Manoir de Berthouville

Architectural Digest Italia has a March feature on the Manoir de Berthouville, the French vacation home of Boston interior designer and antiques dealer, Charles Spada. According to the article, Mr. Spada has had a life long affinity for all things French. As a teenager, he idolized the legendary couturier Hubert de Givenchy, and as a young man, he lived in France for a time. Since those early days, he had maintained a Parisian pied-à-terre, which was used during his many buying trips throughout the years. A few years back, Mr. Spada decided that he wanted to slow down a bit, and buy a home in the country. Among other requirements, he wanted to be no more than two hours outside of Paris – so that he could easily get to the city in order to attend an auction or cultural event.

After visiting several properties, he eventually stumbled upon the Manoir de Berthouville. The 17th century home, a former relais de chasse (hunting lodge) in the countryside of Normandy has, for the most part, remained unchanged for centuries. According to Spada, the home “was reminiscent of the brick and limestone architecture of the Places des Voges in Paris, built by Henry IV remaining popular during the reign of his son, Louis XIII.” For the interior designer, it was love at first sight. He made an offer on the very day that he first viewed the property. The owners of the grand home, a group of twelve brothers and sisters scattered all over France, accepted Spada’s offer within a few weeks.

What I think is so beautiful about Charles Spada’s home, is that the integrity of the original manor has not been compromised. Much of the structure is original, from the chimneys right down to the wood paneling in the sitting room. To complement the historical legacy of the Manoir de Berthouville, Spada has furnished the home almost entirely with antique furniture – yet the decor still feels fresh and relevant. I particularly love how he modernized that fabulous antique sofa with leopard print upholstery. Antique gilt framed mirrors, prints and engravings cover the walls – and in general, there’s patina for days. It’s really a magical home. Enjoy the slideshow!

Photos via Architectural Digest Italia.