House Tour: The Personality in International Fusion Decor, Part 1

In a recent post, we introduced you to interior designer Marion Hartwich, whose expertise in international fusion flair provided tips for classic French outdoor dining. Now, take a tour through her gorgeous romantic-style home and see how she puts her theories into practice.

Dramatic Romantic Flair
Marion painted the living-room walls red to add warmth, passion and drama to the space.


Marion works from the comfort of her home studio, but her vision extends far beyond those four walls. Her decor style is a rich tapestry that has been woven from a life lived in Europe and both coasts of the United States. She calls it “fusion”— not to be confused with eclectic. Marion’s style is much more deliberate than a hodgepodge of disparate pieces. It manages to be warm and sophisticated, simple yet worldly. She blends different elements of the distinct cultures into a harmonious mix that never fails to delight the eye.

Romantic living room
One of Marion’s design philosophies is to always put a bit of animal print and stripes in a room. In the sitting area of her living room, she used a zebra-print footstool as an accent piece. The parquet floor is original to the house, which was built in 1962.


Marion applies her design philosophies to her own home as well as those of her clients, most of whom live near her Costa Mesa, California, studio in South Orange County. “If you have pretty things, you should put them out and enjoy them, not tuck them away in a closet,” she says. “It will make you happy to look at them.” Antiques and vintage pieces are foremost among the pretty things she displays in her home. “I’m a hunter and a gatherer,” she says. “It’s so much more fulfilling than going into a shop and buying something mass-produced or reproduced. I like the stories that come with vintage pieces. I’m giving them a second life.” Marion respects the workmanship and patina of old things. “I love their shape and simplicity—especially the creamy, antique-white color of the French style,” she says.

Romantic French Master Bathroom
Using her creative spirit, Marion put grasscloth on the walls of her black-and-white French-style master bath. The Italian sconces, from the 1940s or ’50s, were from her stepmother’s house in Switzerland. The iron stand on the left of the counter keeps everyday jewelry within easy reach. Two starfish above the mirror are a “whimsical touch to liven up a boring wall,” Marion says.

Want to see how Marion’s favored French style translate into her kitchen? See more of Marion Hartwich’s home in Part 2.

By Meryl Schoenbaum

Photography by Bret Gum

Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

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