Hhigh and ornate ceilings make me think of Paris, ooh la la. I love these airy, bright and white interiors. Especially combined with a “less-is-more” interior design, neutral colors and rich materials such as velvets, silks and bronzes. This lets the ornate mouldings and panelling play the starring role.

But what is the history of all this beauty? Well, most of these apartment buildings are the brainchild of visionair and architect Baron George Haussmann. He was appointed as Prefect of the Seine (that river running through Paris) by Napoleon III in 1853. During the Industrial Revolution Paris drew a lot of new inhabitants, overcrowding the ancient, medieval districts and spreading disease. Haussmann was tasked to bring order and structure to the chaotic and cramped city. He rigorously demolished whole neighbourhoods and designed a new cityplan with broad avenues and public parcs.

The new architecture was based on Neo-Classicism. After the melodramatic, flamboyant Barox era, followed by the decorative, frivole Rococo period, people were ready for the rational and more austere Neo-Classicism. Although this style was more simplistic, it stell left room for the fanciful and elegant plasterworks on ceilings and walls.

High and Ornate Ceilings

Minimal design combined with classic bones – via The Design Walker

High and Ornate Ceilings

Kopenhagen vintage-designed apartment, I spy the Bertoia chair, and Eames chair and a Serge Mouille look-a-like floorlamp – via CocoLapine

High and Ornate Ceilings

I love the rounded, custom-made cupboards here in the home of Danish architect Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, co-founder of Norm Architects – via Stylejuicers

High and Ornate Ceilings

Vogue editor Lauren Santo Domingo‘s Paris apartment with a gorgeous Warren Platner steel wire chair – via View6008

High and Ornate Ceilings

Example of the ultimate ornately moulded and panelled Paris apartment – designed by Gilles and Boissier

High and Ornate Ceilings

Beautiful high-ceilinged city apartment, I spy the Heracleum chandelier by Moooi and a Le Corbusier chair – via Grace of Spain

High and Ornate Ceilings

via ArchDaily

High and Ornate Ceilings

via Pietro Russo

High and Ornate Ceilings

Beautiful muted violet walls, great ornamented ceiling – from the 2014-2015 catalogue of design store Menu

High and Ornate Ceilings

Detail of ornamental moulding in this Paris apartment designed by Gilles and Boissier

High and Ornate Ceilings

Detail of a column-supported, beamed ceiling

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