Pretty, Not Profound

A Very Grand Little House was the title of this feature in House and Garden in December of 1985.  “Somewhere in Switzerland,” neither a designer nor owner were identified.

The house was built in the 1960’s, so it is not old.  

It is just so pretty.  You know me, “Hail, Britannia!”  Normally all this Frenchiness doesn’t turn my head.  It is just so pretty.  That dreamy little tabouret above “retains its original broche de Lille upholstery.”  Oh, my.

There are some clearly exceptional things.  I think this chair is the fauteuil wearing its original Beauvais tapestry.  I don’t want to sit in it, I want to sit in front of it, cross-legged so I can get a little closer, and just look at it.  (I’m assuming the owners didn’t have three grade school boys.)

How many chairs must there be in this room? Not that I can criticize someone for having a thing for chairs.

Heavens.  I mean, really.  You could almost miss that console as it blends so perfectly with the 18th-century (natch) Chinese wallpaper.

“Two of eight magnificent candlesticks on a Meissonnier model in a shimmering thick of equally rare English 18th-century air twist glasses.”  The whole place is a little 18th-century history lesson.


Of all of it, what would I be stuffing in my duffel?  (Other than the fauteuil, which would have involved Mr. Blandings creating a disturbance )  “An honor guard of earthenware horses, manufactured in Leeds, England.”
“Made for saddlers’ windows, they stand up to 19 inches high.  This is the largest private collection of these much-sought-after horses.”  Um-hmm.  That would be just the kind of thing I would want.  Sakes.
All images photographed by Oberto Gili, sparkling text by Rosamond Brenier.
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21 thoughts on “Pretty, Not Profound

  1. What a wonderful house. Love those horses as well — and that dining room — and like you, I have a chair fetish!

  2. I understand what you mean about not sitting in a chair but in front of it. It’s the same with our loved-ones. Sometimes it’s just nice to gaze…I enjoy your blog and hope you will take a minute to look mine up, too!

  3. The first image take me to “The Sound of Music” except this vignette is a little chicer. Love it.

    As I scrolled down, I fell for the horses then I saw Rosamond Bernier’s name. I didn’t realize she had done any stories like this before. Delightful, as you would say.

  4. Yes, it’s pretty and pretty wonderful too! I can see why you were struck by this home, even if it’s not necessarily your aesthetic.

  5. OK, those twist stem wineglasses, they must come home with me, and if I could get the wallpaper off the wall, it would be in MY dining room. Gorgeous “little” house!
    Thanks for sharing… oh, how lovely.
    Cass

  6. Please let me know if you have a 50×50 banner button. I’d like to add it as a link from my front page. Thanks!

    -Jean

  7. Omilord! that is heaven….I remember it! The “boiserie” is also 18th century!!

    I am almost positive it belonged the art collector Thyssen…he left his art collection to Madrid….but this was his house on Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
    That is truly a jewel.

    Don’t miss the andirons!!

  8. I’d be trying to peel the Chinese wallpaper off the wall without damaging it…

    And don’t you just love to say “fauteuil?” Really one of my favourite words but not one I can often work into conversation.

  9. By the way..it Was Baron Thyssen’s house on Lake Geneva……done by Renzo Mongiardino!!

    Lee Radziwill……(in a bit of braggadocio. in my opinion)
    ……spoke of it in the new article in the latest…….Elle Decor!

    She says…..(of Renzo)…….”I think I got him at his very best; before he started decoratng for great art collectors like Stavros Niarchos and Baron Thyssen and making houses that looked like museums.”

    Well……I beg to differ!!

    .that house you pictured in Switzerland sure doesn’t look or feel like a museum……to me!

    It looks and feels like a “jewel box” with beautiful; authentic things…..but also a comfortable…livable house! Maybe that is why that wife could convince the Baron to will the entire art collection to Spain!

    (Beautiful Museum….by the way….full of treasures!)

    I say shame on Lee! a bit of hubris!

    She has been kinda copying what he did for her…….her entire life…..and certainly not (in my opinion) as successfully! Meow? don’t mean to!

    Penelope the cat!

    ps I have no idea how to change my email until my tutor comes….but it is now…penelopebi@me.com……things are forwarded from penelopebi@cox.net…..so the gmail thing was a bad “head- fake”…by accident!

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