By Ellin Stein
Updated Jul 25, 2014 @ 1:19 pm
Credit: Courtesy of Chanel

Legendary couturiere Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel’s Paris apartment has remained exactly as she left it since her death in 1971, complete with a bejeweled birdcage, leather-bound books, gilt Venetian mirrors, Chinese lacquer screens, rock crystal chandeliers (embellished with her trademark double-C motif), a mirrored staircase (above), and paired ornamental animals including terracotta camels, earthenware horses, and gilded lions (Coco was a Leo).

Noted artist and now director Sam Taylor-Johnson (known as Taylor-Wood before she married Aaron Johnson, the star of her John Lennon biopic, Nowhere Boy) has been one of the lucky few allowed into the residence on the second floor above the original Chanel headquarters at 31 Rue Cambon. While taking time off from directing the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, Taylor-Johnson documented the private Chanel’s style in 45 images that will be shown in an exhibition called "Second Floor: The Private Apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel." It will run for 10 days from Sept. 12 at London’s Saatchi Gallery, where a limited-edition box set of 10 prints chosen by the artist will also be available. For those who can’t make it over, a book of the photographs will be published by in December by Steidl.