House Tour: The Personality in International Fusion Decor, Part 2

Marion Hartwich combines her favorite bits of international decor with her personal flair, such as black-and-white French style peppered with her favorite collectibles. From her kitchen to her garden, her style blends seamlessly.

This is Part 2 of a house tour; if you’re just joining us, don’t miss out on Part 1 here.

Romantic French Kitchen
Marion used a black-and-white color palette in her kitchen to complement her collections, which she displays on white shelves.


Her fondness for the French aesthetic is seen both inside and outside her tract-turned-cottage home. Her kitchen and master bath are dressed in the familiar black-and-white French color palette—which she likes to contrast with red fabrics for a pop of color—and her garden table is set with French bistro fare, such as baguettes, fresh figs, edible flowers (they add a peppery taste when sprinkled over cheese, Marion says) and, of course, the cheese itself, set on a platter of grape leaves. “I always use real grape leaves because they make the food taste better,” she explains. “They have curly tendrils that are sculptural, and I use them in my flower arrangements as well.”

Romantic French Outdoor Dining
Marion uses pops of color to accent her two-toned French decor for her outdoor dining.


Her garden is English in style, with its manicured boxwood hedges that surround grassy expanses dotted with fountains, vintage statues of cherubs and classical busts. French gravel provides an easy walking path for guests. During one of her antique-shopping excursions, Marion found a rusted wrought-iron white vintage table and chairs, which she placed under trees for shade.

Romantic French Collections
Among Marion’s collectibles are soup tureens, pillboxes from her mother and a ceramic Staffordshire dog. “This Staffordshire dog was missing his mate when I saw it in the store; I bought it so it has a home,” she says.


In her kitchen, Marion has assembled an interesting mix of black-and-white accessories displayed on shelves. Among the serving pieces sits a Staffordshire terrier figurine to whom Marion has conjured up an unusual pedigree. “Staffordshire dogs are normally sold in pairs, but this one was missing his mate in the store,” she says. “I felt bad for it, so I bought so it has a home.”

Romantic Master Bedroom
Marion calls the portrait in her bedroom “my mom,” but it is not really a portrait of her mother but a remarkable likeness of her that she spotted in an antiques store when she was living in Virginia. She has had it for 25 years. The other painting, an old hand-painted Italian watercolor of a parrot, reflects Marion’s love of birds.


Marion’s fascination with nature is another major component in her designs. “I call my house ‘The Nest’ because it is so small and filled with stuff, like an egg,” she explains. She loves watching birds, and has several birdbaths in her garden for her enjoyment as well as that of her feathered friends. “It’s in the middle of the city, like an oasis. There’s a yellow-tail hawk that comes to rest on the birdbath and looks majestic sitting there, like he’s in paradise. Guests say that when they come through the garden gate it’s like a secret garden, tucked away and peaceful.”

Much like the birds she enjoys watching from her windows, Marion has feathered her nest into a comfortable home where she can nourish her body and soul while letting her spirit take flight as she sets course for her next design adventure.

By Meryl Schoenbaum

Photography by Bret Gum

Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

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