28 February 2011

Colette van den Thillart on the mixology of Lavender


Corbis image

"Lavender lends itself terribly well to what I call metamorphic colours 
-colours that change and are complex."

Jacques-Emile Blanche's In the Mirror
image from it's about time here

 "Aesthetically I have always loved it in the garden...it works so well with grey greens especially."  

 Liotard's Empress Maria Theresa

"It was my grandmothers favorite colour so I had slightly 'old fashioned' aesthetic hang ups in regards to decorating with it, 
but Nicky really brought home to me the potentials of the colour."  

Haslam's Shutter Stripe in  Cloudy Lilac

"I have learnt to think of it as a neutral and use it more and more.  It sets off and calms almost any colour palette and when used in a scheme can provide a whisper of necessary clash... that invisible note of the unexpected."

"Reflective silks, silk velvets and lacquer finishes come to life when there is the slightest tint of lavender in them.  Nicky often adds a dash of it to old white ceilings for that hard to place sense of faded grandeur...."

  oil sketch of madame X giving a toast 
John Singer Sargent

Lavender is that wonderful sensory colour that conjures not only visions, but certainly smells, and especially tastes.  Only just this weekend I bought some lavender infused black tea, and last summer while in the countryside of Ontario we experimented with Lavender ice-cream which was an enormous success.
"And a dash of lavender syrup in champagne never hurts either!!"

 Colette van den Thillart- interior designer , blogger here,   here



  1. These are all splendid. I love the shutter stripe. However, the only time we ever tried lavender ice cream (years ago at Jean-Louis Palldin's very good restaurant in the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas), it tasted (as the waiters told us it would) like soap. Apparently we got off easy. They said the chef made a rose ice cream that tasted like "room freshener". So I'm not sure about the ice cream or champagne suggestions.

  2. You should make lavender cards. Perhaps use the dried flower or design it. With dark purples, black and white. Write a little message perhaps. or play with the words little augury,little lavender, LL ..

  3. All lovely, especially that fabulous first image. I love Colette - her knowledge and and taste are impressive but presented always in a low key accessible way!

  4. What a beautiful collection of images to illustrate her musings on lavender. I adore that shutter stripe not to mention the elegantly dripping dress.

  5. Thanks for sharing PGT...its true lavender does taste a bit like soap...remember Thrills chewing gum! Acquired but addictive taste sensation. Thank you to for my virtual dress design!! Im crazy about it. xx

  6. The woman in the Corbis image--is that Suzy Parker, do you think? She was fabulous! I lover the Avedon pic of her roller skating in the Place de la Concorde: http://www.modelinia.com/__wordpress__/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/3-ra-suzy-parker.jpg

  7. Mad about the Haslam Venetian Blind print, but haven't you got it shown
    upside down?

  8. ACravan- Collete confirms your tastes!

    Mag- What a great idea-I have used the color lavender several times-what about a book?

  9. Q-as you know we usually agree and in this we are too.

    Anon- You like my little fortuny bottle. Colette has been a great friend to this space and she deserves a special label.

  10. Barbara- You are always inspiring me with the extraordinary paintings and artists you introduce me too. thank you. pgt

    Diane- I think you are right.

  11. Colette- well served! thank you for the assistance with lavender in all things. I love the Blanche painting and not only does it use your grey greens and metamorphic lavenders it references you gorgeous photograph in that Chinoiserie decorated skirt-which I adore. Your sense of style knows No bounds. pgt

  12. Mr Worthington-always keeping me on my toes! I can only guess it would depend on which way you are tilting the blind? Colette graciously supplied the file and I published it as such. I am mad about it too- and hope to use it in future in a project! Gaye



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