Saturday, May 8, 2021

A Parisian Apartment

 From AD:

In the mid-1920s, young French interior designer Jean-Michel Frank moved into an 18th-century apartment on a short, narrow street on the Left Bank. He tackled its renovation as he would the homes of his haute societé clients, such as the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Noailles and the English writer Nancy Cunard, respecting the original construction but banishing the froufrou. It was the Roaring Twenties—the decade of excess—but for Frank, spartan was modern.

Frank instructed his workers to strip the paint off the Louis XVI oak paneling, leaving the wood pale and raw. With his friend, and later business partner, the cabinetmaker Adolphe Chanaux, he created a decor so spare it could rival a monastery. The predominant palette was of the palest neutrals, from the white marble with dark gray streaks in the bath to the leather sofa, even the sheet Frank threw over the Louis XIV dining table. He left the Versailles parquet floors bare, and art and bibelots were verboten. So denuded was the home, when Jean Cocteau visited, he reportedly quipped, “Charming young man; pity he was robbed.” (Read more.)


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