I still can't get Alberto Pinto: Table Settings out of my head. I've already told you how gorgeous the photos are and how enviable Pinto's collection of china, linens, and flatware is. But there is one image in particular that really caught my eye: that of Pinto's dining room. Is it because of the table? The Rose topiary? Yes, and yes. But what really makes this room so memorable to me are those green velvet covered walls. Pinto even covered the shell niches with the fabric! The way the light hits it, it almost looks radioactive.
One might argue that Pinto really gilded the lily with his use of velvet on walls and niches, and perhaps he did. There is a very fine line between fabulous and frightful when that much velvet is involved. And to some of us, copious amounts of green velvet bring to mind images of Scarlett O'Hara in her curtain dress...or Carol Burnett in her Bob Mackie curtain-rod version. But in this case, I think it's pretty terrific. Both the setting and the furnishings are right for this kind of luxury. Would it work in a late 1960s high rise in Buckhead? Probably not. But in an elegant Paris dwelling? Yes. In fact, here are some other examples of velvet clad rooms, all of which happen to be in France.
Both the walls and the crown molding were dressed in moss green velvet.
Dove gray velvet walls were made even more elegant with that embroidered valance.
The Paris living room of Raymond Guest as decorated by Emilio Terry. That bold rug gave an edge to an otherwise proper room.
Love the velvet walls, green velvet chair, and leopard print velvet sofa. Too much? Not in my book.
If velvet is too fancy for you, how about corduroy? Corduroy sofa, corduroy walls, and corduroy curtains. I suppose it's no surprise that this Paris apartment was owned by an American. Corduroy is, in a way, like the American version of velvet.
(Top image from Alberto Pinto: Table Settings by Alberto Pinto, Giorgio Baroni photographer; other images from The Finest Rooms in France)