Countess Isabelle d’Ornano, co-founder of the prestigious beauty brand Sisley, has a wonderful and unique sense of décor. She has created her homes in Paris, London and the Pays de la Loire, France, to be joyful bursts of contrasting colors, patterns, textures and art. They, together with Sisley’s office and institutes, are the subject of a book just released in the United States, entitled “Isabelle d’Ornano – What a Beautiful World!”
The 258-page tome, written by Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery, with photographs taken by Christina Vervitsioti-Missoffe, is published by Abrams.
In the preface, d’Ornano summarizes his vision of beauty by quoting the Franco-Chinese poet François Cheng. He once he said: “Beauty is a sign of creation that life has a meaning. Beauty is not just an ornament. In the presence of beauty, you suddenly realize that the living universe is not a huge, inanimate, amorphous entity. Which is purpose-driven ”.
De Nicolay-Mazery had long wanted to include the houses in a book, but it was only when coronavirus-related imprisonment hit Paris that d’Ornano said yes.
“I thought, ‘Well, why don’t we do that?'” He said, during a recent interview.
The dust jacket shows a shot of d’Ornano’s stay in the French capital. It’s a wonderful and eclectic mix of something old and something new, with an oriental rug, wicker and wood furniture, a ceiling painted like the sky, and a giant snail sculpture created by Jean-François Fourtou fixed to a wall.
“I like the ceilings,” exclaimed d’Ornano. “I think they are a great source of decoration, which you don’t take advantage of very often.”
Hidden under the book cover is a photo of d’Ornano’s beloved needlepoint pillows – which he creates by hand, often with words – that could be sent to friends.
“For me they are like postcards,” said d’Ornano.
One of these cushions in her garden says: “I love words; they carry messages and make us unique as human beings ”. His words also appear on Sisley gift boxes.
D’Ornano and her late husband Hubert not only created Sisley together, but also the wonderlands that have been their homes for nearly 50 years.
“We had a lot of fun fixing up these houses,” said Isabelle d’Ornano.
The couple also shared a Polish heritage, which she believes informs her fondness for the Baroque.
“It’s a mix of nationalities” and this is how d’Ornano has characterized her aesthetic style, which she has often described as welcoming. “If things are beautiful and there is a combination of colors, everything fits.”
The first focal point of the book is the elegant apartment that borders the Seine. A photograph shows a detail of Claude Lalanne’s gold-colored sculpture “The Archangel”. Another includes a painting of Isabelle d’Ornano’s ancestor, Barbara Radziwill, Queen of Poland. And numerous family photos are present.
The country house is immersed in a wood, by a lake. A contemporary metal sculpture of a woman crowned with oak leaves by Manolo Valdés graces a lawn. The living room is in the morningANDlange of rope, wicker, velvet and a zebra skin rug. Delicate Venetian glasses by Marie Brandolini sit on a wooden table. The memories of the son of d’Ornano, Philippe, about his father and brother of him dot a few pages.
In London, some of the apartment walls are hand painted with colorful stripes. There is a poster of a royal woman by Alfons Mucha and a leather and wood armchair by Jules Leleu. Here, the living room ceiling has panels painted in different shades and gold-colored finishes.
“You really have to live with the things that you love and that are useful, even in a certain disorder,” said d’Ornano.
Sisley’s Parisian venue showcases well-known and emerging artists, such as Alexandre Lenoir, and, like the brand’s “maison” in Bordeaux, Lyon, Madrid and Prague, have a similar style to the houses of d’Ornano. After all, it is she who directs the openings of the new outposts.
“I try to have something beautiful in everyone: a very beautiful image or mirror or something like that in the living room; there is always a living room “, said d’Ornano, adding:” A beautiful thing is truly a great luxury “.
Each “maison” has four or five treatment rooms and some include a cafeteria. The next institutes are set for Milan, Vienna and Lisbon.
“What a beautiful world!” it is a book about decoration, but on a larger scale it richly illustrates life and love. It was first released in France in October 2021 and sells for $ 85 in the United States
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