17th century spirit
Parisian townhouse apartments were designed for aristocrats seeking to reproduce the lifestyle of majestic chateaux. Today, apartments that have maintained their period features have become real objects of desire.
asically, the idea is to be seen, but not watched, to shut yourself away from city life while living in the heart of the city. By looking to satisfy these contradictory needs, townhouses have shown their capacity for invention and their ability to produce subtle shapes and ingenious designs," writes Alexandre Gady in an enthralling work* that takes a look back at the history of Parisian townhouses, divas in their own right. Imagine we are back in the second half of the 19 th century, where we find AdélaïdeLouise d’Eckmühl de Blocqueville in her lounge, playing host to the likes of Adolphe Thiers, Victor Cousin and Franz Liszt. Daughter of Louis Nicolas Davout, the great Marshal of the Empire, AdélaïdeLouise d’Eckmühl de Blocqueville resided in a townhouse built in 1622, opposite the Louvre and the Seine. Located at Quai Malaquais, between Quai de Conti and Quai Voltaire - where Anatole France and George Sand lived and wrote, the façade of this townhouse is currently listed. Thanks to its successive owners over the years, the apartment in
which Adélaïde-Louise lived has remained untouched and retained its remarkable decorative features. The apartment’s charm and authenticity are highly prized by people in search of classic buildings in the French capital - aristocrats, artists and intellectuals for whom 18 th century living in the middle of the third millennium is the ultimate object of desire. The succession of exceptionally spacious linked rooms bears testament to 17 th century achievements in interior design. For example, the dining room, which appeared under the reign of Louis XIII. Or the lounge which made its appearance under Louis XIV, and which now serves as a reception room in place of the "master bedroom". Painted ceilings with exposed beams are the height of fashion, just like the painted panelling, the Chinese ornaments and the gold decorations, sublimely reflecting the candlelight. Interior designs are often fleeting, with one fad quickly overtaken by the next. As such, designs that have remained untouched over the years show their true value.
Townhouses in Paris / Parigramme