Discovering Hotel de la Marine

Hotel-de-la-MarineIt was with utter delight on a recent trip to Paris, that I was recommended by a fellow French dealer, to visit the newly renovated and opened Hotel de la Marine on the Place de Concorde in Paris.

I’m not going to tell you anything about it,’ she said. ‘But if you do nothing else while you’re here, you MUST go and see this.’

For anyone with a penchant for beautiful things, but more-so, for beautiful things put together beautifully, she was absolutely right. It was, without a doubt, the most wonderful house museum I’ve yet to see. It is the restored 18th century apartments of Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville-d’Avray, Louis XV’s Intendant of the Garde-Meuble, and it was designed and built between 1757 and 1774 by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel.

Unsure of what to expect, I stepped inside the walls of Hotel de la Marine and spent the next three hours utterly enthralled.

Step by step, piece by piece I devoured this wonderful museum – in fact, I found myself re-entering rooms I’d just left, in an effort to sear into my memory the sheer beauty and detail…and prolong the experience.

The historic building is located on the Place de la Concorde in Paris and is the original home of the royal Garde-Meuble, the office managing the furnishing of all royal properties.

The History of Hotel de la Marine

Hotel-de-la-MarineFollowing the French Revolution it became the Ministry of the French Navy, which occupied it until 2015 before being entirely renovated between 2015 and 2021 for its current purpose, displaying the restored 18th century apartments of Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville-d’Avray, the King’s Intendant of the Garde-Meuble.

What was different about this house that took our breath away and left us gasping for more?

Where do I start?

The Restoration of Hotel de la Marine

A restoration done with incredible skill, for so often restorations incorporate furniture and detail that disappoints. The knowledge of the furniture of the time, and appreciation of how it should be used to create beautiful and inviting interiors within the Hotel de la Marine was profound. Each piece of furniture acknowledged, described and explained in wonderful detail.

Hotel-de-la-MarineSet up as a home, one almost expected those that had occupied the palace were in fact still living there, and might pop their heads around the corner at any moment. The audio was spoken as if by the owner of the house. I have never seen rooms put together quite as beautifully as the rooms in this house.

Of all the many rooms through the property, the one that stands out in my mind, was the dining room and at risk of sounding exaggerated…it was staggering. Interestingly, while utterly traditional in its Louis XVI inception, it mixed formal marquetry with decorated furniture in a way that had relevance to elegant, contemporary homes today. Light, bright, airy with exquisite hand-painted wallpapers and a silk embroidered tablecloth and chairs that made my eyes water. Each place setting had its own white porcelain figurine and fruit to match the tablecloth. It was a fine example of how formal furniture paired with painted pieces and more informal furnishings can juxtapose beautifully to make for a very inviting interior.

The bathroom in Hotel de la Marine was a fun and inspiring space and I left wondering how I could take lessons for my own. Absolutely ahead of its time in modernity, the stand-alone bath was perfectly placed between a fireplace and day bed on the opposing wall. Because why not!

The website for those interested is – it gives a detailed history and some wonderful imagery!

Hotel-de-la-MarineSince our recent return from our Europe, I find myself longing to return to walk those rooms – unequivocally some of those most beautiful I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.

Most importantly, take the advice of my French friend – if you do nothing else whilst you’re in Paris, you must see this.

We highly recommend you take a tour through Hotel de la Marine next time you’re in Paris. Until then however, you can take a walk through here.

To be inspired by furniture similar to that which we saw at the Hotel de la Marine, browse through our beautiful collection.