Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What I like... French Decor

I have an obsession with wallpaper and I think i have found my paradise in Paris, where people are insanely creative and dedicated to their wall decor as I am. This past weekend I had the chance to photograph beautiful examples of French decor in hotels and apartments and I found the palette of colors and different designs very inspiring!

This Armoire was located in the Lobby of Hotel Le Meurice which is a luxury hotel partner of the Academies des Arts de Vivre. Even if you don't have a vintage armoire, you can get the same effect by finding antique mirrors at flea markets (both hand held and different sizes) and arrange them on a wall with an area about 36"X 48" and put some candles of different sizes underneath on a table and voila!- easy french decor that opens up your room and sets a beautiful mood. 

While sitting in The San Regis hotel, I came to understood the rules of French decor.

Rule 1. Keep it simple
Rule 2.  Scale and Balance the room. 
Rule 3. Use Contrast 
Rule 4. Layer
Rule 5. Mix Old and New
Rule 6. Place the unexpected with the norm

Note that the rooms of the San Regis felt like a treasure cove, with the delicate layering of contrasting textures. In another words, the French are very darn good at picking the best things and putting it together. 

At Damann Freres known for its refined collection of teas, I loved this wall! What a french way of arranging photos. The french love organization and symmetry and this is an excellent display of the french taste! I also love the mixture of black and white pictures with photos of colorful tea leaves to showcase their rich heritage and fabulous teas. 

At Victor Hugo's Apartment I noticed that the decor was not Les Miserables at all! 

The subtle decals give gradient to wallpapers as well as add elegance to a room.

The influence of oriental design can be seen in many French houses and has a permanent fixture in french decor. (Not to mention, the famous Chanel quilted bag was influenced by chinese quilt designs). There is so much creativity in the walls but it is balanced by the simplicity of the room with just a few chairs and a chinese wooden bench. I love the mix of sage green with the gold accents and black wood. The display of the plates on the wall is actually french style, but its refreshing to see how well it mixes with the oriental design. 

 Who said carpets are only for the floor? 

Small animal prints can add a beautiful textured color to the room.
 This is a zoomed picture of the design but the spots are so small i needed to take a second look to assure myself that the brown wallpaper was actually a leopard print! 

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