You are a decoration addict,
but once you’ve closed aside your favorite magazine,
how to adapt the precepts of the experts at home?
Here are some of our favourite personalities who have
been kind enough to share this vision of interior design.
With generosity, they indulge you with their choices,
share tips and inspiring advice.
Cécile, can you introduce yourself?
I was born in Paris and my family are from the Touraine region in France and Italy. I think that these ancient lands gave me a taste for history which was what I originally studied. For a long time travel was my main passion and I journeyed round the world with my husband before we got married. When we got back, we decided to live between Paris and the countryside and set to work renovating a small house in the Morvan region of Burgundy. It’s in the middle of a field with a wonderful view of the lake below. It’s our dream house and we have been living there permanently since the end of 2020.
Your interior design mantra?
« Good things take time. »
What do you think of the concept of good taste?
I think it takes all sorts to make a world and it would be incredibly pretentious to decree what constitutes good and bad taste. Taste is also a question of epoch and it changes all the time. Visionnaries are often misunderstood by their contemporaries and then adored and emulated later on. As Society changes its view, so our tastes shift too.
If you could be a room?
The living room, if I could only be one because by definition its not just for one thing. But if I’m honest I adore the comfort of our master bedroom.
The top 3 things on your bucket list?
This is super personal. For some it would be about travel, bringing up their children, getting involved in a cause, building a beautiful house. For me it’s:
Love – Be loved – Be amazed.
If you were an artist?
A musician, I think. The emotion transmitted by music is something magical for me.
Your dream project?
I would like to design my dream home bringing together all the different styles that I love (with no practical considerations of course, this is a dream after all!). The house would be almost invisible, hidden by the surrounding countryside and it would look onto a mountain lake or the Aeolian islands. My other long term dream is to time travel, but that will probably stay a dream!
Your current obsession?
To design the bespoke furniture that we need for our house. I also want to develop my interiors business with a new proposition offering advice about ergonomy in the home.
Les tips de Cécile
Is Paris over?
Yes, since December. We thought we would spend plenty of time in Paris but lockdown after lockdown hasn’t helped. Oddly I don’t miss Paris at all as we have an incredible quality of life in he countryside. It’s a different lifestyle but it totally works for this moment in our lives.
What is it like to undertake a DIY renovation?
You need to be patient, like to teach yourself things, be happy to invest in really good quality tools and not always look for perfection. Instead, you have to do the best you can and be prepared to start again if you go wrong.
What touches and inspires you and is full of character.
Do you have a favourite colour palette?
Grey green, without hesitation! I love old-fashioned, dull colours which have timeless appeal. I spend a lot of time choosing the colours of paint, textiles and wallpapers. I look for a certain harmony. Last year I created a capsule collection of paints which was a wonderful creative experience.
Paint and / or wallpaper?
Both! Wallpaper is not for the faint hearted. But it’s so easy to hang and in an hour, you can completely transform a room.
What guides you when you are decorating? What makes everything come together?
On the contrary, they are essential! Accessories give a space all its character. And they are easy to buy and financially relatively accessible. Even if you don’t have much storage space you can still change things around according to the seasons or to your mood. Cushions and throws make a home more comfortable and interesting visually. Curtains and blinds make a room warmer and help with soundproofing. As far as lights are concerned, you shouldn’t hesitate to include lots of different ones in a room. You don’t need them all on at once, but you have the choice as to which areas of a room you want to light from one evening to the next.
How do you bring nature inside?
One tends to think of plants and of wood. In our Paris flat I gave a whole wall of the living room over to plants. In the country I have used dried flowers everywhere as I am not at all a fan of cut flowers. Maybe it doesn’t come to mind immediately but stone, patinas and oxidisations are also a way of bringing nature inside. Recently I discovered an amazing material, a sheet of stone that is naturally both opaque and translucent, which I used in our house as an upstand in the kitchen, as a wall decoration and even for a light.
How do you interact with the materials you use?
I would say that I have a contemplative and tactile relationship with materials. I need to love to look at them every day, but they also need to feel lovely and be comfortable. So I use linen for sofas and curtains, oak for tables and polished cement for worktops. I couldn’t imagine having supper at a cold, glass table for example, or sitting outside on plastic or metal.