The interior decorator

Homage to Rose Tascher de la Pagerie

The interior design of this 4-star hotel, which was built on the remains of a 17th-century convent and, somewhat ironically, faces the Hôtel de Chavigny, which Napoleon transformed into a fire station, was entrusted to Bambi Sloan.

Rose is the muse and the thread that runs through the new decoration, rethought and shaken up with a dose of fun by the designer. Bambi Sloan wanted to give credit where credit is due. Joséphine Bonaparte was and will remain a great inspiration to interior designers, starting with Madeleine Castaing who adored the Directoire style. It is Joséphine, after all, who we have to thank for the first leopard print rug.

Bambi Sloan had mischievous fun blurring the lines in an eruption of roses, every possible tone of pink, lozenge-shaped motifs, arrows and marquetry of the period.

The tone is set from the moment one passes through the carriage entrance. The Napoleonic-style tent is entirely designed to evoke Joséphine the lover rather than the battlefields of her husband. It welcomes the visitor beneath a shower of roses originally painted by Redouté in the rose-garden at Malmaison.

Without ever stumbling into historical pastiche or over-attachment to the past, Bambi Sloan reinterprets the style of the Directoire with humour and the touch of Rock n Roll that characterises her work.

For the wall coverings of the hotel’s boudoir like rooms, Bambi went through the archives of French textile manufacturers Le Manach, finding treasures with wonderfully evocative names. La Cocarde, Roses et Dentelles, La Folie Monceau were reprinted exclusively for her by its parent company Maison Pierre Frey. And last but not least, Joséphine would certainly approve Bambi’s choice of her beloved Somalian leopard print.

All the carpets were specially designed by Bambi Sloan for the Hôtel de JoBo: leopard print carpets sprinkled with roses for the bar, lounges and reception, a bed of roses for the corridors, trompe l'oeil marquetry parquet for the rooms. Bambi Sloan decorated all the exposed beams as would befit Joséphine, and reinterprets century old wall paper prints discovered in museums to dress the walls and sometimes even the ceilings with roses, birds and black swans, like those on the lake at Malmaison.

The design is inspired by the Directoire style right down to the detailing of all the carpentry. Even the closets are adorned with lozenge-shaped mirrors to reflect the decor and ligh of "the love nests", as she fondly calls the rooms. The bathrooms are tiled with Marquina and Carrara marble mosaic like those of Ancient Greece, so in vogue in the 18th century.

The lounge bar is furnished with sofas inspired by Joséphine’s own facing a colourful chaos of armchairs in floral and, yes, leopard print velvets. JoBo reigns here as the mistress of the ebullient eccentricity that Bambi Sloan has created for her.