Who We Are

Belle Maison Interior Design founder Catherine Engelmeyer on her French cultural heritage, design philosophy and passion for the work. 

“Growing up in Paris I remember going to old chateaus and walking through the rooms and beautiful gardens. It was my favorite after school activity. I would observe the fabrics, colors, and textures, and spend time figuring out why this pillow matched or why that window treatment was used. Later I studied art history at The Louvre. Some things must be learned but some things, like a sense of scale and color, come naturally. I can look at a room, design it in my mind and know exactly how it will come out. Of course I bring much of my cultural heritage with me—what we call French style, a hard to pin down term. In French we say je ne sais quoi, an indefinable quality that gives a sense of beauty and elegance to a room. Without doubt it is the use of color, the selection of furniture, the mix of textures and the play of light. In the French style your home is a work of art, and for the French there is little in life that is more important that art.

“On an equal footing with art is empathy. It is vital to capture the client’s personality in their home.

“For some this means a home that requires the least amount of work to maintain beauty and elegance. For some, the space must become a glittering atmosphere for entertaining. For others, comfort, like a particularly well-fitting shoe, is of primary importance. Whatever the direction, my goal is to create an interior design of lasting beauty, grace and comfort that exceeds the most discriminating clients’ expectations.

“I’ve come a long way from those walks in the great buildings and parks of Paris. But I retain the desire to make each project a work of art. I am always looking to design the perfect home, which for me is a beautiful French Manoir overlooking the hills of Provence. It would be filled with a generous heaping of stone and millwork, the best silks and other rich fabrics, antique floors and awe inspiring and abundant art work of all kinds. I’ve helped many clients create the home of their dreams; this would be mine.