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Making  lemonade

Our clients purchased a gorgeous apartment  in the chic St Germain neighborhood, with magnificent bones and truly beautiful details. However it was extremely formal, with ornate gilding and hand painted walls.  Our brief was to tone it down, neutralize the palette and open it up for a more casual but elegant lifestyle.  The den had ornate, hand painted walls with gilding in all the molding.  We planned to tone down the gilding and touch up the paint, but leave the amazing hand painted elements.  

Unfortunately, that's not what our contractor's painter understood ...


The original paneling - pretty but very ornate

He took it upon himself to scrape down all the hand painted walls! When we visited the apartment, we were appalled to see that he had sanded down all the walls to the point where the hand painted décor was barely visible.  That was the moment of the collective heart attack and the low point in our day!    


The low point in our day!

In a panic, we hired a decorative painter, begged her away from her renovation project at the Louvre and got her started recreating the hand painted elements.  Our client was actually less upset than we were and admitted that the original paint was a little too much. 

So we got our painter to use the softests colors in the retouch, and tone down the gold to create a timeless tableau of faded elegance. It was a weeklong process for two full-time painters but the final effect was even more beautiful than the original! In the end, our client was thrilled with the result – and so were we, which goes to show that there’s always a way to fix mistakes. 

The finished result is more subtle and elegant than the original and the room is lovelier than ever. We call that making lemonade!

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