What to do when you are mad about interior design and your favorite store has had to close...
A lesson in interior style: learn from the pros from the comfort of your own home
We turn to the interior designers who we particularly admire and who have been kind enough to share their tips with us.
Style advice, design tips and decorating wisdom.
Eugénie de Mortemart
Eugénie, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Eugénie and I live near Paris with my husband and three children. I trained as a stylist and now I work as an illustrator. In the main, I draw families and children for private clients and clothing brands.
What do you think of the concept of good taste?
To me ‘good taste’ is about being able to remain 100% true to your own taste, to make your own choices and not to copy or reproduce others’ ideas.
If you could be one room in a house?
The kitchen of course because I love to eat!
The top 3 things on your bucket list?
- To take my driving test (and pass it ;-)
- To take my children on a big journey to the States and to show them New York
- To have a holiday home somewhere in France
Your obsession of the moment?
Respect the space
I believe you should furnish a space according to the walls – it’s important to respect the constraints a space can impose upon us. Once you have taken that into consideration, you can start being spontaneous and instinctive. For our home I made up my mind about the wallpaper and the colours really quickly (I can be pretty impatient) and didn’t worry at all about getting fed up with them or regretting my choices. I think it’s best not to overthink things.
In the same way I think it’s important not to overdo the styling and end up with a ‘magazine’ feel that leaves little room for the soul of a house.
It’s also important not to go over the top. You need to be able to breathe. I don’t like rooms that are too full of furniture or objects, even if sometimes the effect can be quite pleasing.
Ageing gracefully or brand spanking new?Ageing gracefully of course!
Do you see similarities between illustration and decoration?
For me the similarity comes from the use of colour which acts as a guiding light for me, both in decoration and illustration. I love to create contrast and relief through colour.
So colour sets the tone?
Colour is essential, at least for me anyway. It’s at the heart of the way I see the world. Daring juxtapositions, subtle tints, mixing and matching prints… It makes me sad that people are often too shy to really use colour, whether it be on a dress or on the walls of a house. The possibilities are endless and it can create such joy.
Is interior decoration static or ever changing?
I change things around all the time. Of course, there are limits linked to the space itself but I love to change things around in a room (including changing what rooms are used for). It gives you the feeling of having moved house without having to go anywhere.
Comfort or conformity?
Comfort first and foremost. But the two are not mutually exclusive. I don’t really like the notion of « conformity » and I can’t really see what it has to do with decorating.
How do you mix interior decoration and family life?
It’s a happy mix as long as you don’t want a static interior where everything has to be in its place all the time. I’ve never had a problem with mixing the two, especially since in our house the children actually give you more decorative possibilities rather than the other way around. Having said that, we never filled the sitting room with toys and baby stuff and when I had no choice we opted for things that fitted with the overall atmosphere of the house.
Bringing nature inside
I’m not really green fingered enough to have lots of plants in the house but there are ALWAYS flowers. I love seasonal flowers that look very natural and aren’t really ‘arranged’. You can use different flowers – a variety of colours, styles and perfumes - to change the atmosphere of a house.
What is the link between fashion and interior styling?
For me, fashion and interior design is exactly the same thing. First you take into consideration the space (or the body in fashion) and you try to maximise its potential and bring out the best features. You can have fun with colour and pattern and be as spontaneous as possible. I always come back to this. It’s perhaps not the easiest bit but I think it’s the key.
For a home to work, it needs to be personal, you need to make independent choices and take risks.