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A great decorative tradition
The great French decorative tradi- tion is all an illusion. The most imposing salons are adorned with marble pillars (in trompe-l’œil), massive doors in rare hardwoods (the grain cleverly brushed on), cabochons of (imitation) precious stone, and golden cornices and carving (all merely gilt). The skills of specialized craftsmen are worth all the gold in the world, and are far less common. Read more

Several different projects at once/The restoration of painted fabric wall coverings, like these 19th-century ones from the château of Kerguéhennec in Brittany, or the 18th-century ones produced near Avignon, calls for highly specialized skills and a sophisticated understanding of color.
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Several different projects at once/Pieces of embossed leather going through the dying process sit next to oil paintings awaiting restoration.

Paul Mériguet/The Atelier’s founder.

Sample decor/Sample decor of a library door for a private project in the French Riviera. The mesh is plaited with strings of white leather.

Preliminary drawing/Preliminary drawing for a screen inspired by Armand-Albert Rateau, renowned French decorator from the Art Deco period.

Rue Chapon/Restoration on canvas of “L’Allégorie des travaux géographiques du Prince Roland Bonaparte” (Allegory of geographic works by Prince Roland Bonaparte).  This monumental work by Charles Toché, executed in 1894 on paper pasted on wood backing, decorated a ceiling of Roland Bonaparte’s hôtel parisien, which later became the Shangri-La Hotel.  The fragile paper support had deteriorated.  After completing tracings on paper, Mériguet designed a copy, which now decorates the hotel’s ballroom.  

Cordoban leather/In the workshop, the final touches are put on a painting on leather, after embossing and patinas.

Rue de l’Abbé Groult/The paneling, designed by Jacques Verberckt for Louis XV at the Château de Fontainebleau, is ready for the restoration of its decorative layer and gilding, after undergoing a cleaning and preservation process.

Motif on reverse gilded glass/An artist is painting a motif on reverse gilded glass, an age-old technique passed down from the XVIIIth century.

Leather crafting/Leather crafting at the workshop on rue de l’Abbé Groult. The shelves are stocked with thousands of decorative samples, such as faux wood and marbles, leathers and various materials with textural effects. 

Leather crafting/Leather crafting at the workshop on rue de l’Abbé Groult. The shelves are stocked with thousands of decorative samples, such as faux wood and marbles, leathers and various materials with textural effects.

Leather crafting/In the background, a series of decorative leather panels painted with dragon motifs. This project was created for the Hakkasan restaurant in New York and was commissioned by decorators Gilles & Boissier.

Small-scale model/Small-scale model of a screen, hand-painted on a tracing, to be presented as a project to a decorator client.

Work in progress/Samples of hammered painted leather and various motifs. Above, a Chinese-influenced motif painted on leather, representing two fish, was designed to decorate monumental headboards for a luxury hotel in Shanghai, decorated by Gilles & Boissier.

Decor painted on canvas/Decor painted on canvas, which represents a forest of birch trees.  It was commissioned to decorate the walls of a hotel room in Gstaad. 

Leather samples/A batch of leather samples, a precious collection of motifs for clients of the Atelier.

Cutting of leather/Cutting of leather with a paper cutter.

Restoration of the gilt/Restoration of the gilt on the apron of an antique chair seat.

Oil gilding/Oil gilding of a Greek frieze that adorns a casing.
A great decorative traditionThe unwritten rules
They originate as far back as the 17th century, and owe their longevity not only to the schools of applied arts and crafts but above all to direct transmission from one indivi- dual to another in the workshop. In the Mériguet-Carrère workshops on the rue Chapon and the rue de l’Abbé-Groult in Paris, craftsmen use the old methods and materials: whiting, animal hide glue, and pigments.

Here, skilled experts continue to pass on the age-old secrets of the decorative painter’s and gilder’s trades to new recruits. They can imitate wood and stone, cloth and mother-of-pearl. They can produce wallpaper and painted fab- ric, not to mention splendid tooled and gilded leatherwork. They can restore the sheen of yesteryear to neglected wood-work, and return forgotten or abused furniture to its former glory.

The company carries out its decora- tion and restoration work in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. It was founded by Paul Mériguet in the 1960s. Over the last fifteen years, under the direction of Antoine Courtois (a reg- istered architect with a diploma from the Arts et Métiers school) and Laurent Gosseaume, its workshops have been transported to every corner of the globe, installed in historic monuments, pri- vate mansions, luxury boutiques, and dream apartments. The 75 staff of the Atelier Mériguet-Carrère can as easily save an endangered historic house, res- cuing its painted ceilings and reviving its gilding, as they can implement a con- temporary décor in accordance with their client’s wishes. Their clients run the gamut from senior architects in the Historic Monuments Department to well-known decorators and individuals who appreciate work of the highest quality.

We invite you to step behind the scenes, moving from the Paris Opera to the private mansion, and to enter a truly remarkable world.