I expressed myself in what touched me all my life; in houses, gardens, furniture, ornamentation, and interior design, where imagination, emotion plays.

Madeleine Castaing

Madeleine Castaing at a Glance

Ten things to know about France’s Grande Dame of Decoration

Madeleine Castaing, c. 1925

Castaing made her debut as a silent film actress and was nicknamed the French Mary Pickford.

She met her husband, art critic Marcellin Castaing, when she was only 16 years old. He was 20 years her senior. 

Castaing was a friend and patron to Modigliani, Picasso and Soutine. 

Her portrait by the latter, La Petite Madeleine des décorateurs, is now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Jean Cocteau and New Wave filmmaker Roger Vadim were among her clients.

Castaing insisted on living with a client for 24 hours to understand their wants and needs before designing their interior.

She opened an antique shop in 1940 on the Left Bank which remained opened until 12 years after her death in 1992.

Her unique aesthetic, which drew from inspiration from literature, antiquity and Neoclassical traditions, was dubbed Le Style Castaing.

She loved mixing eclectic pieces (both high and low) and was known for creating chic vignettes in the windows of her Parisian boutique. 

Her color palette consisted primarily of reds, greens, black and her signature Bleu Castaing—a vibrant robin’s egg blue.