With his book chronicling the restoration of his French château and a tableware line for Royal Limoges, L.A. designer Tim Corrigan still finds time for a little joie de vivre.
LX: In your new book, An Invitation To Château du Grand-Lucé...
TC: Many people think that classic design is outdated and uncomfortable and I wanted to show that nothing could be further from the truth. Design is a pendulum and while it swings from trend to trend, it always returns to the classical because there is an innate sense of security in it. It is more forgiving, as it accepts that daily accoutrements are a part of our living spaces.
LX: Your approach to design:
TC: None of what I do is too studied. I think a flea market treasure can be mixed in with an 18 th -century console and you get to appreciate each of them more because of their relationship to one another. Who wants to live in a room that whispers, “Look, but don’t touch?”
LX: Why undertake such a painstaking restoration?
TC: I love the secrets that you find in the stones of old buildings and the challenge of taking something that was designed for a different way of life and subtly transforming it for the way we live today.
LX: Furnishing the chateau…
TC: Was a real labor of love and I used an approach that I would advise anyone to: Buy what you love and it will somehow find its proper place.
LX: California vs. France:
TC: For me, Southern California is all about comfort, casual living and self- expression, but there is just something about the French respect for culture, history and tradition that really resonates with me.
LX: When entertaining guests…
TC: It is important to make them feel as if they are in their own home. I always leave flowers, freshly baked goodies, magazines or books I think they will enjoy and a scented candle in their room to welcome them.
LX: Most favored architectural period:
TC: Mid-to-late 18th-century France was such a remarkable time for architecture, because it held the highest level of refinement of the French aesthetic, but it was tempered by the age of enlightenment.
LX: Paint a picture of time spent at your picturesque château:
TC: It’s like going back in time to when life was all much slower and people really had the time to be with each other. I can think of no other place in the world I would rather be when I am afforded the luxury of time.