Continental Style

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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Sally and I would like to invite you to attend our presentation on “Creating French Style in your Home” on March 22, during Boston Design Week. See the Eventbrite link HERE.

Creating French Style in your Home; Wilson Kelsey Design

We saw/absorbed/learned so much during our two recent trips to Paris, much of which confirmed our latent suspicion that French Style is, in fact, very different than English/American Style.

Perhaps if the French had won the 7 Years War (French and Indian War) I would be writing this post in French. Or more than likely an entirely different post… Yes, history has played it’s part. The upshot for me is French Style – it’s interior architecture, decor, etc. regardless of the period or station is sexier and more emotional. It expresses itself with more freedom.

We all know, admire, even love French Style’s past – Versailles, with it’s tall ceilings, ornamentation, parquet floors are benchmarks. We hold in high esteem.

Versailles; Photo by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

Then there’s the classic simplicity found through much of Petit Trianon. Mmmm!

Petit Trinon window seat; Wilson Kelsey Design

But what’s more exciting is where French Style is today. How has it evolved and adapted and how can we bring it’s elements into our own homes today. There are so many ways that can satisfy – those with classical inclinations…

(Wilson Kelsey Design)

Dining room; Wilson Kelsey Design; Photo by Laura Moss

Or with the desire for today’s relaxed country manor…

(Natalie Haegeman Interiors)

Design by Natalie Haegeman

Or modern design blending seamlessly with 200 year old architecture…

(Gilles & Boissier)

Gilles et Boissier; photo © Sisters Agency : Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

And those who desire that striking balance between yesterday and today.

(Lefevre Interiors)

foyer design by Lefevre Interiors

Looking forward to seeing you on March 22.

Be sure to check out Boston Design Week’s other events!

Cheers,

sally and John

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

 

It’s funny how the stars align some times. And this was one of those times.

We’ve known for some time that our son and daughter-in-law were expecting.  What we haven’t known was when the Grandparent Genes were going to kick in. It turned out it as in Paris, walking back from dinner on our last night – dinner given to us by Drew and Lindsay as a Christmas present. As we wandered along St. Germaine back to our hotel, a tiny shop window caught our eye – Au Nain Bleu. Full of beautiful toys and stuffed animals, all clearly hand made with wonderful attention to detail, we HAD to bring back something to our grand child to be! Checking the shop hours, we determined if we arose early we could race the several blocks to the store, purchase a “treasure” and be back to our hotel before the cab arrived to take us to the airport. Which is exactly what we did, finding the cutest little floppy eared bunny you ever seen!

Au Main Bleu bunny; Wilson Kelsey Design

Au Main Bleu bunny; Wilson Kelsey Design

Actually, it was hard to choose!

au main bleu, Wilson Kelsey Design

As Sally was completing the transaction and chatting with the owner, I found myself looking at the shop’s details thinking, “Awesome!!!”  They might be useful in our presentation in French Style on March 22, during Boston Design Week. (More on the presentation another day.) Just look at the skinny concealed door with it’s hardware and the mirror to it’s left. What about the tall “column to it’s right? Delish! No?

Au Main Bleu 1; Wilson Kelsey Design

Check out the cool pull out shelves! Oh, and wouldn’t you love the rocking sheep or a couple of those gorgeous blue push cars in the upper left corner? (They were flawless BTW…)

column detail; Wilson Kelsey Design

The crown molding in the ceiling. Wonderful!!!

crown molding; Wilson Kelsey Design

Here’s to a wonderful week.

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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