Inside Hôtel d’Hallwyl

Painting in Paris: The Love Story of an 18th Century Château Particulier

To mark Bastille day, Alvin Mennie takes a tour of a Parisian apartment housed in a block built nineteen years prior to La Revolution…

Resting in the heart of a central Parisian suburb close to the iconic Louvre (who are offering free entry in celebration of Bastille Week); is a beautifully poised 18th century grand mansion designed by renowned neoclassical architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux. Discreetly hidden down an intimate side street, the aforementioned Hôtel d’Hallwyl has all the characteristics of an age old hardback; a solid outer core, but inside it is packed with character, charm and stories that unlike its exterior will never get old.

Once a hotel, now home to Jorge & Anne-Marie; a cosmopolitan couple who fell in love with each other whilst studying design in America. Inside, the structure is supported by exposed wooden beams throughout, which have been given a quick coat of paint in Farrow & Ball All White. The roughness in texture gives the beams a mature feel; the clarity and brightness of All White accentuates this roughness. Spot lights are used to create wonderful tones of colour against the contrasting shades of white.

Inside Hôtel d’Hallwyl

Inside the apartment
Image courtesy of Decorating with Colours by Farrow & Ball

Wood has also been creatively integrated into the design of this home; with the different shades of brown creating a palette like effect throughout the property, my personal favourite being the use of a modified artist’s easel as an ingenious TV stand. This is further complemented by the textures and patterns of the upholstery; colours which represent a mature and ripening love story, strokes of rich cream, velvet brown and deep black all which go hand in hand with the feature wall, painted in London Clay. This may not immediately spell romance, but with the lights dimmed and a candle burning, the colours create a wonderful ambiance.

What also makes this property so grand is the use of symmetry; equal distance from carpet to table, with chairs pointing out at the same rotation either end. At first, this sounds almost automated; but in position, the attention to detail further reaffirms this ideology of serenity and perfection, creating the perfect romantic ambiance.

After all, they do say that Paris is the city of love.

Images and inspiration courtesy of Decorating with Colours by Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist


The Chromologist is a colour whisperer. He understands and knows them better than they know themselves, translating their pleas to be used beautifully for humankind. It's unknown from whence he came. Some say the fraction of space between a prism and a spectrum, others say he toiled in the fabled colour mines of Svalbard for years untold, deep underground, speaking only to the reds and blues, cerises and aquas, bronze and golds...

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist