Monday, October 10, 2016
Luxe, Calme, et Volupté
As I mature, I find myself increasingly drawn to interiors that are refined and pretty. Perhaps it's a sign of aesthetic maturity, or maybe it's simply that refinement and prettiness seem so uncommon these days that they present a welcome departure from the commonplace. Whatever the reason, it's a treat to come across photos of jewel-box-like interiors, such as the ones I'm showing today.
You might assume this elegant residence is located in Paris. In fact, it's a townhouse in Georgetown which, when photographed for the March 1987 issue of House & Garden, belonged to Mrs. F. Burrall Hoffman, widow of Francis Burrall Hoffman, the prominent architect who is best remembered for his work on Villa Vizcaya. An American who spent part of her childhood and much of her married life living in Paris, Mrs. Hoffman, who was a decorator, was responsible for the home's interiors. Considering her background, it's not surprising that her home had a prominent French accent. Take the drawing room, for example, which was lavished in such an attractive shade of green. Enveloping the room were silk hangings that had been installed in the Hoffman's Paris home, while from one side of the room, a bust of Marie Antoinette stood guard. Equally in the French style was Mrs. Hoffman's bedroom, which was also treated to sumptuous green fabrics. Without a doubt, the star of this room was the homeowner's Louis XVI bed, which she slept in as a child.
So much is being made today about how rooms must be casual in order to be comfortable. I completely disagree. What's not comfortable about Mrs. Hoffman's library, with its inviting sofa and amply-sized armchair? The same goes for her bedroom, which looks to me like a guarantee of sweet dreams. (Granted, a tall person might be a bit uncomfortable in that slender bed.) And don't you think the drawing room would be a smashing room in which to host guests for drinks?
I realize that not everyone wants to live in such dressy surroundings today, but wouldn't it be nice if dressiness was a bit more prevalent in today's surroundings?
All photos from House & Garden, March 1987, Edgar de Evia, photographer.