Monday, January 5, 2009

The Other French Style

Many of us love French style, whether it's French Country or Paris Apartment. In the past few years the pale palette of French Country has dominated. Two excellent bloggers, Joni from Cote de Teaxs, and Shawn from Country French document this style comprehensively with great photos. Joni presents outstanding examples of living with this style for modern applications, and Shawn shows incredible vignettes from her buying trips in France for her wonderful store in Louisville, Kentucky.
View into the Living Room - The 19th century foyer table has a New Years vignette -
I spy a tall clear vase filled with black eye peas!

But there is another side of the pale Gustavian palete: There is color!
Here in Louisiana the pale palette has become trendy. But somehow the sub tropical climate steers one towards saturated Creole colors too.
In the Living Room, three panels using 18th century hand painted wallpaper -
The pair of 18th century Beregere chairs
once graced the living room of Eleanor Brown

In the January 2009 issue of Louisiana Homes and Gardens, an interior designer named Dr. Lawrence Menache has decorated his Alexandria, Louisiana home in a style he refers to as Parisian.
Dr. Menache hails from a New York experience, and I think this also shows in his choice of colors, furnishings, and objects.
18th century commode by Cirard
flanked by 19th century Italian chairs
Portrait is by De Troy

He started going to furniture auctions as a young boy at Sotheby's in New York with his parents, where he always sat next to an intriguing older woman. That woman turned out to be Eleanor McMillen Brown, a fact he only found out after he bought a book called "Sixty Years of Interior Design" written about said lady.
Dr. Menache was a young man in his 20's when he purchased the book, while Eleanor Brown was in her 90's (she passed away in 1991 at age 100).
Jennifer from the Peak of Chic writes a nice bit about this book, and you can purchase it HERE.
19th century ormolu mounted daybed -
18th century Piranesi prints above the bed

Dr. Menache describes each and every thing in his home lovingly, recalling the objects and furniture as if they are old friends. He is particularly proud of some chairs he actually purchased from Eleanor Brown. Mrs. Brown's design concepts have been one of the main "mentors" for Dr. Menache, along with his parents, who gave him a love of fine antique furniture.
Marchand 18th century kingwood secretary -
The objects include a collection of Shagreen,
antique inkwells,
and a piece of Newcomb pottery -
The 18th century chair belonged to Eleanor Brown

Dr. Menanch isn't like other physicians. Instead of playing golf during his leisure hours, he operates a design business! He does his design work at night or on weekends. His primary work is oncology and he loves to take care of his patients. His is also the proud proprietor of Maison Pompeii Antiques/Interiors.
The dining room table is set for New Years - check out the cabbage centerpiece!
And I love the Chinoiserie pelmets over the drapes

Dr. Menache and his wife live in an English Regency style home built in 1950. He describes his interior design for the home as: "Parisian, a French type home filled with antiques, but it is comfortable at the same time."
The card room and also a place for Dr. Manache's design books
Dr. and Mrs. Manache are avid bridge players

"My home has a very traditional look, using 18th century French antiques. Many are signed by the ebenistes." Ebennistes were originally those making case furniture and working in ebony, a favored wood for mid 17th century Parisian cabinetmakers.
The library has a comfy Baker sofa
The coffee table is made from a Chinese lacquer panel

Although Dr. Menache loves French antiques, he designs in all genres. His living room received the 2008 Louisiana Home and Gardens Design Award.
The master bedroom is classic - all it needs is a Charles Faudree King Charles Spaniel!

It's very interesting to see another viewpoint of French style decorating. I love both points of view: The pale and the color saturated. Sometimes it's a real tug of war to settle upon just one!
The 18th century bronze dore clock sits on the fireplace,
with an 18th century screen
made from an 18th century Aubusson tapestry


Velvet and Linen said...

What a fascinating story.
I would imagine it is rare to find an oncologist/interior designer who does it with such flair.
His dining room is magnificent. Yes, his draperies are incredible.
I admit that I am a lover of all things pale right now, but there is the other side of my that loves color. My last home was decorated in beautiful jewel tones.
Perhaps my existing home is just a desire for something different.
Thank you for the tour of The Menache's home.


Things That Inspire said...

Fantastic post! It is interesting, before reading design blogs, I interpreted typical French Country to be the Pierre Deux, color saturated version - lots of vivid blues, reds, yellows. I tried to like it, because I liked the idea of French Country, but it never really resonated with me.

After reading Joni's blog, along with the Swedish/Belgian trend that is featured in so many design magazines and blogs, I gained a new appreciation for the softer, lighter, more subtle French/European look. I have always preferred neutrals and light woods, trends or not, so maybe it is a lucky coincidence that what is trendy now reflects a look that I prefer.

And now, thank you for the introduction to a new term in the classification of French design - Parisian.

Jan said...

Love the research you did on this - fab !

pve design said...

If I were his patient, I would feel so much better.
What style, it really is something to have an educated eye. What a lucky Doctor.

T8 said...

If you like French style wait until you see a home I just photographed for a future "Open House" home tour.

Country French Antiques said...

Merci beaucoup for the mention!
I very much appreciate it!!!
If your gonna play tug of war I can't think of a better way to play!
Tout le Français est magnifique!
I had you figured as a colorful gal.
Fits with the tango :)
Bisou mon ami!

Carla said...

HI Valorie, HOpe you have a wonderful 2009. I love this piece, so elegant and colourful. Carla x

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

So much eye candy in this post. I had to click on most of the pictures, so I would be sure to not miss details. Amazing to have enough talent to be a doctor and a fabulous decorator. Some people get all of the talent! Thank you for sharing. laurie

Renee Finberg said...

thank you for popping by and commenting, i miss you.
and boy oh boy, it is good to be home.

anyway, i like this post. and you are so right, it is difficult to choose between the intense colors and the soft faded ones.
but more importantly , a doctor and a designer ?
what a package, his wife is a lucky one !

xx big huggie

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a gorgeous view from one room to the next in that first photo!
Wonderfully inspiring post!

Visual Vamp said...

Hello All!
Thanks for all the great comments!
I had all white decor in my beach house nearly 15 years ago. It's funny how coastal light dictates a pale palette.
I do love color, and I do love the pales too.
I'm revamping the master BR now, adding more white. It's the most pale French Country room in the house, pale grey-blue walls, etc.
xo xo

Julia B. Edelmann/Buckingham Interiors + Design said...


Mary-Laure said...

I just ADORE the second pic from the top. That radiant yellow and those exquisite lines...

Vive la France!