What's in a name? In the case of interior decorator Florence de Dampierre, it has been everything. The French-born de Dampierre has been sharing the secrets to French chic with the rest of us most of her life. Along with her interior design expertise, de Dampierre is also a furniture historian, which gives an added depth to her books: The Best of Painted Furniture; The Decorators; Chairs: A History; French Chic: The Art of Decorating Houses; and Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments.
de Dampierre began her career in New York, opening an antiques shop under her own name, Florence de Dampierre Antiques. As the first American antique store devoted exclusviely to 18th and 19th century painted furniture, it received an enormous amount of attention (it was even the subject of a New York Magazine cover story!). Designing interiors was a natural transition. Recently, it seems, life's come full circle. De Dampierre recently launched, in collaboration with John Richard, her own line of furniture, as well as accessories, lighting, wall art and botanicals. The collection is carried at Horchow and Neiman Marcus, among others.
What is your favorite design moment (house, restaurant, building, public space) in Los Angeles?
The Getty Villa in Malibu.
Let’s pretend you have $400 to update a 250 square foot space. How do you spend it?
I would buy paint and repaint the whole place — the colors I chose would depend on where it is located and what the light is.
Tell us a little bit about your window for LCDQ's (La Cienega Design Quarter) Legends of La Cienega event. (Note: DeDampierre's design can be seen the window of Hollyhock, beginning May 7th)
My window is going to be fresh, French and chic... with a sense of humour!
What 5 things would you put in a time capsule? (NOTE: The theme of this year's LCDQ event is Time Capsule: The Past, Present and Future of Design).
The New York Post,
a painting from my friend Nabil Nahas, photos of my children, my iPhone with a charger, a piece of furniture from my line for John Richard: The Rousseau chair.What period of history would you most like to have lived in?
I would had loved to live in the eighteenth century.
What would you bring with you if you were time traveling?
Photos of my children and some chocolate!
What 5 things do you recommend keeping on hand for unexpected guests?
Chocolate, ginger, tea, madeleines, and red wine (French & Bordeaux).
What's your biggest design or home-related indulgence?
Flowers, plants, art... and chocolate!
What's your favorite home from a movie or a tv show?
How about one from each category? Downton Abbey and Auntie Mame — you cannot beat them!
What do you love most about LA?
What's your favorite cheap design trick or tip?
My favorite cheap trick is color — using paint to change a mood or a room. One of my cheap tricks is to paint the ceiling in Benjamin Moore’s “Icing on the Cake” to give height to a lower ceiling.
To learn more about Florence and to see her portfolio, click here. To learn more about the LCDQ (La Cienega Design Quarter) Legends of La Cienega event, including a schedule of panels and information about registering, click here.
(Image: courtesy of Florence de Dampierre)