This Beverly Hills mansion’s elegant study décor — seen here in the early 1970s — was a portrait of contrast between warm surfaces of natural wood and solid expanses of deep blue silk twill wall coverings from Scalamandre.
The homeowners were fanciers of the domestic architecture from the French Renaissance, and wanted a sort of country manor in the city.
The moldings and details of the rich oak paneling, or boiserie, on the walls of this inviting room were carefully researched, and were as close to the original French design as it was possible to make them. In addition, the floor was made of intricately parqueted oak.
The scale of the furniture in the study was commensurate with the large proportions of the architecture, but the color palette, aside from the wood, shifted into the astringent clashing of opposing primary colors.
Blues, yellows and oranges set up such vibrations that the restless pattern of the Savonnerie rug and the upholstery fabrics seemed almost to act as calming influences.
The curious overall effect was one of harmonious blending and quiet serenity — and the pervasive presence of the wood merely added to this feeling.
In keeping with their eclectic pursuits, the owners and the interior designer filled the study with a carefully selected assortment of objets drawn from the contexts of many cultures.
For instance, an earthy pair of pre-Columbian clay figures sat casually with a sophisticated set of Chinese-vase table lamps. A brace of brass Empire candlesticks on the mantel of the Louis XV carved stone fireplace lords it over brass lion Empire andirons on the hearth.
A mirrored 20th-century American bar opened invitingly behind a flamestitched 18th-century Regency canapé from the Yale Burge collection.
The still life above the flowers was by Leon Detroy. Complementing the polychromatic color scheme of the room was a painting by Bernard Lorjou over the Louis XVI desk.