Our French Villa style project continues to make slow steady progress. The marble floor in the foyer is installed and protected. Crown molding from White River is up and looks terrific and we’re waiting for the painters to complete painting. Then the stair’s hand rail and balusters will be installed.

For a previous progress post see here.

french villa style foyer stair, Wilson Kelsey Design

In the midst if it all we are selecting the decorative lighting for the home. From the onset of the project, Sally and I have both been in agreement that the ceiling fixture in the foyer needs to be a lantern as can be seen in the doodle on the left.

foyer crown options, Sketch by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

Each time we have brought up the subject we have gotten push back from our client, who wants to see a large crystal chandelier in the foyer. It’s a case of simple, clean and elegant vs. large and dramatic. We see the room as an expression of the spirit of late 17th early 18th century French villas and chateaus, in which the ceiling fixture plays a supporting role. Besides, when you have a stair that will be a piece of sculpture, who needs more?

While Sally and I were in Paris this fall, one of our objectives was to study/photograph foyers of the classic chateaux to see if there was a patten that we could use to convince our client. There was and it confirmed our position – lantern!

A stair hall in the Carnavalet Museum.

Carnavalet chandelier, Photo by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

At Fontainbleau.

Fontainbleau foyer, photo by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

Petit Trianon at Versailles.

Petiti Trianon foyer, photo by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

Petit Trianon foyer, photo by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

All of which has led us to propose this Dennis and Leen Versaille lantern.

Dennis & Leen Versaille lantern

We hope she “bites”…

(It’s beginning to feel more and more like a chic Paris apartment!)

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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2015 New Year’s Greetings

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Sally and I are feeling very grateful. 2014 was the best year we’ve had since the Great Recession of 2008. Grateful for our wonderful clients, fabulous contractors, vendors and suppliers without whom all our efforts would be for naught. Thank you for being such an important part of our lives!

Reflections, Wilson Kelsey Design

Reflections, Wilson Kelsey Design

Cheers,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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With over 3,500 images to sort thru this turned out to be a much more difficult task than I had originally imagined. There are well over 300 “favorite ” images including building exteriors, landscapes, stairs, lighting, paneling, floors, etc. (And this doesn’t include the food/restaurant pics…) Some of these images serve a practical purpose as I see a detail I feel I can learn something from. Others record a “Holy Cow! that is incredible!!!” moment.

I’ll start with this one – a happy accident. Taken in the Louvre, I took a picture of the crown molding detail of a museum display case. It wasn’t until later, going thru the images when Sally and I returned to Salem that I saw what was in the background. I guess I was hyper focused… (We designers can be like that…)

From the Louvre as well. Note – the marble on left is faux. Sally and I saw this frequently and were in awe of it’s beauty.

 

I’m quite sure I took this at Versailles. Several important things here. The use of crystal to reflect and reflect light, increasing/enhancing the candle light from the chandelier. How the adjacent room is connected visually thru the use of light. And as I as to began to see and understand as our visit went on, as ornate as the crown and wall/panel trim were, they were based on the same classical orders and forms as later less orange periods/styles. There was great continuity as one style evolved and morphed into the next over several centuries.

And this was simply overwhelming… The lantern in foyers and foyer-like spaces was an element we saw repeatedly.

 

Fontainebleau yielded a few gems. The scale of this chandelier was massive!

It was interesting to see how Napoleon adapted rooms to his taste and style. This is the ceiling in his bedchamber, formerly the king’s reception chamber.

Vaux Le Vicomte was my favorite chateau and the predecessor to Louis XIV‘s Versailles.  Let’s start with a ceiling detail in the foyer. Spectacularly classical and ahead of it’s time.

These next two images display unbelievable faux painting/finish work. The sheer number of talented artisans employed to complete/finish buildings such as this boggles my imagination.

When Louis XIV had his finance minister, Nicholas Fouquet arrested, he stripped Vaux Le Vicomte of many of it’s valuable features, including tapestries. I believe the fabric panels and frieze indicate where tapestries originally hung. Note again, the extent of faux painting.

A ceiling detail of Fouquet’s bed chamber.  The image speaks for itself…

The bed chamber… No wonder a young Louis XIV was jealous, had him arrested and put in prison for life!

 

And I conclude with an image from the Carnavalet Museum, whose purpose is to preserve the history of the city of Paris. While the museum was described to us as a collection of historical artifacts, it was so very much more – especially the rooms that they have salvaged and preserved as the grand “Hotels” of Paris were demolished years ago.

And an image I need to figure out where it was taken… My guess is Versailles or the Louvre.

 

Hope you’ve had a mini-vacation as we slide into the month of December and the Holiday Season.

Cheers,

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