He also took care to use local craftsmen, using the very best people he could find. ‘The largest part of the project was finding the right people to do the work,’ he says. ‘Those who did the woodwork were fourth-generation carpenters. We used workshops in St Germain that have been there since Napoleon’s time.’
His diligence paid off – the craftsmen did a sterling job, particularly on the master bathroom. ‘The execution from the marble workers was more than I could have dreamed of,’ he says. ‘It took them about four months to install the marble.’
Which indicates the level of detail involved. ‘I love detail,’ says Henri. ‘The life is in the detail.’ As such, the chairs are upholstered in different fabrics, so you see the room differently depending on where you’re sitting. Pulling off this trick is no easy task – in amateur hands, the result could be messy. So there are certain rules. ‘I try to be tonal,’ says Henri. ‘So you’ll see the same blue, white and cream colours used in the dining room.’ He’s also a great believer in repetition. ‘If you use elements again and again, it’s quite calming,’ he says.
And in a project like this, nothing is left to chance. ‘We very much control everything,’ says Henri. ‘I have more than a dozen files just of details, specs and samples. It was all very much tried and tested beforehand. We’ll make mock-ups and 3D models of things. You can’t order a £20k chandelier and find it doesn’t look right. It needs to be perfect.’