If there are two things I know about the readers of My Little Boudoir…it is that you adore both a ladies boudoir and all things Chanel. This post is all about the blending of the two.
This has been a long time in the making, because I knew there could be nothing less than the best if we’re talking Chanel. In these design ideas you will find that I infused inspirations from Chanel designs, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (her personal life and style), as well as elements from her private apartment.
So, without further adieu, I present you with the elements of a Chanel inspired boudoir. Enjoy!
Chanel’s iconic black leather quilted “2.55” bag (named such because of its release in February 1955) is the influence behind this Quilted Lacquer wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries Ltd. (which also comes in many other colors). I wouldn’t recommend using it on the entire wall as that may be a little severe (although daring is the way to go in some boudoirs).
Instead of using the wallpaper to cover the entire wall, you could purchase some wood trim (paint it black) and create something like this (sorry, I know this is a really amateur Photoshop job, but my husband is busy, so I cannot use his expert help). This illustration shows a chair rail with black trim around the wallpapered sections on the top and bottom. I do not know the proper design term when the corners are inverted, but this look screams Paris to me.
The walls can be spiffed up with some Chanel themed artwork of your choice. Here I have used a picture of Marilyn Monroe dabbing on Chanel N°5, a vintage Chanel print ad, and a photo of Coco Chanel. There are really many inexpensive options for you to choose from. For example, I have made some color photo copies at my local print/copy store out of a Chanel book that I have. I plan to frame them and place them on the wall in my boudoir. Also, vintage fashion magazines are easy to find at local antique stores for about $5-$15. If you’re lucky you may find a vintage Chanel ad. You could also use a more modern day Chanel ad or editorial photo from, say, Vogue or any other fashion magazine.
An iconic Chanel accessory is multiple strands of pearls. As you can see below, even Coco frequently donned this style herself. This look can be reworked into your boudoir decor with this lovely Glam Rock Chandelier by Erickson Beamon that is dripping with pearls, which retails for $37,500.
At the request of the diamond industry, to help prevent its failing, Coco created many looks using diamonds, which were often accompanied with accents of black onyx. This diamond and onyx look paired with her signature black and white colors, which are also used in the famous tweed suit. This Le Petite Chic Chandelier from Horchow.com embodies of all of these iconic looks and retails for $1,995.
Coco Chanel’s personal apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris had influences of Chinoiserie design. Her walls of Coromandel screens displayed images of birds. This Brass Bird Table Lamp from Horchow.com brings this style into your boudoir in a more subtle way. Plus, the black and gold color scheme is iconic of the Chanel brand. This lamp retails for $275.
This mirrored stairwell leads to Mlle Chanel’s apartment that I mentioned above. It is said that she often stood upon the fifth step of the staircase and watched ladies model her looks. This Mirrored Cylinder Table Lamp from the John Richard collection at Horchow.com features very similar mirrored panels and, again, is in the iconic black and gold color scheme. This lamp retails for $695.
Born on August 19, 1883, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was a Leo. With a lion representing this zodiac sign, she often used this powerful animal to accessorize her apartment. What is interesting is that a lion represents masculinity, and Chanel’s designs played off of menswear; a feminine version for women. On the left side of the below photo are two examples of lions that decorated her apartment, on the right is a Lion Crest Lamp from Horchow.com that will allow you to achieve a similar look. This lamp retails for $415.
Wheat is a symbol in France that represents prosperity. This is an element of design that is no stranger to Coco’s apartment. These brass Autumn Harvest Wall Sconces by Frederick Cooper can be purchased on lampsbeautiful.com for $550 each. These would look lovely placed on each side of your dressing table mirror.
A few decades ago a Bergère Chair was purchased at auction for the apartment (which has been preserved since Coco’s death) at 31 Rue Cambon. This piece is believed to have been the chair in which Coco sat upon in the famous photo by Horst. The chair in the photo below encompasses not only its unmistaken French roots, but also a resemblance to the iconic 2.55 handbag’s black leather quilting. The polished look of the leather used in this “Bling” Bergère Chair & Ottoman from Horchow.com seems more reminiscent of a modern version of the 2.55 handbag. This chair and ottoman set retail for $4,344 (or $2,499 for the chair and $1,349 for the ottoman).
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel did not actually sleep in her apartment at 31 Rue Cambon, as there is not an actual bedroom located in the residence. Instead, she slept at The Hotel Ritz in Paris from 1934 to 1971. These luxurious beds simply play off of the black and white color scheme that is iconic to the Chanel brand. Although you may notice some similarities to other items featured in this post, like the diamond print created by the tufted buttons, the curved edges (photo 2) and the use of leather.
As for the bedding, my recommendation would be to keep it simple and luxurious with white and pastels (preferably pale pink). This 1,020 threads per inch Egyptian cotton bedding by Sferra available at Horchow.com would do the trick.I love the fact that it is offered both in white and pale pink.
When you’re keeping it simple with white though, there are many more affordable alternatives, like this coverlet from JC Penny.
As we all know, a boudoir is never complete without a dressing table. I adore this antique black French vanity with gold accents from Homesdirect365.co.uk, which retails for £630.
I would love to see this beautiful dressing table paired with a Lucite Chiavari Chair or Louis Ghost Chair. Chanel was known for designing and wearing statement costume jewelry, which was often made in-part with lucite. In addition, this Chiavari Chair, though of Italian origin, resembles bamboo (and we know Coco loved Chinoiserie design) and a Louis Chair is about as french as the Eiffel Tower. The Lucite Chiavari Chair can be found at Perch New Orleans and the Louis IV Ghost Chair at Amazon.com.
Or, if you prefer a stool, you could opt for this little gem, whose crossed legs resemble the “X” of the stair rail leading to Coco Chanel’s apartment. The silver is not really in the color scheme though, so you may wish to take a can of black or gold spray paint to the legs (although that would be a bit sinful since the silver is so stunning). This stool is available at downtown20.net.
This end table would make a lovely bed side table. If you turn it the other direction (from what is seen in this picture) so that the longest part of the table is against the wall, the curvature on each side would almost give the illusion of an interlocked gold chain. The gold chain woven with leather is a signature look of the Chanel brand and often serves as the shoulder strap of the handbags. It is also often seen in the form of a belt. This mirrored side table is available on Horchow.com and retails for $499 each.
Matching the Parisian trim that I explained at the beginning of this post and keeping with the regal black and white colors of the Chanel brand, this Hollywood Three-Drawer Side Table from Room Service Store is the perfect place to store your clothes (although you may need three side-by-side), office supplies, cosmetics or anything else that you wish. This chest retails for $895.
4. DECOR AND ACCENTS
A good way to incorporate Chanel fragrances into your decor is by taking some empty perfume bottles and turning them into oil candles. To find out more about creating this lovely accent visit the My Little Boudoir post titled, Upcycling: Chanel Perfume Bottle to Oil Candle (click here). I have seen Chanel N°5 oil online, which would be perfect to have your boudoir smelling pretty. You could also spray the perfume as an air freshener, The Hotel Ritz staff would alert the employees at 31 Rue Cambon each day when Coco Chanel left the hotel, so that she was welcomed to work each day with the lovely aroma.
One of the manufacturers of that Coco Chanel used to purchase tweed from for her famous suits from was Linton. When Parisian couturier, Captain Molyneux introduced William Linton to Coco Chanel in the 1920’s, the relationship between the two (businesses) began (and remains today). Chanel is the largest customer of Linton tweeds. You can purchase home goods from Linton, like pillows and throw blankets made of tweed. You can also purchase the fabric if you wish to create your own look (just imagine a nice black and white bolster pillow for the bed made of Linton tweed…what a dream!).
Evident by the many appearances it made in Coco Chanel’s jewelry designs, the Camellia flower was her favorite. A signature look of the Chanel brand is a Camellia flower broach. To bring this look into the boudoir, just place some fresh Camellias in a vase and set them upon your bedside table.
WARNING: Do not get too attached to what I am about to share with you, because some of these items are a hard find. In the top left corner a Chanel tray (likely for in-store use) was given some legs and used as a side table. I believe I read that Nikki Hilton found this at an antique store, so bonne chance finding one. The top right image displays a traditional boudoir essential. I mean, seriously, does any woman with a boudoir not own a sleeping mask? This mask was featured on Chanel.com and can be found in select Chanel boutiques. On the bottom left is a Chanel bath towel, in the event that you have an en suite bathroom. This, too, can be found in select Chanel boutiques. On the bottom right is a Chanel pillow available at 1stDibs.com. In the description it states that the seller was a former Chanel employee, so it is assumed this was not an item that was available for resale.
I know it looks navy blue in this image, but this black and white Jonathan Adler rug matches perfectly with the wall trim and dresser mentioned above. It has that French street sign look. This 8’x10′ rug retails for $2,200 at JonathanAdler.com (it is also available in 2’x3′).
Another boudoir essential, the dressing screen. As you have noticed above, Coco Chanel adorned her apartment in Chinese Coromandel screens. She actually used them as a wall treatment, but in your boudoir, I think they are best used as a dressing screen. It offers you a bit of privacy when dressing if, say, your girlfriends are visiting and you’re choosing what you’re going to wear out for the evening. Just go behind your dressing screen, change in privacy, and step out for the reveal. I particularly like this screen from Bellacor.com because, not only does it have a Chinese touch, it also features a bit of French design as well. And, it is topped off with a flower that resembles the Camellia.
And lastly, before one enters your fabulously designed Chanel inspired boudoir, you can give them a hint of the greatness that they are about to experience by posting an enamel sign on your door with the number 31. The address of Coco Chanel’s original store in Paris is located at 31 Rue Cambon in Place Vendôme, near The Hotel Ritz. These enamel signs can be purchased at Ramsign.com.