Before WWII, Madeleine Castaing was a wealthy wife and mother living outside of Paris in a large house she called la maison de Lèves. She renovated and decorated her beloved house for 2 years with a mixture of antique and flea market furniture, eclectic objects with a penchant for the style of Napoleon III, a love of nature, and an affinity  for mixing patterns which was to become her signature style.
In 1940, the Nazis occupied France and German officers requisitioned her house. Madeleine Castaing left her home at Lèves for a while and opened her first boutique, and then relocated in 1947 to 30 rue Jacob, Paris. She decorated it the same way as her house at Lèves, using her inimitable taste to combine beautiful furnishings and original objects, fabrics, and colors. After the death of her husband in 1969, Madeleine moved to an apartment above the boutique.

Madeleine Castaing's boutique when she reopened it on rue Jacob
and as it is now the Patisserie Laduree, designed and decorated by Jacques Garcia with a tip of the hat to Madeleine Castaing.

Her signature hue, a light turquoise shade of blue which she thought of as the color of the skies chosen for the shop as a testimony to her enduring talent., was present everywhere in her home.

She designed flamboyant carpets wallpaper and fabrics that are still manufactured and sold today.

She mixed them together in a riot of patterns in her own apartment also. It was sold  when she died and the new owners redecorated it in her style, using her carpeting and wallpapers and fabrics.

She chose these patterns in her homela maison de Lèves.
and they were used here by the new owners of her apartment on rue Jacob.
(In the photo of her shop from the 50's, you can spy the wallpaper through the window) 

Madeleine Castaing loved stripes with a lot of detail

French designer Roger de Cabrol, who is based  both in New York and Paris, has used Madeleine Castaing fabrics for his clients' interiors as in the chairs below.

Here, in an obvious tribute to her, he displays her influence with his choice of furniture style Napoleon III from the 19th century, as well as softly patterned carpeting.

Madeleine Castaing loved to use trim, which she often cut out of her fabrics; she applied trim directly to walls or to her upholstered furniture to add  stunning decorative borders.

She designed a leopard print carpet, one of her favorite motifs.

as in these spaces; and she very often added arches to add architectural panache to her rooms.

Madeleine Castaing was a brilliant Bobo - bourgeois bohème- long before the term was coined, always managing to strike a perfect balance between her own brand of French tradition, eclectic accumulations, and playful color.

au revoir.


  1. What a wonderful posting! In June I stayed on Rue Jacob and enjoyed the macarons of this Ladurée. The perspective of both shop photos is the same as the ones I took as we sat in the café across the street.

    Thank you for the details and photos of Madeleine Castaing and her eclectic style!

  2. The sale of the contents of Madeleine Castaing's chateau is still browseable on the Sothebys website -


  3. I have a large file on Madeleine Castaing! I love her style of using imperfection and often, unfinished projects(the niches in her Leves home), THis is a great post on her work! Nice to see someone else is obsessed with her!

  4. terrific post. I think we are all a little obsessed with MC. you may have already seen it but if not here is a link to my interview with Emily Eerdmans whose book on MC will come out this fall, I have previewed it and it will send you into raptures-photography and prose.

  5. Genie: Is that area not the best?
    Curator: I am going to the site this instant. Merci
    Theresa: I am not surprised you also love her work...
    Littler Augury: yes I saw your post yesterday and had sceduled mine for today and found yours FANTASTIC! bravo!

  6. Hi J-A....Love this post about MC...thank you for the lovely diversion!



  7. ChicProvence: I'll try my best to keep them coming and to make them diverting enough. Take good care.

  8. J'adore le style Castaing - beautiful post - merci beaucoup!