At the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club 40th Annual Decorator Show House two beautiful rooms were based upon very large photos or art reproductions for a major part of the design punch. Le Bureau Privé, by Raji Radhakrishnan / Raji RM & Associates, used photo murals of the interior of the chapel of Versailles on one wall and a Renaissance painting on the opposite one. The Master Bedroom, designed by Charlotte Moss, created a verdant mood with a series of enormous photos of parterres like the ones here from the Musée Carnavalet and the Château de Villandry. It looked great; I might try this look at home. Charlotte Moss’s photos were from Soicher-Marin, but I’ll use my own photos to add great memories to the mix.
The word parterre (partare) means “by earth” if separated into its constituent elements par and terre. It refers to a formal garden made of geometric beds edged on stone or clipped hedges. They’re also known as Knot Gardens. Sometimes they have flowers, but often they do not. They’ve been in fashion in France since the 15th Century. The style for gardens à la française swept across Europe. The tidy, symmetrical look is highly appealing but extremely labor intensive. When I visited Vaux le Vicomte, I saw a group of gardeners trimming the parterres manually with glorified scissors. So I’ll stick with photos of parterres for my home and leave the real thing to those with a large staff.