Friday, September 16, 2016
Pomp and Restraint
Thanks to social media overexposing almost everything and everybody, I seem to have grown tired of a lot these days. But one thing that I never tire of is the Paris hôtel particulier of Hubert de Givenchy. Yes, we've seen photos of this home and his other domiciles countless times before, but how could one ever grow bored with its peerless beauty?
Few have such flair with the color green as does Givenchy, who often enriches the shade with gilt accents. Luscious green velvet-covered walls of the salon vert provide a sumptuous backdrop for equally sumptuous furnishings, including a Boulle armoire, desk, and torchères. Meanwhile, in the grand salon, a lighter touch is provided with creamy boiserie walls and ivory taffeta curtains, punctuated by a striking Savonnerie carpet and green upholstery and lamp shades. Finally, the dining room, more of a living space really, is a study in French refinement. But despite the richness of the surroundings, the rooms never appear visually suffocating or heavy. As a fellow collector so rightly noted of Givenchy, "Who else is so adept at tempering dix-huitième pomp with vingtième siècle restraint as Hubert?"
All photos from House & Garden, April 1987, François Halard.