The late François Catroux’s was definitely one of the best in the business and his successful career granted him fame and recognition. François Catroux is an innovator and explorer in interior design, who has always been a master of contemporary style. His trademark for contemporary design is mostly the result of being confronted with old interior designs. He has been the decorator of choice for aristocrats, moguls, royals, and oligarchs alike.
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The decor François does for his clients could be called high 1970s decadence, heavy with important art and rich materials, but here he has kept things light and casual. The palette is stone gray and garden green, linking the interiors to the nature outside. He put down a local flooring, called calade, made of river stones embedded in smooth cement.
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The house’s stonework, moldings, and paneling were all preserved, but out went the gilded leather wall coverings, heavy curtains, and red velvet sofas trimmed in passementerie, all dismantled meticulously and placed in storage for some future day. White, gray, and taupe hues now canvas nearly every wall.
The house, on an irregular site at the tip of the Île Saint-Louis in the heart of Paris, was designed by architect Louis Le Vau. It was built between 1640 and 1644, originally for the financier Jean-Baptiste Lambert (d. 1644) and continued by his younger brother Nicolas Lambert, later president of the Chambre des Comptes.
Before taking on Eos, Catroux had done two apartments in Paris for Diller’s wife, Diane von Furstenberg, one of his closest friends, who wrote the foreword to the new book. He has since decorated a house for the couple in Beverly Hills, and he is currently designing an addition to their country house in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Catroux clients tend to remain Catroux clients, and their offspring follow suit. “It starts with the parents,” he says, citing the example of Beatrice Santo Domingo and her late husband, Julio Mario, the Colombian billionaire, for whom, he says, he has done places “everywhere”: New York, Paris, Madrid, and Colombia. A few years ago, he did a large duplex apartment in the family’s spectacular 18th-century hôtel particulier in Paris for their son Andrés and his wife, Lauren.