Temple of Love

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Another folly built on the grounds of the Petit Trianon for Marie Antoinette by Richard Mique & Hubert Robert is the Temple of Love. This temple sits on the opposite side of the house as the older French Pavilion and houses a statue of cupid.
It overlooks a small stream that runs up to the Petit Trianon.
Inspired by antiquity, the columns sport Corinthian caps.....
and a coffered dome.It sits out in the English landscape. Here it is viewed from the side of the house.
The temple rests on a small island reached by a small bridge. I loved that the side of the bridge acted as a planter for wildflowers.The Petit Trianon, finally making its' debut as seen from the Temple of Love.
Marie Antoinette had the Temple of Love built within view of her bed in her bedroom - can it be any more poetic than that? Do we think she had Count Fersen in mind or her husband, Louis XVI?
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The Belvedere

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On the grounds of the Petit Trianon was another charming little pavilion. The Belvedere was built for Marie Antoinette by her architect Richard Mique and the painter Hubert Robert as a highlight in her English style garden.Built on a hill on an artificial island, the Belvedere is circled by a terrace with charming sphinx standing guard. It has a commanding view of the English gardens with the Petit Trianon resting nearby, hidden by trees.The interior is painted with murals and flooded with light all day long.What a charming room to have lunch in!The decoration continues up to the ceiling.As you can see the Belevedere is a private place as its' small size demands. Set as a folly in a 'natural' landscape, the building acts as a human foil.
The grotto is the entrance to the Belvedere and you must pass over the faux bois bridge to gain entrance: Probably the most real faux bois i've ever seen!We admittedly spent a good 30 minutes here just relaxing in the sun before continuing our tour of the estate. Hope you enjoyed this folly as much as we did!
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Vintage O'Brien

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While at the bookthing this past weekend, I picked up a copy of House & Garden magazine from March of 1993. Hard to believe this was 16 years ago now and a lot of the magazine, especially the ads, are incredibly dated. However, one article that withstood the test of time is about William Sofield and Thomas O'Brien.The article features examples of their work from both of their own homes, office and gallery. The gallery wall (seen at the top of the post) could easily be in a magazine today.I loved this image from the Aero gallery.This is the living room of Sofield. Interesting side note -he's quite handy and restored the plaster ceiling himself!A tablescape by Sofield. The cheval glass was designed by Ogden Codman for the Breakers mansion in Newport, RI.The spare and symmetrical treatment of the fireplace will never go out of style.The only space which is a bit dated but none the less cozy is the guest bedroom of O'Brien.
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First weekend of fall

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I hope you enjoy our first fall weekend. Looks like we'll have pretty nice weather here in DC: damp and cool (just how I like it!). Thats how the weather was on our first 3 days in Paris. Above; a square in St. Germain by one of the Flamants we visited. I just wish DC was as beautiful!
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My favorite housewares store I have ever visited is Flamant - numerous locations throughout Paris.

I could move right in - literally! The entire store is set up as vignettes in a home.
I bought some amazing candlesticks here that I will share soon with a tablesetting :-)
The great thing about Europe - lit candles in stores! Everywhere! Shopping by candlelight -what could be more charming?
I loved this desk.
And a La Cornue stove -my dream!
Red and Grey, black and white tended to be the color schemes -with a lot of natural light woods and linen.
People just made themselves at home.
Which is better, the chair or the bookcase? I'll take both, please.
Loved these dark walls with the natural oak flooring.
Doesn't this look like someone's apartment?
I just loved this little desk back in the nook.
Heather will hate the comparison (I had one for every store we went into), but I think this store is like a much larger William Sonoma Home. I love that store too (and we need one in DC!)
They have the lighting down. It's all about the lighting.
See why I love it yet?
Visit Flamant if you ever get a chance. You won't walk away empty handed!
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The French Pavilion

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As anyone who has read my blog for awhile knows, I've had an obsession with the Petit Trianon since childhood. It is a perfect example of the beginning of my favorite architectural style, Neoclassicism. The palace and grounds have a fascinating history and are just an all around beautiful place. Well, nothing I had read or seen prepared me for what I saw here: unimaginable beauty.These pictures are not of the Petit Trianon, as you no doubt know: this is the French Pavilion in the gardens.Completed briefly before the Petit Trianon, this pleasure pavilion was designed by the same architect, A.J. Gabriel, as an escape from the formality of Versailles for Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour. However, Pompadour passed away before it was completed in 1769 and it was subsequently enjoyed by Madame du Barry (the family connection) and later by its' most famous inhabitant, Marie Antoinette.Even today, visiting the gardens of the Petit Trianon are a breath of fresh air compared to the pomp and crowds of Versailles. Each of the out buildings had a specific purpose (so organized!). The French Pavilion was a place to have lunch in the formal garden (there was a seperate pavilion for dinner). The English styled gardens, a favorite of Marie Antoinette, came later and currently inhabit the rest of the grounds. This area alone remains as a jewel of formal French gardening (well, and a majority of the grounds of Versailles!).This is no simple little cottage though;rather a miniature palace. Notice the gilded shutters inside the french doors, the beautiful carving and the little cherubs on the roof keeping watch over visitors (wouldn't that be a clever place for surveillance cameras?In the center of the interior is a large round room with an enormous ornate lantern. No table or furniture is in place so you can admire the beautifully inlaid marble floor. The painted walls are the perfect shade of romantic green.Look at that beautiful old wavy glass in the lantern! The porcelain roses connect you to the gardens outside. There are 4 small chambers off the center room -unfortunately visitors can't go inside and I wasn't able to get a good look. These photos were taken through the windows.The Pavilion lies at the end of a vista from the salon of the Petit Trianon . This axis is an example of the formal style of gardens favored under Louis XV. This style really focuses on the view - both in a garden axis such as this and an enfilade inside, such as seen in Versailles.I hope you enjoyed this small tour. I decided to break the seperate areas of Versailles into smaller posts as there is so much to see and process!
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