Traditional Style

Had one of those feel good moments the other day.

Early in the day, I drove by one of our job sites to check on the progress of the painting and snapped this picture of a column capital and ceiling trim.

column detail, WIlson Kelsey Design

That evening, in my “spare time”, I was sorting pictures Sally and I had taken during our trips to Paris and came across this shot of columns I took at Vaux le Vicomte. At the time, the reason I took the shot was the angle and the story it tells about decorative molding and trim. As I looked at the picture, I found myself thinking, “Wait a minute!”

Vaux le Vicomte, photo by Wilson  Kelsey Design

Then I put the two pictures side by side and it was AH HA! Yes!!! Each was telling a similar story about scale, composition and balance. Happy Dance!!!

This brings up an interesting point…. Many years ago, my first Mentor sat me down and we  had a long conversation about the fact that we are always practicing design. It took me a long, long time to understand what he was talking about. This was one of those moments where our talk came flooding back in my memory – seeing those two pictures side by side. We are always working to master our craft. We do it with each and every client we have and I am quietly grateful for the trust they place in me as I practice my craft, working to improve my “game”.

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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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

To visit our website, click here.

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