Friday, August 01, 2014
The French Château
When a friend recently gave me a copy of the book The French Château, I was ecstatic. You see, the book's author, Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery, also wrote The Finest Houses of Paris, which happens to be one of my very favorite books. I had a feeling that I would be equally as taken with The French Château, and after reading it, I can say that I am.
As the book's title suggests, The French Château profiles some of the loveliest châteaux in France, including Château Lafite, Courances, and Brécy. But rather than focus on the grand rooms of these grand houses, the book captures the intimate side of life at these châteaux. There are lush snapshots of back staircases, family dining tables, elegant bedrooms, and family memorabilia. What I found to be most striking about all of the featured châteaux is the sense of comfort and coziness (really) that they all possess, coziness that was achieved through that always-enticing blend of rich color (reds and greens especially), traditional printed fabrics (chintzes), lustrous fabrics (damasks and velvets), and comfortable upholstered-seating. Of course, the generations-worth of family treasures also help by further adding to the lived-in feel of these houses.
Life in a château looks awfully appealing, does it not?
*The French Château is out-of-print but can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Abebooks.
Image at top: The library looking into the salon at Montgraham.