A Parisian Piede a Terre

{The Living Room in this Chic Parisian Apartment is the Perfect Blank Slate}

After my recent trips to Paris, I have completely fallen in love with the City of Lights. While I won’t be attending Deco Off and Maison et Objet later this month, I am already thinking about my next trip there to gather inspiration and find beautiful antiques and art for my clients. When you work in a creative field, it is important to take time away from the daily grind and visit places from which you draw inspiration and allow you to refuel creatively. Otherwise, it is so easy to get bogged down in the details of the day to day. It may sound a little ridiculous, but I think I have reached a point in my life when I am going to make it a goal to visit Paris at least once a year. There are several places stateside that are important for my travels including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and I usually wind up there multiple times a year. Paris will obviously take a bit more planning, but I have found it to be the place, along with London, from which I find the most inspiration and where I have had the most luck finding the things I am seeking.

{I love the high contrast effect of the crisp white walls and ebonized floors as seen here in the living room. I also love the Giacommeti-style plaster chandelier in this room.}

As such, on a recent weekend, I decided that it would be fun to look at real estate listings in Paris in case I should ever have a pied-à-terre there. I found a beautiful duplex apartment in the 7th arrondissement on the Left Bank, which I love, and quickly let my husband know I’d found the perfect spot for us. With his eyes rolled, he asked for the price tag then chuckled when I told him it was $12.9 million. A girl can dream, right? Regardless, I couldn’t help but imagine how I would design this beautiful apartment if I were in charge of the decoration.

{Beautiful Parisian Moldings}

{The kitchen has a beautiful La Cornue range, pretty taupe cabinetry and marble countertops. The only major change I would make here would be to the pendants over the island and I would possibly change the shelves to something that feels a bit lighter in the space.}

{The Master Bedroom}

{How stunning is the master bathroom? Notice the marble clad doors– insane!}

{A Guest Bedroom}

{The Private Entrance Hall}

{A Sculptural Staircase}

{The Duplex has a Private Tree-Lined Alley and Gardens}

If this beautiful apartment belonged to me, or more feasibly to a client, I would want to balance the classic bones of the spaces with a mix of modern and traditional pieces. The crisp color palette of the space itself is so pure and beautiful, that I would want to keep the interiors from feeling fussy, so I would keep any pattern to a very bare minimum and instead focus on an interesting mix of silhouettes and beautiful textures. Specifically, in the living room, I would envision a huge abstract painting, perhaps a Cy Twombly to anchor the space. I would add smoky, antiqued mirror above the fireplace to draw the eye up and open up the space further. I would keep the beautiful plaster chandelier in the manner of Giacometti that is already in the room and add a mix of interesting furniture silhouettes from different periods. A long, skirted sofa in chocolate velvet would add luxurious texture and rich color to the space, while a pair of skirted chairs with bullion fringe would add a feminine touch.


A pair of Mies van der Rohe lounge chairs in chrome and rattan would add a sculptural and textural touch to the space, while a pair of antique French benches upholstered sumptuous peacock blue velvet would add a hint of color and a wink to the origins of the building. Metallic accents, by way of a 1970s brass coffee table by Karl Springer and a little brass drum table add a bit of glamour, while a chunky abaca rug underfoot adds more texture, grounds the room, and keeps the space from feeling too formal. I could move right in!

{To View the Full Real Estate Listing, Visit Christie’s International Real Estate}

A Fresh Take on Southern Style

{The Cozy Living Room features Ample Seating}

My favorite interiors are those that bridge the gap between modern and traditional and are beautifully layered with pieces that are both interesting and meaningful, so it is no surprise that I was immediately drawn to designer, Allison Allen‘s Atlanta home when I first saw it in Southern Living. The house had belonged to her husband, Beau’s grandparents and he inherited it around the time that the young couple married. The house needed quite a bit of TLC, so they initially thought they would tear the house down, but eventually they changed their minds and embarked on a rapid renovation of the 68 year old house. The home’s classic proportions and formal layout lend themselves to the way Allison and her husband like to entertain, with plenty of intimate seating areas and a beautiful dining room which serves as the perfect setting for any dinner party. Overall the house features so many of the design elements that I absolutely love– neutrals mixed with blue and white, Chinoiserie accents, antiques, beautiful fabrics including a hint of animal print, plenty of texture, and a few modern touches mixed in for good measure. I love to see young designers embracing classic, timeless design elements. This is the new Southern style!

{The large living room required a creative floor plan to keep the furniture from looking dwarfed.}

{Texture and Pattern in the Living Room}

{The Entry features a Blue and White Patterned Wallpaper by Meg Braff}

{The Den is Painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue and features Pierre Frey’s Toile de Nantes Fabric}

{The Dining Room is Wallpapered in Miles Redd’s Madame de Pompadour for Schumacher}

{The Pretty Paper adds Plenty of Color to the Space}

{Meanwhile, things are crisp and classic in the white kitchen.}

{The Breakfast Room is Dressed in Quadrille’s Arbre de Matisse Wallpaper}

{A Photo of Beau’s Grandmother Mixing Cocktails Pays Homage to the Original Homeowners and the Family Connection}

{In the bedroom, a Quadrille fabric was used on the headboard, while the pretty scalloped bedding is from Matouk.}

{Their Darling Baby Boy’s Nursery featuring a Fun Scalloped Valance}


{Photography by Hector Manuel Sanchez for Southern Living}


Fabulous Room: 12.8.17

I recently got to know Mallory Mathison Glenn, a talented young designer based in Atlanta while on an antiques buying trip in Paris back in September. Mallory and I share a love for Chinoiserie and traditional design elements. This love of classic style is evident in her work, including the beautiful little boy’s bedroom she designed for the Atlanta Holiday Home. Mallory definitely knows what she is doing in designing a space for a young boy as she is the mother of adorable, three year old twin boys. For her showhouse room, affectionately named the “Little Boy Bleu” room, Mallory selected a tried and true, classic American palette of red, white, and blue, but executed it with French flair. We recently sat down to discuss what inspired this lovely space.

Paloma Contreras: What was your inspiration for your “Little Boy Bleu” bedroom at the Atlanta Holiday Home? Did you design the room around a specific piece or idea?

Mallory Mathison Glenn: My initial inspiration for “Little Boy Bleu” was the benefactor of the Atlanta Holiday Home, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, and the many children they care for so lovingly every day.  Next I thought about the past few children’s rooms that have been in Atlanta area showhomes and they have all been for a little girl.  Since we have three year old twin boys at home it was a natural fit to design a room for a very special little boy.  There were three main design inspirations for this space after it was decided to be for a little boy; 1) tented rooms 2) the French flag 3)Schumacher’s Plaisiers de Chine fabric.  I’ve always loved tented rooms, as many designers do, and have studied and admired images from Malmaison to Madeleine Castaing and in current day Miles Redd to Alex Papachristidis.  So the first element we decided on was a must have tented space! The French flag was also of paramount inspiration for the color palette.  This fall, I was a part of an inspiring, outstanding antiques buying trip to France and was fortunate enough to meet a group of brilliant, like-minded women.. including you!!  Having such a fantastic trip on my mind as we began to design this space led me right to the color combination of rouge, bleu and blanc!  Red is one of my all time favorite colors and I use it in many of my designs.  Blue and white is of course always classic, chic and fresh so I wanted to combine those to develop a cheerful, crisp yet layered space.

Last, the Schumacher Plaisers de Chine fabric.  This fabric has been a beloved pattern for as long as I can remember in the Document color way and I have it in my home.  When this fabric was recolored a few years ago I fell in love with it all over again in ALL the new color ways and especially the Bleu/Rouge.  We have used this invigorating yet calming color palette for a client and were so happy with the way it turned out I immediately knew it was the right lead fabric for “Little Boy Bleu”.  The fanciful, whimsical Chinoiserie “pleasures of life” that are depicted in the vignettes in this fabric have me forever entertained. 
PC: I love the color palette of pale blue and classic red as well as the mix of textiles in this room. What advice can you share for mixing multiple patterns successfully?
MMG: This palette is quickly becoming one of my favorites! I’ve used blue, white, and red in a few spaces for clients but this was the first time I could really unleash and use it freely at my own inclination; which is the most fun part of designing a showhouse room!  We were very fortunate to work with F.Schumacher & Co. on this space and they do such a splendid job with their fabric design.  They are a “go-to” for my office on the daily for interesting patterned fabrics.  Traditionally tented rooms utilize the same fabric on the walls and the tented ceiling treatment so we wanted to mix that up and layer the color, texture and pattern to create an unexpected twist on the classic “tent”.  For the walls we selected Belvedere designed by Veere Grenny for Schumacher for it’s scale, beautiful soft sky blue and white color and the garden like trellis pattern then brought in a pinstripe for the tented ceiling.  Recently Schumacher introduced a new collection of stripes in various sizes/scales and I couldn’t love them more – a stripe is of course always timeless and for us a perfect complement to the trellis wallpaper. 
PC: You used several pieces of interesting, abstract art in the space. Could you tell us a bit about how you selected the various paintings?

MMG: My love of original art goes back to day one. My mother is an artist and I was lucky to grow up around an ever changing environment of art and visual inspiration. I’ve taken this longtime passion for original art and infused that into my own home, client projects, and always into a showhouse space.  When I was creating this dear, little imaginary client, “Little Boy Bleu”, I wanted his room to be a place that evoked creativity and imagination – and what better way to impress that on a child that surround them with bright, colorful, thought provoking original abstract art!  The selection of art was curated from various artists and Atlanta galleries that represent Southern artists.  While there are artists from around the country and world that I am drawn to and yearn to collect, my love for regional art is very strong.   This space’s collection includes art by Atlanta-based Sally King Benedict and Blayne Beacham, Charleston-based Brian Coleman, Birmingham-based Lindsey Porter, New Orleans-based Alexis Walter, Auburn-based Montaigne Mathison, and Vero Beach-based Tommy McDonnell.  It was very important for me to curate a collection that felt appropriate for any age; so it works in a child’s room but could also be ideal in a family room.  One way to introduce children to art is to gift them a small piece of local or regional art each year for Christmas or a birthday.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and is a great way to identify and support emerging artists.  By the time your child is in high school they will have not only a special collection but hopefully a life long love of original art and collecting.

PC: What is your favorite element of the room?
MMG: There are a few things that could qualify as my favorite but I’m going to go with a bit more of a general answer; the details.  The details in this space are what gives it a sense of surprise, wonder and interest.   From the hand written note to Cher Papa Noel (created by Monteigne Mathison) to the darling custom lampshades the details make the difference.  

Favorites from the 2017 Fall Showhouses

{Alyssa Kapito‘s Chic, Elegant Living Room at the Holiday House in New York. The neutral palette and mix of textures are beautiful.}

The Fall showhouse season is officially underway. Over the past few weeks, several design showhouses have opened across the country from the Southern Style Now Showhouse in Savannah, Rooms with a View in Southport, CT (founded by Albert Hadley), the Holiday House in New York, The Atlanta Holiday Home, and the first ever Kips Bay Palm Beach Showhouse which opens on November 24th. As I mentioned in my Friday Favorites post last week, several friends have designed noteworthy rooms which I wish I could see in person, but since I can’t, I’ll just have to be grateful for the transportive nature of social media. We many not get to experience all of the sensory delights of actually being in the space, but we can still appreciate their beauty. That being said, if you find yourself near any of these shophouses in the next couple of weeks, I hope you’ll make an effort to visit them as they not only support the design industry by showcasing amazing talent, but they are often linked to a charitable, worthy cause.

{I am in love with this beautiful vignette by Grace Rosenstein for Rooms with a View. The mix of modern and traditional pieces is so chic and the yellow silk sofa with bullion fringe is a showstopper. The mural was handprinted by Grace’s sister, Annie Havlicek de Sanchez.}

{In Savannah, designer Jared Hughes created this sumptuous Southern parlor for his room at the Southern Style Now Showhouse. With shades of chocolate, moss green, and mustard and hand-painted Gracie wallpaper, the space is an elegant oasis of color.}

{Also at Southern Style Now, my friend Kevin Walsh designed the master bath around a crisp palette of black, white, and bright green. The China Seas wallpaper makes a huge statement!}

{Clary Bosbyshell designed a pretty, feminine powder room for Atlanta’s Holiday Home. Isn’t the swan wallpaper by Nina Campbell for Osborne & Little beautiful?}

{Another favorite room at the Atlanta Holiday Home is the “Little Boy Bleu” bedroom designed by Mallory Mathison Glen. The color combination of pale blue and red is as classic as can be and the details in this space are very special. I will be sharing more of this one soon!}

French Country Chic: Le Mas de Poiriers

Last week, I shared my idea of the perfect English country house in a post titled “Country Chic” featuring a stunning property designed by Veere Grenney in Norfolk, England. Over the weekend, I stumbled on Le Mas de Poiriers on Instagram and found my ideal French country house. The stunning 18th century farmhouse near the town of Avignon in the Provence region of France was restored lovingly by an American family. The estate is situated on 65 acres which feature a working orchard, the main house, guest house, tennis courts, and swimming pool. Inspired by the iconic Le Mirande, the 9 bedrooms on the property were decorated by Susan Bednar Long exclusively using Pierre Frey fabrics. Esteemed local architect Alexandre Lafourcade spearheaded the architectural renovation of the historic property while Dominique Lafourcade designed the gardens.

Le Mas de Poiriers is a dream-worthy property with interiors that feel appropriate for the provenance of the house, yet there are all the comforts that modern living requires, such as wi-fi and beautifully-outfitted, renovated bathrooms. I’ve mentioned that my recent trips to Paris have really made me fall in love with France. I cannot wait to go back and seeing this beautiful property is encouraging me to spend some time in Provence as well. Wouldn’t it be amazing to stay at this incredible property? I’m thinking a 40th birthday celebration with some of my closest friends in a few years would be pretty fabulous! 

For more on Le Mas de Poiriers, check out this great interview between Andrea of The Glam Pad and the owner of the property, Shauna Varvel from earlier this year.

{Photography via Le Mas de Poiriers}