A lesson in interior style: learn from the pros from the comfort of your own home
Style advice, design tips and decorating wisdom.
Today we talk to
Aude, tell us who you are ?
I am Parisian born and bred. And I am 50 so I’ve had the time to do quite a few things. I love my little family. They are my rock.
I studied applied arts at Olivier de Serres, specialising in textile design and colour. I now work as an interior stylist, so I give people interior design advice and work on photoshoots. I also work as an influencer and partner with a number of different brands and incredibly talented designers like Béatrice Laval (the founder of Le Monde Sauvage), Anne Boghossian and Nathalie Gagneux.
In nearly 30 years in the business I have had two boutique / galleries, taught textile design and visual arts at art college, been an interiors editor for Marie-Claire Maison, been a pattern designer for a variety of fashion and interiors brands and worked for a number of different textile and wallpaper designers.
I like to contemplate things and I find inspiration everywhere.
I love to look at the vast Normandy skies; I like textures, faded colours that have lived and old, peeling walls…
I’m a real jack of all trades and I’m super sensitive and super creative. I don’t think my brain ever stops and I exhaust my husband and my son. I’m the kind of person who stops to take a photo in the middle of a conversation because I find something inspiring. My son thinks I’m mad. We laugh about it a lot because he’s just like me.
What is your decorating mantra?
What do you make of the concept of good taste?
I think the notion of good taste is something a bit too codified that reflects the cultural rules of the society we live in. In truth, there are as many tastes as there are sensibilities and people. I particularly admire people who ignore diktats and espouse a more singular style. I’m much too shy to dare to go that far. But I’m getting better at freeing myself from the rules.
If you could be a room what would you be?
The living room, the sitting room, the family room, whatever you want to call it. The place where the family comes together to share, eat, create, read, dream, work, danse and even sleep in our case!
The top three things on your bucket list?
- To take up painting again.
- To have a house by the sea, in Trouville in Normandy ideally.
- A road trip on the west coast of France from the northern tip to the Basque country.
If you were an artist?
Colette because she was free and simple, a woman who was thoroughly modern but also full of contradictions. She was in love, loved the good things in life and was an exceptional artist.
Your dream project?
I dreamed of having my own store which I did for ten years. Today I prefer to grab opportunities as they present themselves and in doing so, I have ended up working on some amazing projects. The unexpected allows us to do things that we hadn’t imagined. I try to be open to what might come my way and to listen out for opportunities. I am not a planner. I’m not scared of failure as that is what allows us to better ourselves and to move forward.
Your current obsession?
To spend time with my son who is growing up so fast.
We live in a teeny 2 roomed flat which measures about 44 m2. Our son has the bedroom, so we have had to be quite imaginative in terms of combining our need for intimacy and for space. The bed can become a sofa and just like that, the space is completely transformed.
How do you go about furnishing a small space?
The best way is to choose small, light furniture that can be moved easily. So, a small, narrow table, a little sideboard, pieces that can be moved easily and that take up as little space as possible so as to make a room look bigger. Basically, you need to cheat ;)
How do you create a seriously good-looking sofa?
How can you change your interior without spending too much?
Invest in coloured linen sheets, cushion covers in beautiful fabrics and patterned eiderdowns which you can change according to your mood. Over time you end up with a beautiful collection. Go for timeless classics so as not to get caught up in trends or seasons. Personally, I like to buy really good quality fabrics, even if that means having less. You never get tired of things that you have spent time acquiring. I also hunt around for vintage pieces and apart from the beds, most things in my flat are second hand. It’s the best way to get things that are unique, not too expensive and not harmful to the planet.
What are your lighting tips?
I love to have lots of lamps to create an atmosphere that’s really cosy. I mix lights by designers with vintage lamps that I find in markets or online.
Do you like to use wallpaper from floor to ceiling or just here and there?
I love using wallpaper everywhere, including on the ceiling! I love to dress up a room and can’t bear a white wall with no personality. I still have one in the flat and I really need to do something about it. So, yes to wallpaper, including the trompe l’œil ones, and paintings and mirrors!
Rugs: under the table or in the middle of the living room, or both?
Ideally a large rug under the sofa and the table. With one condition though: it needs to be unique and handmade, like these moldavian rugs.
Detail is everything:
how do you give character to an interior that lacks it?
It’s all in the mix and the way things are accumulated. I love an interior that’s always changing, where nothing is fixed or forever. It’s like a game, a sort of creative laboratory that evolves as you find new things (especially when, like me, you are addicted to markets and hunting for treasures). I love shelves that groan under the weight of books, armchairs that show the hand of time, velvet cushions, a mix of eras and provenances. You really need to shy away from stereotypes or rigidly defined, symmetrical interiors.
There should be a hint of strangeness... or even bad taste!
What should you show and what should you hide?
You can show almost anything, except the electrical stuff. So, no televisions, no plugs, no toasters or kettles. I love it when an interior is whimsical and poetic. I have to admit to arranging my bookshelf aesthetically rather than logically or practically. So I organise art books by colour, novels too. And when I have paperbacks that are really ugly, I turn them round so you only see the white paper side! It looks like I haven’t made an effort but in reality…