What to do when you are mad about interior designand
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.
Today we talk to
Florence, can you introduce yourself?
I’m a southerner by birth and have been involved in a Parisian love affair for more than thirty years! I love the light, the colours, the flowers, the jam-packed terraces and the happy people. Not necessarily in that order.
What kind of an entrepreneur are you?
A passionate one. I founded « L’Appartement » in 2005 with two very talented friends. There was no Excel, no business plan. But I did it with all my heart and all my energy. And it has worked better than I could ever have hoped. Over the past twelve years we have worked with some of the best cosmetics brands. In 2017, we decided to rename the agency « L’Appartement parisien » to stress the french touch which has become our signature. We’ve also opened an interior design arm. Today people tend to think of us as stylists of places, brands and products.
What is your decorating mantra?
What do you think of the concept of good taste?
For me, when you are sincere in your choices and true to yourself, there is no such thing as bad taste. Bad taste would be when you copy someone else, or go for a total look by one designer. I prefer to take risks.
If you were one room in the house?
The kitchen, without hesitation. It’s the nerve centre of the home. I’m sure that comes from my southern roots. In Provence, everything happens in the kitchen. It’s where the family meets, where the gossiping happens, where secrets get shared. I designed my flat around the kitchen which is completely open and I put a bar right in the middle, like in a Provençal village! It’s where we have breakfast with the children, have a drink with our friends, put the world to rights until the middle of the night. It’s where time stands still.
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
To love madly
To be in a permanent state of wonder
To dream, always
An artistic period that you particularly admire?
I’m a big fan of the 60s, of pop art, the Factory, Twiggy, Verner Panton, Eero Aarnio. I particularly love the creativity of that period, how colourful, optimistic, light and full of humour it was. And deeply sensual from a visual perspective.
Your dream project?
I have so many! Personally, it would be to be able to split my life between Paris and Provence. Professionally, to decorate a hotel in Paris, where each room would be completely different, like a big family home where you could go regularly to rest and feel inspired.
Florence's decorating tips
Let there be light!
I like there to be as much indirect light in a house as possible to create a warm and cosy feel. I don’t use overhead lights much, except in the entrance and only if I find something truly majestic! And no spotlights either, not even in the bathroom where I try to keep things intimate and not too bright. It makes you look so much more beautiful ;)
I love to mix and match multiple bouquets to create the sensation of being in a colourful, scented conservatory. I like seasonal flowers in oversized bouquets that are a bit wild. A flower-filled flat is an invitation to feel good. And when you add cushions, throws and rugs in a joyful, floral mélange, you feel like you are setting off on an exotic journey.
Colour = energy
I love colour, colours and mixing colours. I like pink to make you look healthy, yellow to bring the sunshine inside, and green, the colour of hope. Colour makes life more beautiful and makes you smile. It’s an incredible source of energy.
I use furniture, fabric and accessories to add colour. On the walls I tend to use neutral colours which mean you can be daring elsewhere. They act like a blank page on which you can write a wild story full of unbridled creativity.
How many cushions on a sofa?
As many as possible! I like to accumulate cushions in different fabrics, patterns and colours. I like to mix and match cushions in a glorious pile of colour.
I like to glorify the soul of a home
I like houses with a history. I like to make a home live again, to write the next chapter in a story, to take apart the past and put the different elements back together in a different order. I prefer old walls that tell a story, places that are full of memory where you catch yourself imagining all of the different lives they have seen.
I like to glorify the soul of a home whilst respecting the details, the original materials and the style. I love working with artisans who possess the knowledge, the skills, the experience and the eye to give life back to a space. Renovation is the work of a team, it’s about shared passion and a shared desire.
Should decorating be taken seriously?
Not at all! For me, decoration is like a never-ending game, a way to brighten up the day to day. So I like to change an interior as the seasons evolve, as my mood changes or as I meet people. I like to think I have a sense of daring, of irreverence, that I take risks, make improbable associations, like mixing styles and eras. It’s the best way I have found to make a home both personal and true.