“A LONDONER IN PARIS”: THE CURIOUS WORLD OF GALERIE SALON





“Marchand de tout, faiseur de rien”

“Merchant of everything, maker of nothing”



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Galerie Salon is one of those unique stores that are difficult to pinpoint. Is it an antiques store, a capsule of a flea market taken out of the suburbs, a concept store, a thrift shop, a collectors’ gallery, a micro museum?


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Originally named after a hair salon that was situated at the exact same location in the 1920s, Galerie Salon is a multi-faceted shop that embrace all of those descriptions. Situated in St Germain-des-près, A-Gent of Style paid Galerie Salon a visit during his last stay in Paris last month as he had been alerted about this charming repository of objetscuriosités and artefacts. In this chic Parisian den, you will find antiques from French, Swedish and Italian provenance but also creations by contemporary artists and artisans.

Carole and Stéphane Borraz are the founders of Galerie Salon who have owned the boutique since 2003. Both passionate and consummate antiques collectors who traipse the world in search of great antiques finds and also popular bargain hunts, the couple, who originally met at the Ecole du Louvre, used to own a stand in the flea market of Saint-Ouen and have since amassed and replenished Galerie Salon with an impressive selection of eclectic wonders.


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Since 2010, the Borraz have selected a few contemporary brands and invited them into Galerie Salon to complement their own collection through unique collaborations, and also help usher Galerie Salon in modern times.
Astier de Villatte tableware, John Derian artefacts, Kuhn Kéramik creations,
Le Baigneur soaps, Bonjour Paris and Bonjour New York maps and the latest of them all (and last but not least), the divine (roll drum)…Antoinette Poisson.

Despite their disparate elements, this motley crew of enchanting oddities live harmoniously next to each other and are juxtaposed brilliantly into a cohesive whole, thanks to the seemingly effortless talent of la charmante Carole who has successfully managed to combine in one single room tradition with innovation, elegantly mixing a profusion of styles and genres.

Next time you are in Paris, make sure you visit this wondrous olde worlde shoppe with a twist.



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– photographs by A-Gent of Style – 







GREEN WITH ENVY: BRUNO DE CAUMONT’S ‘LA VILLA VERTE’



 

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A-Gent of Style was delighted to be able to get his hands on his first copy of
Design Anthology a couple of few weeks ago at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. Asia’s new, premier English-language interiors, design, architecture and creative culture magazine will be published quarterly and available internationally.
The brainchild of Hong Kong-based interior designer Suzi Annetta of Studio Annetta, Design Anthology claims to be “for design connoisseurs and bon vivants”. It is now officially on A-Gent of Style‘s list of noteworthy publications.


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Amongst the different, eclectic projects featured in Design Anthology’s first issue, ‘La Villa Verte’ is, according to A-Gent of Style, the most arresting of them all. Situated in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, this stunning house belongs and was decorated by the brilliant French interior and furniture designer Bruno de Caumont who settled a few years ago in the Vietnamese capital city, once a French territory, where he makes his own furniture, mostly with lacquer, one of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite finishes (see his retrospective on lacquer in interiors here).

Whilst there are sadly no exterior shots of the house (the project was also published last month in the French Elle Decoration), each room in ‘La Villa Verte’ – inspired by the verdant green colour of a local lotus flower – is set alight and suffused with vibrant, glorious colours, mostly solid and plain (bar the tiled floors and walls reminiscent of Andrée Putman, there are no patterned fabrics here; ok, one tiny black and white check on the sofa next to Caumont’s own wool rug), represented in either close tonal gradations à la David Collins (have you all got your own copy of ABCDCS yet??) or in wonderfully clashing combinations.


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In this 1950s house where no ornate mouldings or florid ceiling rose take centre stage, the pared down, uncluttered almost streamlined look redolent of some of European designers of that era (Gio Ponti’s blue masterpiece, the iconic Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, springs to mind here when you see the blue bedrooms) is complemented with Chinoiserie and Japanned elements. Despite the vivacious palette and explosion of colours similar to India Madhavi’s, you could never tell this oxymoronically bold but tranquil house is located in the noisy scooter-ridden city centre.

Caumont’s own designs of lacquered wood furniture, taken mostly from his latest collection Annam consisting of 25 Asian-inspired pieces like his brass-sabot Thalos stools, benches and tables, find their inspirations from 19th and 20th centuries with reinterpretations of classical work and original creations, eschewing fleeting seasonal trends. Caumont’s pieces are juxtaposed with timeless objects and antiques, sourced locally or regionally (notice Caumont’s beautiful Georges Jouve-esque metal wall sconces).

A-Gent of Style wishes he had seen this delightfully charming house when he went to Vietnam a few years ago. For now, he will have to keep contemplating these glorious photographs.




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– Photographs from Design Anthology and Elle Decoration



OLYMPIA INTERNATIONAL ART & ANTIQUES FAIR 2014





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The 42nd edition of the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair is now officially open and is taking place in London’s iconic Olympia Exhibition Centre until 15 June. A-Gent of Style attended the Preview Press Day yesterday and this year’s instalment can boast exceptional exhibits and design-focussed talks that will make this year’s fair an unmissable event for interior designers, decorating enthusiasts and collectors.


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Founded in 1972, the event is the capital’s largest and most established art and antiques fair, featuring 180 specialist exhibitors from across the world. Presenting an extensive and eclectic range of high-quality, carefully vetted art, antiques, furniture and collectibles, the fair occupies an important place in the international cultural calendar providing a unique cultural, social and shopping experience for over 30,000 discerning international visitors.

Anthony Outred

Anthony Outred



With exhibits drawn from antiquity to the present day, and with prices ranging from £100 to £1 million, the fair is renowned as an unmissable event for seasoned collectors and connoisseurs as well as first-time buyers, dealers and interior decorators. Set in Olympia’s stunning Grand Hall, and featuring a glamorous Preview Day, late night openings and a VIP charity night in aid of CLIC Sargent, the fair is firmly established as one of the most prestigious fixtures in London’s summer season. Whether you’re enhancing an existing collection, sourcing a first investment piece, transforming your home or simply looking for decorative inspiration, Olympia’s eclectic and extensive offering caters for all. With prices ranging from £100 – £1 million, and with pieces dating from antiquity to the present day, Olympia is an unmissable occasion for collectors, specialists, designers and first-time buyers across the globe.


Sue Norman

Sue Norman


Glamorous events, inspirational talks, exquisite dining opportunities and an iconic location combine to make Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair the event of the summer season. As mentioned in the introduction, there are a few noteworthy interior design-related events that A-Gent of Style looks forward to attending.

The most exciting of all being ‘The Prince of Chintz: Spotlight on American Design’ with the legendary Mario Buatta, American Interior Designer and author of
‘Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration’ who will be flying from America especially for the talk. Don’t miss it. A-Gent of Style will of course be attending. Wednesday 11 June 12.30pm – 1.30pm.


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Other talks will include:

  • The Life of the House, How Rooms Evolve with Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Interior Designer, in association with BIID
  • Lynn Chadwick and Yorkshire Sculpture Park Celebrating the centenary of the sculptor’s birth
  • Tribal Rugs: Treasures of the Black Nomads
  • William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, an exhibition at the V&A


You can view the full list of events here.



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Worth a mention is also the special exhibition this year celebrating British art nouveau and arts & crafts designer, Archibald Knox, in association with the Archibald Knox Society to mark the 150th anniversary of Knox’s birth in 1864 presenting the greatest collection of Knox’s metalwork (featuring exceptional and rare pieces of Liberty & Co) originating from a number of private collections never before shown in the public domain ever seen in a single venue. There will be a talk on 7 June ‘Archibald Knox: Beauty & Modernity – A Designer Ahead of His Time
‘ (4.00pm – 5.00pm)


Archibald Knox Cymric Rose Bowl, silver & enamel, WH Haseler, c. 1905



The range of items on sale at Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair 2014 will span over 35 different categories of art, antiques and collectibles including: 20th century art and design / antiquities and numismatics / arms and militaria /
Art Deco and Art Nouveau / Asian works of art / books and manuscripts / canes and walking sticks / carpets and rugs / ceramics / clocks and watches / contemporary art and design / furniture / glass / jewellery / lighting / miniatures / musical instruments / natural history / photographs / pictures and posters / prints and maps / scientific objects / sculptures / silver / sporting items / textiles and tribal art.



Here some of A-Gent of Style’s favourite vignettes at the Fair:


Nicholas Bagshawe

Nicholas Bagshawe

 

Hatchwell Antiques

Hatchwell Antiques

 

Sue Norman

Sue Norman

 

Ajassa

Ajassa

 

Christopher Butterworth

Christopher Butterworth

 

Robert Barley

Robert Barley

Dinan and Chighine

Dinan and Chighine

 

La Pendulerie

La Pendulerie

 

Serendipity

Serendipity

 

Wakelin and linfield

Wakelin and linfield

 

Vivioli Arte Antica

Vivioli Arte Antica

 

 

 – Photographs by Flint PR and A-Gent of Style – 

 

 

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