Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
The easy way out (which is what most designers do today when they work with pattern) is to let the pattern stand alone and then make everything else bland or monochrome e.g. the wallpaper is black and turquoise and all the furniture is black. That’s certainly not the English/Indian approach; instead, they add layer, over layer, over layer.
I’ve been studying the Zuber paper to identify the entire palette. The peonies are vermilion, the tulips are midnight blue, the lilies are aubergine, the background is jade green. The peacocks and scrollwork are a mix of all those colours with an added ochre brown and British racing green. God help me finding curtain material that’s going to work well here. Seating at least, is done. One sofa is vermilion, the other brown, and the armchair is aubergine- all velvet. The rug is caucasian.
Artwork/objects are also an issue. I’m happy with the Nankin vases over the fireplace. By wonderful coincidence the colours are nearly identical to the wallpaper. I had one, but then when I saw it in the room I decided to get two more. They’re circa 1900. I also found a walnut Louis XVI mirror that perfectly matches the mantlepiece from a dealer in Lyon. That should be arriving later in the week.
The grey salon is nearly done in the sense that the schema is in place. We’re missing one side chair, but that’s not an urgency. One end of the room can sit 6/8
The other end has a linen covered chaise longue by Flamant which arrived the day before yesterday. It’s from their 2011 collection. We were incredibly lucky because someone who lives nearby has decided to go minimalist and so I offered to buy their Flamant pieces. It’s very well made furniture which can be kept forever. They’re not making this design anymore, but they still do a similar piece with the same generous dimensions called Gina Luxe. The cushion is new and by a British company called Voyage Maison. Buying good furniture second hand is always a clever option. That’s how you get a sofa that originally cost 20k for only 6k. In this case we paid €400 for a chair that originally cost €2750 + €150 per metre for the fabric.
The other corner of the room has the pairing of the Empire table, the blackamoor we inherited from Mike’s mother and a 19th century pastel portrait.
…And the garden continues to bloom. The peonies are particularly magnificent, just huge.