. I asked the attendees to remember this picture.

A short time later I showed this picture of a Parisian apartment done by French designers Champeau and Wilde.

Champeau & Wilde

Then this one and posed the same question. Are we looking into a second room or are we looking at a mirror?

Champeau & Wilde

This is a tough one, no? Most thought we were looking into a mirror. But we are not. We’re looking thru a large hole in the wall between the two pair of doors into the room beyond! Fabulous! Look carefully at the crown molding. The closer room is simple with ornamentation in the corners only. The far room has brackets running the length of the molding. Look at the picture some more and you begin to pick up other details and clues. What else do you see?

Cheers and have a great week!

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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These past few years, the design term Eclectic Style has become a well worn catch all phrase describing any number of combinations of furniture, fabric and lighting, etc. in a room – most of which I struggle to understand and come to grips with. To me, an Eclectic Style project has to be as carefully and thoughtfully curated as any other style that comes to mind. I further propose selection and placement become more critical as various pieces of differing styles and periods are asked to play off each other in a room.

I’d like to share a delightful story I came across in the Jan/Feb 2105 issue of Elle Decor that meets my criteria. It is an apartment in Milan overlooking the 16th Century Chiesa di San Barnaba e Paolo. (I’d take the apartment for the view alone…)

Interior Design, J J Martin 6, Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Purchased by fashion writer JJ Martin and her husband, she recounts a delightful tale of the renovation of the apartment. But what first caught my eye were the pictures – a delightfully eclectic blend of furniture, lighting and accessories set against a background of wonderful colors and textures. Enjoy the tour.

Living Area: 1930’s chairs paired with 1970’s Massimo sofa. Original mantel and wood floor.

Interior Design, J JMartin 1; Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Dining Area: 1940’s Italian dining table, 1970’s Italian chandelier, 18th century bas relief.

Interior Design, J J Martin 1a; Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Sitting area: 19th century drawings and Maurizio Galimbreti photo above custom sofa.

Interior Design, J J Martin 2; Photographer, Kasia Gatkawska

Bedroom: Poliform bed, 1950’s bedside table and lamp and table lamp made from an 17th century candelabra.

Interior Design, J J Martin; 3 Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Desk: 1970’s walnut desk, 1940’s French chair, 1950’s sconce and 18th century antique mirror.

Interior Design, J J Martin 5, Photographer, Kasai Gatkowska

Have a great week!

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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If you would like our assistance on your design project, contact us here.

The Paris Design District hosts an event called Paris Deco Off, that runs concurrently with Maison et Objet. We were a 10 minute walk to where the bulk of the particiapting show rooms and antique shops were located, near the magnificent St. Sulpice Church. A carnival atmosphere prevailed, with giant lampshades hanging high in the air above the streets. Each lampshade had the name of a participating show room.

Deco Off 2015; photo by Wilson Kelsey Design

While our main focus was visiting fabric showrooms in the neighborhood, we couldn’t resist dropping in on the tiny antique shops we would pass by.

antique shop; Wilson Kelsey Design

Deco Off antique shop; photo by Wilson  Kelsey Design

Please, someone give this terra cotta horse a home!

terra cotta horse; WIlson Kelsey Design

Once again, there was so much, I’ll share a sampling of the hi-lites. The Zuber showroom was amazing. Known primarily for their incredible wall paper and murals (declared a French National Treasure) they also make beautiful fabrics.

Zuber; WIlson Kelsey Design

I find myself fantasizing about an upholstered wall every time I look at this image.

Zuber fabric, Paris showroom; WIlson Kelsey Design

Fortuny was another stop on Sally’s agenda. Absolutely luscious! Photographs don’t do the richness and luster of the fabrics justice. But first, we had to stop to admire their showroom window. The little foxes in their kimonos were cute beyond belief!

Fortuny window; Wilson Kelsey Design

Fortuny 2015 fabrics; photo by WILson Kelsey Design

Fortuny fabrics; Wilson Kelsey Design

Then it was on to the de Gournay showroom. De Gournay’s array of wallpaper, fabrics, furniture mirrors and porcelain is breath taking. A random sampling of images…

de Gournay showroom, paris_france

de Gournay  wall paper and mirror; WIlson Kelsey Design

de Gournay porcelain; WIlson Kelsey Design

Do you think they would sell me this antique sofa? Fabulous!

De Gournay antique; Wilson Kelsey Design

At the other end of the furniture spectrum, we find Grange, with it’s updates spin on classic antique furniture pieces. LOVE!!! I can see one of these in a classic French style foyer.

Grange buffet; Wilson Kelsey Design

Grange furniture; photo  by Wilson Kelsey Design

Next post, the Paris Nobilis show room. It was the hi-lite of our Deco Off visit.

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

To visit our website, click here.

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To follow us on Pinterest, click here.

If you would like our assistance on your design project, contact us here.