Conversation avec Florence Bourel - Le Monde Sauvage

In conversation with Florence Bourel


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.

Today we talk to

Florence Bourel


Florence, can you tell us about your career?

I studied design in France and in Italy. After a couple of projects that were edited by Ligne Roset I started to work on cultural signage. For about ten years I worked on some incredible signage and scenography projects in the cultural arena for places such as the Cité universitaire de Paris and the château de Fontainebleau.

Exterior signage, Château de Fontainebleau

But after a while the pull of design and in particular creating furniture and objects became too strong. So for the past ten years, I have been designing objects, furniture, rugs, lights and home accessories for brands like Hermès,Saint-Louis, Toulemonde Bochart, Diptyque and of course Le Monde Sauvage!


Colour, pattern and craftsmanship are at the heart of what I do

I was born and grew up in Africa. The strong and colourful images that are central to my work have all been influenced by memories from my childhood. I like to mix different influences and materials and play with pattern and colour; it’s like therapy for me. I also like to create a dialogue between my colourful, patterned designs and traditional craftsmanship to bring a modern slant to long-lasting, hand-crafted objects.

Craft skills, weaving a carpet

I would say that this is one of the things that all my clients have in common: high-quality craftsmanship is always at the heart of our projects. I like to work hand in hand with craftsmen and women. And to learn from them in the same way that they can also gain experience from working with a designer. It’s a constant conversation that inspires and feeds me creatively. When you work with an artisan, you are helping to maintain traditional methods of craftsmanship and creating objects that will last and that you will want to keep as they are totally unique.

And the winner is…



InJanuary 2022 I was honoured to receive the French Design 100 prize along side many incredible names from the world of interior design. The ceremony took place at the Élysée Palace and the prizes were awarded by the President,Emmanuel Macron, together with Philippe Starck who was the driving force behind the event. The prize recognises design and interiors projects (and the designer behind them) that help to promote French design on the global stage. Myprize winning project was a mirror that I created for Hermès Petit h.It was an incredible way to celebrate more than ten years of working with Hermes and their incredible craftsmen and women.

Hermès Petit h, 3D leather mirror

It also gave me the encouragement and inspiration to keep working on new designs.

Florence Bourel x Le Monde Sauvage

Béatrice contacted me because she had seen one of my projects where she had particularly appreciated my use of colour. She wanted to work alongside a designer to create a range of sofas for Le Monde Sauvage. 

We hit it off immediately and started working together on the first sofa, the Mirleft.

She had a very precise set of requirements in mind, and in particular the idea that one person should be able to sleep on the sofa, like on a daybed. She wanted the shape to be contemporary but also comfortable and relaxing, with a style that was identifiable as Le Monde Sauvage. From the moment we started to work together and all through the process, I loved working with Béatrice. 

It was a true exchange of ideas over an extended period of time with lots of wonderful challenges. Just the kind of partnership I love!

Mission canapé

The project evolved over a number of different phases. First of all, we identified a number of different themes together - so fabrics, moods, colours – and we created a moodboard to help us decide what THE perfect Le Monde Sauvage sofa would look like. Then I presented my proposals to Béatrice: a simple, timeless structure, a big topper on the seat cushion and a long, XXL cushion on the sofa back. Every element can be personalised to create a totally bespoke sofa. The prototype and the first versions were made in bespoke fabrics with a pretty strong identity, like the Mirleft moldave for example

Next the Deià Collection was launched, which is a more ‘standard’ range but that can still be personalized. It’s a complete collection including a daybed, a bench, a half sofa and an armchair that you can mix and match according to the space. As with the Mirleft sofa, you can still add a topper and the super-sized back cushions, but for this range we made a structure with a loose cover. It was a real challenge to create a modular collection from scratch with a wide choice of possible combinations and finishes as you have to try to imagine (and draw) all the different modules and configurations in advance.

In the final phase Béatrice and her team developed a selection of fabrics in an amazing variety of colours so that you really can create a completely unique sofa.

Sofa tips

Forme, a beautiful sofa is a mix of comfort, a beautiful shape, a mix of textiles and harmonious colours and a smattering of pattern. And you need to trust your instinct! Anything should be possible and there is no such thing as a standard sofa! But if you don’t want to run the risk of creating something multi-coloured with no harmony, I would advise using no more than two colours and two fabrics. This will give you a strong base that you won’t get fed up with and that you can accessorize by adding smaller cushions or a throw.So, if you really want pattern you can go for a single colour on the main structure with patterned cushions for example.

At the moment, I seem to be combining blue and green quite a lot, like in my Sonia rug for Toulemonde Bochart or in my last tableware collection for Diptyque where I used aquamarine in the patterns. So for this sofa I went for a mix of deep yet fresh colours, like the Vadim green linen (Amazonie) for the cover of the main structure, and the Fitzgerald bleu (Barcelone) for the seat cushion and then for the back I used the green Highlands linen (Béryl). As for dimensions and how to arrange them, I would go for two XXL sofas facing each other (250 cm). Now I just need to find the room to put them in!

Let there be light!

After our first sofa collaboration, Béatrice asked me to think about a collection that would mix the brand’s iconic wallpaper with a lamp or a light. She wanted to create something that would allow light to be diffused on or through the wallpaper patterns. In my first proposal I started with a lampshade. I imagined them like big, suspended parasols decorated with the patterns of the wallpaper.We worked on them with a French company that specializes in making lampshades.We made a number of prototypes and finally, after quite a bit of work on the original model, the ‘Paloma’ ceiling light was born! The collection exists in three different sizes and a number of wallpaper designs. The biggest one looks amazing over a dining table as it creates a really intimate atmosphere.

The smaller ones work perfectly as bedside lights hanging down on either side of the bed or as a reading light above a chair in the sitting room. The three different sizes can also be hung together to create a chandelier effect.

Quite quickly after the launch of the Paloma, we started working on a wall version.The Joséphine B. wall lights are made from wallpaper with a fringe around the base (they are also now available in a version without a fringe) in a wide variety of Le Monde Sauvage fabrics and papers.

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