Dedicated to creating and making decors
From the first design ideas to the installation of the decors in situ, Féau Boiseries works alongside each interior designer or decorator on their specific project. At the outset, the firm plays a part in the decor’s design and dimensioning, offering advice and inspiration. Then it undertakes every detail of the scheme’s crafting : design drawings, woodworking, ornamentation, finishes, logistics.
The first meeting
More often than not, it all begins with a sketch by the interior designer or decorator who wants to create a unique boiserie decor for their client. From the very first meeting with Guillaume Féau at the showroom in Rue Laugier, the dream starts to take shape.
Wandering through the labyrinth of rooms where over two hundred original boiserie pieces and thousands of documents are brought together, inspires the imagination. You opt for a period – Régence, Rococo, Neoclassical, Empire, or 20th century – and a type of decoration, and even before the visit is over, the design studio can deliver a first drawing of the project on paper, accompanied by an initial estimate of the time frame and budget required.
Following on from this initial communication, we continue to listen attentively and discuss perspectives in a spirit of trust. For our trade, assisting creativity is a passion and a fundamental objective.
The design studio
Once the general design has been agreed upon, a member of the Féau design team visits the location where the decor is to be installed. He or she assesses any technical or geometric constraints in order to produce detailed plans and drawings.
The final drawings document the precise composition of the chosen architectural and decorative elements, and also the integration of modern comforts within the paneling scheme, from air-conditioning to retractable screens. All the necessary information is noted down, including lighting angles that will bring out the best of the architecture and ornamentation. Both in our boiseries and in our team’s working method, precision and attention to detail are prerequisites.
Joinery and woodworking
Woodworking is the central skill involved in all of Féau Boiseries’ projects, including decors in plaster or resin, which are always integrated into wooden structures.
The design studio members are almost all trained joiners, which is significant because it is very important to us that communication with craftspeople remains optimal throughout the making process.
Our decors’ making process faithfully follows the traditional joinery techniques of the 17th century, assembled without any nails or screws, using the age-old technique of mortises and tenons, resulting in very robust creations, while also facilitating assembling and dismantling.
Carved or sculpted ornamentation on wood paneling is immediately eye-catching and is the most captivating feature of Féau Boiseries’ decors. It is the work of artists – woodcarvers – who have the skill to bestow their material with the curve of a fruit or the lightness of a petal.
To achieve each effect, they have mastered dozens of tools, many of which they have made themselves.
Féau Boiseries’ exactingness in ornamentation is renowned within the field of grand interior decoration. It is the result of a very precise exercise in reproducing great sculptors’ best works. The skills it requires have been passed down through our teams for six generations to date.
Working with plaster or resin
Plaster and resin are part of Féau Boiseries’ recognized areas of excellence in creating extraordinary decors.
Plaster has been used in interior decoration since the 19th century. We use it to reproduce selected complex carved elements, through casting in molds, to compose spectacular decors for our clients while keeping project time frames and costs in check.
For resin – a specialty of our firm – the principle is the same : Guillaume Féau, who is also committed to carrying out research to help enhance our clients’ interiors to the utmost, perfected this material in the 1990s, in collaboration with the Haligon workshops. These workshops are famous for having worked with resin in the 1960s – 70s, with Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Dubuffet.
Like wood, both plaster and resin can be covered in paint, gilding, or a patina. This is the point where the making team hands over to our painter-decorators.
Finishes : painting, gilding, and patina
A decor’s finishes can take an infinite array of forms : painting to imitate various types of wood, marble, or stone; Etruscan-inspired decors in the early 19th century taste; romantic scenes in the style of François Boucher… Paneling can be left its natural color. In that case, it is enhanced with skillful timberwork techniques that were perfected in the 19th century. It can also be finished with a monochrome coloring, which makes it look more modern; many contemporary interior designers appreciate this school of understated refinement.
Whether natural or painted, the decors are often embellished with gold. Féau Boiseries’ gilders apply it in the form of gold leaf. For the ultimate in luxury, the metal can then be polished with agate. This procedure develops the contrasts between matt and shiny finishes. It invests decors with even more light, life, and depth.
Fireplaces : working with marble
A fireplace is the focal point of a decor. Féau Boiseries’ exclusive creations would not be compatible with ordinary examples.
The firm’s collection overflows with rare fireplaces from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries that are the work of great designers such as François-Joseph Bélanger, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, and Emilio Terry, or of great royal craftspeople such as the famous bronze worker and gilder Pierre Gouthière.
Féau Boiseries also produces custom-made pieces in collaboration with its clients.
Whether made of marble or bronze, these fireplace mantels inspired by the vast decorative resource of the firm’s collections are made by a network of virtuoso French craftspeople.
Some 80% of the decors that Féau Boiseries creates are installed outside France. This international reach has been part of the firm’s history since the last third of the 19th century. Féau Boiseries’ teams are thoroughly adept in the logistics of these delicate transport operations: pieces are carefully packaged, artworks are transported in secure conditions, and insurance requirements and customs regulations are respected.
The last stage : installation on site
The installation of a decor at the client’s site is traditionally carried out by Féau Boiseries’ teams. Adapting to circumstances – yours, or those of the international context – is part of our remit : for example, during the COVID-19 crisis, we continued to ensure decor installations for our clients via selected partners from our network.
The quality of the installation drawings and the design studio’s responsiveness in assisting these operations ensure the work is achieved to a perfect standard.
project with us
We are happy to hear from interior designers and decorators leading projects that require custom-made decorative schemes.