Faux paint effects.
This post is based around an apartment we decorated in Paris for a great client and the interior designer, who kindly gave us permission to photograph.
A diary of how much we could cram into a 24hr flying visit.
Steeped in history this stylish area – The Marais district, a quartier of Paris is a feast for French history and architecture lovers, as well as shoppers and general tourists. Les Place des Vosges was the first royal square commissioned by the later executed Henry IV 1605 – 1612, and a prototype on which all European cities subsequently built similar squares. A statue of Louis XIII, replaced in 1825 and Henry’s successor stands in the centre of the garden. This was a target during the french revolution and the original was melted down for pigments. In 1800 Napoleon changed its name from Place Royale to Place Des Vosges in honour of the vosges department, the first to pay taxes towards the revolutionary forces.
The house fronts were all built to the same design, probably by Baptiste du Cerceau, of red brick with strips of stone quoins ((thumbnail above top), over vaulted arcades that stand on square pillars, though on closer inspection if you look at the flags themselves, you’ll notice that most of them are not real brick. The steeply-pitched blue slate roofs are pierced with small-paned dormers above the pedimented dormers that stand upon the cornices. Only the north range was built with the vaulted ceiling gallery (thumbnail above middle).
On one side two pavilions rise higher than the unified roof line of the square’s other faces and offer access to the square through triple arches. Though they are designated the Pavilion of the King and of the Queen, many of the aristocracy and notabvle french figures such as Victor Hugo lived here, but not royalty. By the 18th century much of the society had moved onto other trendy districts such as St Germain/saint-Honoré. This is a rare view (thumbnail above) from the apartment showing the Hotel de Sully and gardens on the right.
Hotel de Sully.
Another building of historical significance of the same period. The building was designed by the architect Jean Androut de Cerceau. Later the Duc of Sully, Henry VI’s director of finances bought and finished the decoration in 1634. Statues depicting the seasons decorate this impressive facade, (below).
No.3 Place Des Vosges.
The square within the square.
On leaving the street traffic and outer world noise through the heavy wooden arched doorways, you are met by the inner sanctuary of the internal courtyard in distinctive red painted plaster cast brickwork. Bricks were a new building material at the time, expensive and difficult to obtain in the white stone city of Paris.
Once horse drawn carriages and trades people fetched and carried, but now a tranquil haven with an air of nostalgic prestige. This is the view from the apartment’s entrance hall.
Faux paint effects
Entrance and Stairwell.
Restoration to the 17th century faux marble paint effect panels which surround the central lift and stairwell leading to the appartments.
18thcentury faux marble restoration, restauration en decoe du patrimoine
Here are some 19th century vintage samples of marble effects taken from the louvre, Galerie D’Etude Trompe L’oeil exhibition. February – November 2013. More of that later….
Faux paint effects throughout
Faux bois imitating bird’s eye maple wood grain using traditional oil glazes.
Faux bois on MDF panelled hallway, place des vosges
Daybed with screen and marble topped dresser. Coloured walls to match. The appartment displays the play of light on fabrics and textures with references to the quality of silk, velvet and the flip in colours and tones as the light moves around the apartment.
Paint effects throughout the salon and the dining room – Faux marble panels below the dado rail. Linen upholstered panels above the dado, using an exclusive design motif, the stencils were hand cut and applied with a spray gun airflow turned down very low to avoid fallout.
The following photos are with and without flash to illustrate the play of light in the detail of the stencil on the linen panels.
Faux paint effects
The Long Shot.
Bedroom and Bathroom.
The ambiance here is one of luxurious quietitude with a riot of exquisite marbles, sumptuous damasks and silks, marketry and hand painted craftsmanship. Walls in traditional oil glaze washes with some broken colour.
All the pieces of furniture are exceptionally unique.
Lastly, here is an image c/o www.vingtparis.com of a bedroom in another apartment of the Place Des Voges showing similar style but in cool tones of grey rather than the yellows.
Wandering back out onto the streets, head full of intent with a couple of hours to spare before the TGV/train home, a walk to the metro down the rue de Sévigné takes you past another note worthy building. Restored last year the metamorphosis now allows you to admire the splendor of the Baroque exterior. Mission: “CULTURE” was in full flow by now.
Eglise Saint Paul – Saint Louis.
The first stone was laid by Louis XIII in 1627. Inspired by the Gesu in Rome, yet retaining the traditional french influence of the église Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais de Paris by Salomon de Brosse, with Gothic elements of high proportions in “the Jesuit order”, (Andre Chastel), and Dutch ornamentation. Built on the principle of the french crucifix, the tall windows and short eastern apse allow large amounts of light to spill into the central dome under the crossing. 55metres high. It uses Corinthian columns on the two lower levels and composite order columns on the rest.
Musée du Louvre.
With an interest in french heritage, this exhibition is a must see particularly as painters. Beautiful references for wallpaper and painted decoration in a Zuber style. The oyster plates’ use of glaze shows great sympathy with the realty, very contemporary – a true trick of the eye. The camouflage, linoleum, pottery, fabric flower exhibit etc (let alone the furniture and electroplating techniques), all display man’s appreciation for ornamentation and that imitation can prove very effective, witty and intelligent. I could go on forever…..
Wallpaper, Manufacture Desfosse & Karth, France, 19th century.
At the Louvre. Etablissments Leroy, France, 1910-11. Vintage style.
Wood grain/card plate