Marble muscles ripple—the stone carver’s feat charismatic in its unselfconsciousness. Crystals dangle, their effervescence gleaming for centuries as blown baubles from the past. Mother-of-pearl inlay…View More Ateliers of Europe
Category: Historical Design
Historical design research and historical design movements are the foundation of all design, and they are subjects I write about often. I adore certain periods of history but rarely come across a design movement I don’t enjoy.
One of my heroines of historical design is Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis. She had such an eye for great design, which reflected her classic fashion sensibilities and she wasn’t afraid to stand up and say when an interior or a piece of architecture deserved preservation—two of her greatest achievements along these lines the White House and Grand Central Terminal. I go on an excursion with her and her sister Lee, which they illustrated in a beautiful slim, large format book titled One Special Summer.
In my post A Backward Glance on Rue de Varenne, I fantasize about actually getting into Edith Wharton’s apartment on that storied street rather than standing in the rain as I have on two trips to Paris—longing to see what’s behind that statuesque door in terms of the buildings historical design. So far, no success, but I’ll keep trying! In my piece, Courtesan Style Counts, I look at a gorgeous chair called the Courtesan through the eyes of the English Demi-Monde in their heyday. And in Henry VIII’s Cult of Cloth, I look at how the Tudor king used textiles to make like more sumptuous.
With watercolors, brushes, ink pens, and paper in hand, Dominique Mathez walked the boulevards of her home town, documenting the architectural details that make the…View More Parisian Flourishes
On the Menu at La Fortezza
In the recently released book At the Table of La Fortezza: The Enchantment of Tuscan Cooking from the Lunigiana Region, published by Rizzoli, author and Atlanta-based…View More On the Menu at La Fortezza
French Chateau Style
Catherine Scotto’s journey to discover the owners of French châteaux listed as heritage sites in locales throughout the country can be described as nothing less…View More French Chateau Style
Presidential Residences in France
Anyone who follows me here knows that an addiction to large, gorgeous coffee table books is alive and well, and I have a new favorite…View More Presidential Residences in France
The Hotel de la Marine Restored
In his foreword to The French Royal Wardrobe: The Hotel de la Marine Restored, Philippe Bélaval, the President of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, illustrates how painstaking…View More The Hotel de la Marine Restored
Seasons at Highclere
Movie sets that have inflamed the imagination with fairy-tale encounters taking place during the great eras in which luxury ruled are plentiful. But most of…View More Seasons at Highclere
An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
In 1641, the 26-year old parliamentarian Nicolas Fouquet, who was then the Master of Requests at the Parlement of Paris, acquired the viscounty of Vaux…View More An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
The Architecture of Chivalry
This essay about the built legacy of Henry VIII is included in my new book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book…View More The Architecture of Chivalry
The Nature of Noble Loyalty
It’s spring in London and the flowers are bursting forth on Cheyne Walk, which skirts the edge of the River Thames until it gives way…View More The Nature of Noble Loyalty