23 April 2018

Henri & Emily

Emily Evans Eerdmans' new book Henri Samuel Master of the French Interior is out!
The first time I ran across Samuel's own Grand Salon—I knew I was looking at the Master.
This room with its Pompeian red silk walls (as per EEE), contrasting the French boiseries, the mix of modern & antique, and the pièce de résistance, Balthus's Le Fruit d'Or —is one of my all-time favorites.

I count Samuel's Salon up there with Louise Vilmorin's Salon—Samuel was there to assist, though Louise claimed it as her own creation. For Samuel, this was the highest praise. 
In fact, there are many Samuel rooms that rank in my LIST of LISTS: the Gutfreund's Grand Salon in Paris, all the d'Ornano rooms in Paris, and again one of Samuel's personal rooms, and his office. All of these rooms have been tucked away in my design files for years.

the Gutfreund's Paris Salon
(my tear sheets)

the incredible D'Ornano Salon
Countess Isabelle d’Ornano,with her children Philippe and Christine
(photograph from The Sunday Times by Mark C O’Flaherty)

Henri Samuel's Office in Paris
(my tear sheets)

The Bel Air estate of Margie and A Jerrold Perenchio contains another room that is on my LIST, their Garden Room (not pictured here). Samuel installed Japanese lacquer panels around butterscotch boiseries and French furniture in the same color. This classic palette, (at chez Chanel too) never ages, and is one of my personal preferences, though in my current house it's absent. I had two rooms in my former house done in these shades—and I miss it.
In my next, I think.

The Perenchio Dining Room, Grand Salon & Library

(photographs from the book Henri Samuel)

Collector, Jayne Wrightsman was another Samuel devotee. In fact, she claimed, " I hardly brush my teeth without asking Henri first." In fact, the women Henri Samuel worked with is a who's who of style and substance.

The cover of Emily's book is exquisite. The work of another Master—Alexandre Serebriakoff, the room is a watercolor of Alain Rothschild's Salon Vert. This is the first book about Samuel, and with all of Emily's books, this one is not to be missed. Her research in second to none and her prose is glamorous, just like the rooms of Henri Samuel.


  1. Love the beautiful Perenchio home, its the original home from the Beverly Hillbillies tv show, built as a gift for a wife who never lived in it for its grandiose manner, lost in a card game so the legend goes by the very husband who built it as the gift...then became a nuisance much too the consternation of the Kirkeby family who allowed the facade to used for the tv show...resurrection into the 18thC came via the Perenchio’s. The latter has removed all view from the street we had as children and teens on Bellagio years ago, when Bel Air was serene and birds chirped in the hedges, a Paradise Lost - now replaced daily with the tinnitus inducing buzz of out of scale construction sites buzz and the rumbling of massive land removal trucks trundling down too Sunset incessantly. There is a sublime Wallace Neff that is now the guest house, then another - a Midcentury home - across the street and lastly, an empty lot used for parking. The original driveway was moved and is now a meandering tree lined winding road far far far away from the original entrance gates and motor court. Henri gutted the interior, and installed period Boiserie throughout, even needing the removal of the roof for installation, the building was taken down too the shell. Several years later, all was as if dropped from the town of Versailles...and final culmination of Elegance was a beautiful privately published book for friends and the contractors which was given out as a rarified chronicle and insight into this domaine par excellence. David Jones, THE florist to the Reagan White House and their Bel Air home, the Bloomingdale, the Deutsch, Jorgensen, Perenchio families and every other Blue Book Member...passed away and I am the happy caretaker of his book. Knew the contractor, a grand gentleman indeed!

    1. It sounds Idyllic. The Samuel book is a must have for you. xx pgt

  2. I have it already...ordered months ago, finished drooling, the Porthault embroidered voile’ handkerchief is spent. I remember seeing Lalanne snails climbing walls of a Salon years ago...wasn’t it the Ornano’s?

  3. WHAT A HISTORY....................THE SWAN gives HERE!
    Where is PENELOPE's TWO CENTS!!!!!!???



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