Thursday, July 21, 2022

Thrilling New Style and Design Book: ‘French Chateau Style Inside France’s Most Exquisite Country Houses’ by Catherine Scotto and with photography by Marie Pierre Morel

Welcome to The Style Saloniste, now celebrating its fifteenth year.

This has been an exciting trip—and on Travels with THE STYLE SALONISTE, I’ve taken you with me to rare places like Jaipur and Chettinad, as well as Paris and London and Sicily (Noto, Siracusa) and Rome and Naples and Venice and Brazil and Ecuador and Peru. And to Morocco (La Mamounia and Royal Mansour) …New York, Delhi and of course, Egypt. Great Egypt. Sailing on the Nile on SS Sudan.

Fourteen Years and Counting
I wish to send special thanks and gratitude to art director BRIAN DITTMAR, who has teamed with me from the start to create THE STYLE SALONISTE.

I am the writer, editor, fact-checker, photo editor, factotum, and founder. Brian first created the elegant and timeless header/logo that still looks classic—and each week his beautiful art direction makes my text and photos look chic and crisp and beautifully cohesive and balanced. Thank you, Brian. Your design judgment is impeccable. It has been a great pleasure and an exciting adventure working with you … with many more years and posts and ideas together. Long may we continue this journey and exploration. 

Thank you. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @dianedorranssaeks


Now, on to ‘French Chateau Style Inside France’s Most Exquisite Country Houses’ ...

This poetic and superbly produced book has just been published by Prestel, and it is gorgeous.

This is definitely a book to treasure. It is the newest French style/ design/interiors reference book, inspiration book and a dream travel book, all in one. Most impressive. 

Thirteen ultra-stylish and historic chateaus/ private residences are arrayed in this beautiful book. Each one represents a different style, a dramatic location, a joyful and/or tragic story, and a novelistic ending of renewal, restoration, repair and regeneration. These are beauties from among the purported 44,000 heritage chateaus and sites in France that were in danger of disappearing in a cloud of dust.

Each one of these ravishingly beautiful chateaus…in locations as far-flung as Normandy, Provence, the Loir, the Loire, the romantic Auvergne, the valley of the Garonne, Les Landes, Burgundy, near Mont-Saint-Michel, and the Midi…has an inspiring story. Some have remained in the same family. Others have been saved from certain ruin.

These bold and elegant chateaux (so different from those that are flung open every day as a tourist attraction) are quiet and private and thus intriguing and inspiring. They are all styles, all sizes from grand to petite, and their interiors reflect their times and their origins.

One thing these chateaus do have in common—most of the creative and passionate owners are interior designers, architects, artists, jewelry designers, antique dealers (most of them)…. and they have all been restored and updated sensitively, with style galore.

And you will love the residence of English fashion designer Peter Copping and his partner. His is the most cosy and decorated of all…very compelling. Very charming.

I love them all.

Most of the owners protect and treasure the privacy of their own domains, and few are open to the public. (Some open one day a year…for example.)

Some chateaux in the book started life as mediaeval fortresses. Others from the eighteenth century had more noble origins. Some were family residences of country grandees, while others were collectors who avidly decorated and painted and embellished their large-scale rooms and stone floors. Some have working kitchens, and others are works in progress.

French Chateau Style

Catherine Scotto’s excellent text (beautifully translated from French by Conor Biggs) includes endless information on the history of each chateau, and how and when and why the current owners threw caution to the winds and undertook years of repair and restoration.

And you meet these owners, who are fascinating, voluble and highly motivated.

It’s useful to find the list of chateaus at the back of the book. There are addresses and contacts. As it happens, some are open in summer for guided tours, while others may offer room or studio rentals for artists. One has a rose garden open for six weeks in the spring, while others are not open at all.

Look for all the authentic décor, design and improvisation with art in each room. There are traditional fabrics, tapestries, and rugs.

This is a beautiful, soulful book.

It’s already in #mylifetimelibrary

To acquire this book, check with your local independent bookshops, as well as amazon and other sites. I love to support small privately owned bookshops and always buy books from my treasured local bookshops. If they do not currently stock it, they can easily and quickly order it for you.


‘French Chateau Style Inside France’s Most Exquisite Country Houses’ by Catherine Scotto and with photography by Marie Pierre Morel is published by Prestel Publishing.

Follow along on Instagram: 

I hope you are following me: @dianedorranssaeks

Prestel: @prestel_publishing

Catherine Scotto, the author: @catherinescotto_decositter

Marie Pierre Morel, the photographer: @mariepierremorel

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