Paris-based interior designer François Catroux’s client list is not the longest, but it is one of the best in the business. And his successful career granted him fame and recognition. For this reason, a new book, written by David Netto, shows why Catroux has been the decorator of choice for aristocrats, moguls, royals, and oligarchs alike since 1968, when he opened his Paris office.
Catroux is the missing link between the old and the new. Until this day, and despite the fact that he’s over 80 years old, Catroux is still reeling in the most coveted new clients and jobs. This book is a collection of some of his best interior designs – several of Catroux’s best midcareer projects for the Patiño and Rothschild families were not included in the monograph, by his decision – and a way to honor his talent.
One of the things we learn in this book is that Catroux is remarkably sanguine about his work. The designer is willing to concede that he cannot please everyone. “When people come to me,” he says, “they either like what I do, or they don’t. When they like it, they’re hundred percent enthusiasts,” This trust permits him to follow his own instincts, rather than bending them to a client’s peculiarities.
His trademark for contemporary design is mostly the result of being confronted with old, crumbling interiors. But when there are antiques and fine objects, Catroux designs around them with great care. His passion for design is very evident in this book, and it gives us plenty home decor ideas.
“I do not throw everything out to make a modern decor,” Catroux says. “I love a mélange. But I hate copies and will not do faux Louis XVI!”
After combing through his archives to choose which projects to publish, the famous interior designer is happily surprised by how well most of his interiors hold up when viewed today. “The projects from the 1960s look fresh today. My best projects I hope look timeless.
David Netto, a Los Angeles-based decorator who is also a design journalist, pursued Catroux for nearly two years before he finally persuaded him to overcome his belief that, as Catroux says, “the people who needed to know knew,” and do this book, for which Netto wrote the text. “The career of François Catroux is the great untold story in design,” Netto says. Are you convinced yet that you have to read this book?