Reception at Malmaison in 1802 François Flameng

Transitory Spaces

The beginning of one of Napoléon Bonaparte’s earliest letters to Joséphine de Beauharnais simply oozes sensuality: “Seven in the morning. I awaken full of you…the…

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The gardens at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte

Heaven Shall Be Here

In the film A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman, who plays an unlikely Louis XIV, declares, “Heaven shall be here.” He’s speaking of a ballroom he…

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In the mood for chess in The Thomas Crown Affair

How to Set a Mood

The 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway is a mercurial mélange of masculine and feminine charisma in equal…

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The Basilica of St. Francis, as seen from below

It Is Time to Experience More

Experience more. It sounds like a simple directive but how many of us really take the time to savor what is happening right in front…

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Bertie Pelham visits Edith Crawley’s London Flat.

I Met Virginia Woolf in This Room

Who else is relieved that Lady Edith Crawley, played by Laura Carmichael, is finally finding happiness on Downton Abbey? Having binged on all of the…

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Three children painted in the Elizabethan style.

Narratives That Illuminate Design

Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change…

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