Boiserie

Doesn’t boiserie sound like a place where fine cheese and breads are crafted? I thought so when in fact it translates to carved-wood paneling. Paneled rooms were all the rage during Louis XIV’s reign at Versailles but luckily the craftsmanship of these decorative panels continues on through the creations of Guillaume Féau. He sources antique boiseries and either restores or duplicates them in his Paris atelier called Feau & Cie.

If you recall how lavishly Louis XIV lived, it’s no surprise that woodwork of this caliber comes at a steep price point. A small room starts at $25,000 while a larger more “important,” room could run into the millions. Wow! An interesting bit of boiserie history tells us that gilding was both an expression of wealth and beauty. However, during difficult economic times, the French would paint over the gilding with a dull gray to mask their wealth.

These particular panels were influenced by Louis XVI’s library at Versailles. The combination of white and gold was reflective of 18th century aesthetics but looks just as relevant and opulent today.

All images are courtesy of House and Garden magazine

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