Glimpses of History

A Close Look at Marie-Antoinette’s “Salon de Compagnie”, The Timeless Representation of The 18th Century French Neo-classical Movement

I remember the first time I visited the Petit Trianon with my sister in December 2014. That visit was a true revelation as this is a place that is not only stunningly beautiful but is also a classic representation of the timeless French elegance in interior design. Moreover, and unlike usual historic monuments, this building and its interiors feel contemporary, so contemporary that we actually (very humbly!!) imagined ourselves living there...

Glimpses of History

Hôtel De La Païva: The Intriguing Story Of The Woman Behind The Most Sumptuous “Hôtel Particulier” On The Champs-Elysées (Part 2)

While La Païva was often described as an overly ambitious upstart, excessive in her need for material goods and uncouth in her way of showing her fortune and possessions, I’d rather explore the reasons that might have led her to adopt certain behavior and what really fueled that determined ambition and drove her to build her extravagant Hôtel Particulier. She was, after all, a courtesan...

Glimpses of History

Hôtel De La Païva: The Intriguing Story Behind The Most Sumptuous Mansion on The Champs-Elysées (Part 1)

While I was flipping through a book about historic palaces in Paris, especially those rarely accessible to the public, a particular and quite unusual story caught my eye and sparked my interest. The fascinating story I am about to describe narrates the life of the mastermind behind one of the most emblematic monuments on the Champs-Elysées (Hôtel Particulier in French): Hôtel de La Païva, the only example left of the magnificent palaces that once lined the iconic avenue...

Glimpses of History · Styles & Trends

Does “Art Nouveau” Have a Place in Contemporary Interiors?

I recently (almost by chance) came across some beautiful Art Nouveau ad posters, real masterpieces produced between 1890 and 1910. I worked in advertising for many years so you can understand my enthusiasm after seeing these posters. Talented artists like Alphonse Mucha, Jules Chéret and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - to name but a few - created a new art style that is forward looking, aesthetically beautiful and detailed, including soft contours, rich embellishments and vivid colors with nature as the main source of inspiration...