MFCH Table Talks: Charles Spada

by ally redmond

man in grey posing in front of white background

This past Saturday, I went Live on Instagram for a “MFCH Table Talk” with renowned interior designer and antique specialist Charles Spada. A lover of vintage, architecture and design, Charles nurtured a deep love of France since childhood. He’s scoured markets across Europe for over two decades to secure the best and most unique 18th, 19th & 20th-century finds for his antiques showroom at the Boston Design Center, which specializes in an eclectic mix of antique and contemporary furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, fabrics and wallpapers.

For our May/June 2020 My French Country Home issue, we were fortunate to have Charles contribute a personal and heart-felt piece that shares his experience of the last night he spent at his former French home – the Manoir de Berthouville – a Norman hunting lodge built in 1652.

brick home in normandy front view

Did you miss our Live? Listen to the full conversation via my podcast below!

You’ll hear us chat about Charles’ love of France, how he came to buy (and restore) his beautiful second home in Normandy and hear him read an extract from his gorgeous piece (for access to the full piece, purchase our May/June 2020 issue HERE).


brick home in normandy

For more conversations with people who inspire me, follow my podcast “MFCH Table Talks.” 


Carolyn G Haley May 27, 2020 - 3:31 am

I listened to the entire IG broadcast and I found Charles to be so charming as most of your viewers did. I can certainly see why he inspires you. That same day I purchased a subscription to your magazine which also allowed me to see the past magazines digitally which was a pleasant surprise. I’ve only looked at the last one, won’t look at the latest one because I want to enjoy it in my hands. I cannot wait until it arrives. This is the first time here on your blog that I have seen the house that Charles renovated and I am just blown away. I can certainly see why he choked up on the broadcast when he talked about leaving his beloved Manoir de Berthouville.

Sharon, I just can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog and I’m looking forward to receiving the magazine for more inspiration. Of course, your garden is amazing. I love to garden but am having quite a time keeping up with all the weeds especially since we are now in our usual rainy season. I’ve recently hired some help with that since it can be overwhelming. BTW, I met you at your book signing here in Tallahassee, FL at Hearth and Soul (Susie is a friend) and I knew then you would be a tremendous inspiration. Your last IG live broadcast, reinventing oneself, extremely interesting. I do wish you could come back for another book signing if you go on tour again.

Carolyn G Haley

Sharon Santoni May 27, 2020 - 6:03 pm

HI Carolyn, Thank you for your very kind comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed my chat with Charles and also the reinvention video.

I have very fond memories of the book signing at Hearth & Soul and the amazingly warm welcome that I received. Thank you for staying in touch since that first meeting.

Take care


charles spada May 27, 2020 - 6:02 pm

Thank you Haley, glad you enjoyed the conversation. Best Charles

Virginia Billeaud Anderson May 27, 2020 - 9:21 pm

This was lovely. I fully agree with Charles about the awful 1950s style.

GL Gardener May 27, 2020 - 10:42 pm

I loved reading his piece in the magazine.
Interesting man.
Would have loved to have seen the interiors of his home.

Sharon Santoni May 28, 2020 - 10:01 pm

I think if you pop onto Pinterest and search for Charles Spada Berthouville, you’ll find the lovely photos that were published in Veranda magazine a few years back. 🙂

Steven May 27, 2020 - 11:14 pm

Sharon – lovely to hear your voice and delightful to meet Mr. Spada in this way. I am familiar with his published projects and was touched by the passage he read about saying farewell to his beloved home. I have never considered myself a collector although I started buying in my early teens. I prefer accumulator, or short term caretaker, but share his, and your, interest in and passion for French decorative arts. What fun it would have been to have a showroom during the ‘heyday’. I hope he is correct that interest in antiques will revive, although bargains abound at the moment. Thank you for sharing this interview.

Sharon Santoni May 28, 2020 - 10:00 pm

Hi Steven, thank you for your kind comment.

I also loved the moment when Charles read out loud from his written piece. Very poignant and evocative. I’m so glad you enjoyed our chat together 🙂


Vicky from Athens May 28, 2020 - 3:16 am

Sharon, I so enjoyed this table talk with Mr. Spada. His emotional attachment to his home is so touching and poignant. I definitely agree with his take on “mid century modern”. I grew up with it . . . didn’t like it then, don’t like it now. Too cold! Mr. Spada brings to mind a man here in Georgia, Furlow Gatewood, who has bought and moved houses to his property and redone, refurbished and furnished them with gorgeous antiques. There is a beautiful book about him . . . “One Man’s Folly”.
I could’ve listened to you and Mr. Spada talk on and on. What a fascinating man. Thanks so much for sharing him with us.. I’ll replay this interview more than once.
I agree with Carolyn . . . please come back for another book signing. We met at your signing in Marietta,GA so, of course, since then I’ve felt a special connection with you and your blog.
Again. Thanks so much for sharing Mr. Spada and his home with us!

Sharon Santoni May 28, 2020 - 9:59 pm

Dear Vicki, Thank you for your comment, and yes I totally agree about Charles. He and I have been in contact for a couple of years via email and the occasional call, but I regret that we have never met …. and I certainly would have loved to have known him when he had his home here!
Of course I remember meeting you in Marietta, and how you so kindly gifted me seeds from your garden:)

Maybe one day another book tour, or a magazine tour! that could be fun! So much to look forward to, once this covid is behind us.
Take care


Steven May 29, 2020 - 1:32 am

Hi, Vicki – thanks for the tip on Furlow Gatewood. I found the book on I look forward to receiving it.

Best regards from East Cobb!

Vicky from Athens May 29, 2020 - 2:23 am

I hope you will be as blown away by the book as I. My mother went to school with Furlow … he was older but his brother was Mother’s age and in a town as small as Americus everyone knew everyone! Three years ago Mother, a cousin and I went to Americus and spent an afternoon at Furlow’s. After our hellos he said ‘you girls (meaning my cousin and me) just go look around while Stella (my mother) and I catch up! All of the houses were open to us and what a treat! What eye candy! What a wonderful place to visit! Just heaven to an antique lover! Enjoy that book!!!!

Vicky from Athens May 29, 2020 - 12:59 pm

Sharon, I’m so impressed AND flattered that you remember me. It was such a treat to meet you and talk with you that hot summer day! I hope our paths cross again some day. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to whatever you do next. And thanks again for bringing Mr. Soada into our homes. I loved meeting him through you!

All the best,

Vicky May 29, 2020 - 1:02 pm

Oops! Typo! Sorry I misspelled Mr. Spada’s name!

Amit kackrot June 1, 2020 - 5:35 pm

Beautiful soul Mr Charles Spada , so blessed to be able to hear your story . Legend of design

Janice Baker June 4, 2020 - 4:41 am

Dear Sharon, big thank you once again for bringing us a very interesting conversation with Charles Spada. Loved hearing about the house and his love of France. So clever to be able to have it as a pod cast for I generally miss the Live Talks . Thank you for sharing with us. Kind regards Janice x


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