Tuesday, February 26, 2013
One Last Thought About Louise de Vilmorin
While researching last week's post on the Paris poems of Louise de Vilmorin, I found the photo, above, of the writer ensconced in her home at Verrières-le-Buisson. According to many of your comments, Vilmorin was known for her sharp tongue and sometimes unkind ways. While that may be true, it cannot be said that the woman was lacking in style. Her drawing room, seen above, was quite elegant and lovely and seemingly filled with all kinds of treasures. (Take a look at her collection of malachite objets, which are displayed together on the skirted table in the foreground.) According to Christopher Petkanas' 2009 New York Times article on Vilmorin, the writer enlisted the help of designer Henri Samuel to create this most fetching "Salon Bleu".
No doubt that the most striking feature of the room has to be that beautiful blue and white floral fabric. Still available through Brunschwig & Fils and referred to as Verrieres, the fabric is one of the design world's great prints, striking a feminine note without all the fussiness. It is also the type of print that encourages a lavish use of it, hence Vilmorin and Samuel's choice of it for curtains, upholstery, and slipcovers in this room.
It seems that more than a few French designers followed suit, because if you look through French design books from the 1960s, you will sometimes find rooms (usually a bedroom) in which this print plays a starring role. Some rooms boasted it on walls and ceilings while others were treated to punctuations of this floral print. And although I don't think that the rooms below are quite as beguiling as the Salon Bleu, I do think they show that Verrieres is one of those fabrics that maintains its sense of propriety, even when used in splashy ways.