Monday, May 26, 2008

The French Woman's Bedroom - The Book

Out of print, but sometimes a seller has it on Amazon

Madame Marie-Paule Pelle's bedroom in her NYC apartment
with a black wooden bed of her own design,
and the charming contrast of old fashioned lace sheets

World famous interior designer Andree Putnam's bedroom
Gray mosquito netting adds a colonial touch
to the bed area. Andree uses only white bed linen,
with a thin American quilt on top.

La Barrone Phillipe De Rothschild (Pauline)
designed the iron sapling bed posts,
to support a white ciel-de-lit. The simple
white embroidered linen sheets were
made especially for Pauline by Porthault.

Almost achingly simple bedroom of
the ultimate French woman, Marie Antoinette
at Versaiiles, done in Louis XVI style called
Meridienne, or chaise lounge - upholstered in
powder blue peau de soie. The cabinet
(bed chamber) is set into a mirror lined alcove.
I love the bare wood floors.

Mademoiselle Marie Beltrami
"If you can't find it, make it yourself..."
Marie's training as couturier
is responsible for her decorating style.

Mademoiselle Jacqueline Delubac
Former actress and art lover, a Leger painting
hangs over the gilded steel Jansen bed.
Porthault sheets, and Directoire style chairs -
Jacqueline sees the Roualt painting of Christ
first thing every morning: "Every time I
look at him, I feel I'm seeing a new painting."

Lady Ledwidge (Flora)
"A huge pinky-beige sharkskin bed...
to swim in every night," says Flora
of the bed designed by her father
Andre Groult in the 1920's.

La Comtesse Thadee Klossowski
(Lou Lou de la Falaise)
Assistant and muse to Yves Saint Laurent
Her bedroom is the ultimate hippie chic
with sky blue walls, yellow trim, exposed beams.
Indian bedspread, chintz curtains

This book The French Woman's Bedroom is an extraordinary volume I got in 1991. It was one of the first books on decor I purchased. We called them coffee table books then, and I bought quite a few in the first rush of success as a businesswoman with money to burn. Being from the working class, I was fascinated with beautiful rooms, and wanted to learn to make my rooms pretty too. I already had the knack, furnishing places with vintage and street finds, art, books, and flowers, but I wanted to understand furniture and fabrics.

I love this book because these titled and entitled women are unique individuals. I feel even if they were not from the world of celebrity and wealth, their bedrooms would be just as charming, romantic, sexy, and eclectic. There are reoccurring things such as luxury linens, art, color, unique furniture inherited or designed by the lady of the house, sensual romance in every detail (no matter what age the woman is).

This book is indeed a pretty coffee table book, and it is much more with its text about the history and habits of the French woman from 1500 to 1990. It presents lively portraits of 31 captivating women: aristocrat and artists, great hostesses and businesswomen, 20th century trendsetters.
In chateau or cottage, apartment or villa, the French woman's bedroom is much more than simply a place to sleep and dream; it is a special haven of imagination and sensuality, of intoxicating fantasy, whose mood and decor offer a vivid reflection of the inner self.

This book shows sumptuous rooms filled wonderful things, and provides a rare insight into the elusive nature of true style, and into the private fantasise of the world's most stylish women.
At the time of publication of this book, author Mary-Sargeant Ladd lived in Paris, Venice, and New York. She was a contributing editor to HG and Vogue. She is married to Frenchman, Baron Vernard d'Angeljan.

So check it out. It is the perfect antidote to the ho-hum Pottery Barn, West Elm, et al bedrooms that try to pass themselves off as sanctuaries and havens, but are tepid and contrived in comparison to The French Woman's Bedroom.

1 comment:

a Broad said...

Oh Lordy ! that bed !!
I love this .. thank you :)