Cordelia de Castellane, the artistic director for Dior Home and Dior Baby, is a chic and sophisticated creative with an irrepressible sense of gaiety. That’s part of why she is a natural hostess, a talent that is chronicled in her forthcoming Rizzoli book: Life in a French Country Home: Entertaining for All Seasons. The book is a passion project slated to be published this October, and it features photographs by frequent AD contributor Matthieu Salvaing. Dinner parties and French fêtes aside, de Castellane is also a veritable expert on what exactly makes for a happy home—something she distills below into five essentials.
Objects Imbued With Meaning
“First of all, personal things!” De Castellane tells AD PRO. What exactly does that entail? “[Items] that have memories and that mean something to you… Things from a trip, family, or that were found somewhere. For me, this is indispensable.”
Books, Books, and More Books
De Castellane believes that a house must have books. “I love [them] and am a collector. I [like] for them to accumulate everywhere.” She insists that “a house without books has no soul.”
De Castellane’s third piece of advice involves flowers. This one is hardly a surprise, considering the house of Dior’s rich history of incorporating blossoming plants into various collections. “Even with a modest budget, I tell my friends to just go to the market and buy a bundle of flowers,” de Castellane says. “I pick them in the garden and I love [to have] seasonal blooms all over the house.” The Parisian is even known to rearrange bouquets received as gifts, taking them apart and putting them back together her way.
Tip number four involves scent. “I like houses that smell like something,” the designer says. How is this accomplished? Candles and perfumed sprays, she explains. “I am loyal to a few depending on the season… In Paris it’s lily-of-the-valley candles from Dior. In the country, I love [Cire] Trudon and also Diptyque.” (When it comes to that latter brand, she is partial to Baies, Fig, and, for Christmas, Feu du Bois.) “Certain smells are so comforting and somehow, they envelop me when I enter the house,” de Castellane notes. “This is what a home should be… Comforting with a sense of security.”
Last but not least: “Kids at home! That’s wonderful, the joy,” de Castellane says with a smile. “Some people like silence, but not me.”