Thursday, February 25, 2010

Serge Royaux: A Touch of the Palace

Looking back through our files of inspirational design clippings I found a great piece in Architectural Digest on the home of legendary French designer Serge Royaux. Always fascinated to see the personal living spaces of great designers, I’m particularly intrigued by this elegant yet comfortable living room in Royaux’s 1750 mansion in the Dordogne Valley of France. Renowned for his grand palace interiors including several at Versailles, it’s no surprise that Royaux says he brings a “touch of the palace” to everything he does.

However it isn’t the palatial touches that really make this interior memorable for me. Of course the restraint classical moldings, the grand crystal chandelier, and the antique marble bust originally from Versailles are all equally breathtaking! The real lessons for me in this space are how Royaux has mixed these major statement pieces with unexpected touches like the spare coffee table, the deep shaggy white carpeting, and even the spiky variegated tropical plant. The restraint wood and glass corner and fire screens expand on the theme of simple wood finishes seen on the coffee table and other accessories: which really bring a warmth and harmony to the space.

The main seating area beautifully summarizes this harmony between comfort and grandeur with the simple gesso finish on the Louis XVI sofa set before a table piled with books and a few simple accessories. For me this image expresses classical sophistication at it’s finest, and has greatly influenced my taste for blending textures, styles, and historical periods in my own environment.
Photo by Marina Faust
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