Where some people dream of a farm in Africa, I dream of a castle, with a moat and a sofa upholstered in Bevilacqua fabric in Pouy-sur-Vannes, France.
The castle with the moat and Bevilacqua upholstered sofa belongs to the decorator Juan Pablo Molyneux and was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal magazine. When Molyneux first saw the castle, it was a conference center and a "disaster". Working with a team, Molyneux set about restoring the chateau, well, I doubt it was quite this glorious formerly, into a glorious home. What I find particularly admirable about Mr. Molynneux is that he is like the Chanel of the decorator trade. He is intent upon saving ancient métiers of the interior arts - much like Chanel has done for the petities mains of the haute couture.
'There were stone masons, carpenters, gilders, masters of wrought iron and masters of scagliola, a 17th century Tuscan technique that uses paint and plaster to mimic marble.'
"I don't want to just keep these skills alive," says Molyneux. "I want to push them forward." (Mr. Molyneux is establishing in a former stable on the grounds of Pouy a space for an artisan academy where there will be a stipend, a place to live and to train.)
'In Pouy's library, the walls are lined in deep-red leather embossed with sky blue and gold. "The technique was first done by the Sephardic community in Córdoba around the 15th century." How much does this go for? "It is not cheap." The bookshelves are by Pierre Garnier, who practiced his craft at Versailles. And then there's the remarkable reading table - a massive wooden reproduction of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence. The designer Renzo Mongiardino had it made in the 1960s for a New York penthouse apartment and Molyneux scooped it up at auction when the apartment was sold.' (Oddly, the WSJ did not publish a photo of the library : (
The scagliola room:
Mr. Molyneux was inspired by his first visit to the chateau when a hot air balloon landed on the front lawn to have the painter, Frédéric Monpoint paint one of round rooms with a whimsical balloon fresco in the manner of Josep Maria Sert.
The Bevilacqua tiger silk velvet from Venice on the sofa:
The 'Gaine' bed in a deep blood red silk velvet is a design by Molyneux. Dreamy and beautiful.
Another beautiful bedroom this time in hydrangea blues and greens with a small portrait of Madame de Sévigné (a famous letter writer known for her wit during the time of Louis XIV - I am ordering the book of her letters on Amazon and you can too here.)
An indoor pool in the former orangerie:
|Juan Pablo Molyneux's chateau in France. All photos and excerpts in quotations from the WSJ magazine.|
love, kisses and I dream of a castle with a moat and a Bevilacqua upholstered sofa, Juliana