Sunday, July 21, 2013

Parisian Pied-à-terre

The Sitting Room of a Parisian apartment
decorated by Alidad.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
The London furniture and fabric designer known as Alidad is also an interior designer.  (The firm was mentioned in a previous post of The Devoted Classicist in reference to furniture designed by Thomas Messel that may be read here).  A relatively small but richly layered apartment overlooking Paris' Place des Vosges decorated for a client was featured in the October, 2007, issue of House & Garden magazine.

Details of the Sitting Room decorated by Alidad.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
The sunny Sitting Room is dominated by a wall-size Aubusson Louis XV tapestry, one of the designer's trademarks.  The walls are covered with a modern damask fabric the color of topazes to emphasize the jewel tone theme.  A concealed door replaces the conventional doorway so that the expanse of wall is unbroken.  The tufted gold velvet sofa is trimmed with a bullion fringe overlaid with braided tassels.  A side table is covered with fabric Alidad designed for Pierre Frey.  Strips of gold metal trim give the effect of hiding seams, as done when damask was woven on narrow looms.  The 1920s sconce is by Baguès. 

The Chinese Boudoir decorated by Alidad.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
The daybed designed by Alidad for
the Chinese Boudoir.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
A Chinese Boudoir was created with paneling decorated in imitation of red lacquer with motifs in white gold and yellow gold.  The custom made daybed is adorned with cushions made from a seventeenth-century needlepoint tapestry valance.  Panes of antiqued mirrored glass are interspersed to reflect the candlelight and give an expansive effect.

The Dining Room decorated by Alidad.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
Vintage velvet covers the chairs with golden trim in the Dining Room with the table covered in red silk damask.  The effect of a 16th-17th century coffered ceiling is given by the trompe l'oeil painting from which a Louis XIV Genoese gilt-wood chandelier hangs.

Details of the Dining Room's leather wallcovering.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
Candlelight is used in the Dining Room to further the effect of the Old World mood.  Leather wallcovering with the tree of life motif stamped in foil and hand-painted pink flowers and green leaves against a blue background adds another rich layer.

Details of the Passage to the Dining Room.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
A Passage outside the Dining Room is lined with cupboards to store dishes and glasses behind concealed doors.  The parquetry effect is actually trompe l'oeil painting, by the same (unidentified) artist who decorated the floors and ceilings.

Alidad at the Sitting Room window.
Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden.
A new book on the work of Alidad will be released October 15, 2013.  Featuring apartments in London and Paris, villas in Beirut and Kuwait, and seaside homes in Sardinia and Cornwall, ALIDAD, THE TIMELESS HOME may be ordered at a discounted price with the option of free shipping here.



  1. Thank you so much for the head's up! Good grief!

    When our friends were living in the "Ambassador's Residence in London"; (because he was the Ambassador; Court of St James) I was fortunate to take a trip to Great Britain to study interiors with "Gep
    Durenberger"! (do you know of him? You would LOVE!!)

    In any friend and I were so, so , so lucky to be guests of the Ambassador to his residence....and that of his wife!

    It is smack in the middle of is on twelve acres......(it is quite unbelievable); and it is the most magnificent house!

    Our friend, the ambassador's wife asked the staff to see "the books written about the house"! She was handed a "pamphlet"! (it folded out!!)

    So she wrote the book! (the first book she has ever written!! about this incredible house....) It is a brilliant and beautiful book!!

    "Winfield House" is the name of it.....and it is a magnificent book!

    When I walked into the "Garden Room" (French doors going to the garden on two entire walls.....and 18th century Chinese hand-painted wallpaper purchased from an Irish Castle by "Billy Haines" in the fifties..... Lordy! I thought I would faint!!!)

    A brilliant house! Thank you Barbara Hutton! After the second world war....sold it to us (the USA) for 1 dollar!

    Completely divine!!


    ps it is now unaffordable at Amazon! (Lordy!!)

    try the library!!

    Good grief !!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Penelope. With the ease of digital publishing now making smaller printing runs less expensive, maybe some much-loved but limited books will be released again. But I, too, have been disappointed to find so many books out-if-print that I am sure would be popular sellers.

  2. Dear John, and Penelope, I loved this, and was reminded by Penelope of my visit to San Juan Capistrano and Geps old shop there- he had even left behind his old Mercedes sedan- Stanley Barrows was very fond of Gep. I was not familiar with the exquisite of work of Alidad, but I adore the Place de Vosges- and truly love this highly decorated look...

  3. So odd...I just received a copy of WINFIELD HOUSE , this week! I love the book, it is a small publication by Maria Tuttle etc...Chic with a REAL linen cover and hand inlaid image of a door handle! Beautiful home, really lovingly restored by Haines thru the Annenberg's.

    Anyways back to your post on Alidad...he shimmers with shades of Delbee and Boudin, Old School for sure in a Sea of Repetitive Interiors - Hicks meets Haines who knew Draper and airkissed Baldwin - all non-memorable. Today's crop are drinking the same punch, riding the same towncar, and sleeping in the same bed!

    1. Publicity distributed on behalf of Alidad's office says that clients include Russian oligarchs and Arabian billionaires - or something to that effect - and that certainly must be factor. I appreciate an attention to detail and custom furnishings (such as the velvet upholstered consoles) fabricated to satisfy a particular need. And I always appreciate good decorative paint finishes. Thanks, Swan, for your comments.

  4. I was about to remark on the regrettable trend for giving zero acknowledgement to
    decorative painters, such as the skilled craftspersons who executed the brilliant
    effects in Alidad's interiors. It seemed decidedly off-topic until reading the comments
    of Ms Bianchi and Mr Farris. Now I see that anything goes here, so I will happily grind
    my axe (as a part time decorative painter) and say that when I read a wonderful book like Bunny Williams's and find no name behind the brilliant exotic panels in the house
    she share with Mr Roselli in the Dominican Republic, it seems obvious that those artists
    responsible will be forever relegated to anonymity. Then again in the very same book,
    a painting by Francis Bacon goes unrecognised, so really, it is a hopeless cause.

    1. Toby, I really do moderate the comments to stay on topic, though I might occassionally allow more leeway with regular Devoted Readers. I blame the writers and editors, too often not really knowledgeable in the field they write about. This is happening more and more in magazines. As for the current trend in the decorator monograph-type books, they are seldom actually written by the designer, despite the name on the dust jacket. As a consequence, many once-essential items of information are left out because the publisher doesn't want to pay to have it compiled and formatted. Thank you for commenting.


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