In conversation with Margot Henry
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
Margot, can you introduce yourself?
I’m from Bordeaux. I’ve been passionate about interior design and decorative objects for as long as I can remember. When I was seven, I already knew what I wanted to do so it felt quite natural to study for a master’s in interior design. I’m lucky enough to do what I love and for the last five years I would say that I have rarely had the feeling of ‘going to work.’
My interiors tend to be bright and colourful, with a mix of styles from the sixties and seventies, some contemporary elements, an ethnic touch and something from the natural world. Each home needs to resemble its owner, so I try hard to create spaces that are unique with a strong sense of colour and energy.
Your interior decorating mantra?
Mix and match!
Whether I am juxtaposing colours, design styles or materials, I try to create original combinations that make a space warm and welcoming and full of personality.
What do you think of the concept of good taste?
I think taste is entirely subjective and no two people will have the same definition. If I had to give a definition, I would say that it’s having an innate ability to design a coherent and harmonious interior, that fits all of the inhabitants’ moods and needs, without falling into the trap of trends or fashion. Another, simpler definition would be character and elegance, charm and originality.
If you were a room in the house?
The sitting room, without doubt! For me it’s the most important room, where you come together in the evening with your other half, with friends for a drink, or with your family for a birthday party. It’s also the room where I work. I’ve never been able to sit at a desk. I’m much more efficient when I’m on the sofa or lying on my favourite rug.
The sitting room is also the space that I love to renovate, redesign and decorate because it’s the room with the best accessories. There is a lot of furniture of course but also lights, textiles, paintings, mirrors, plants and all manner of small objects.
The top 3 things on your bucket list?
• To find a way to help the hundreds of wild cats on the Atlantic coast in the south-west of France.
• To swim in a waterfall in the jungle in Thailand.
• To go on safari in Africa.
If you were an artist?
I would be a plant-based designer, like Patrick Nadeau, whose projects are inspired by nature.I’ve always been surrounded by plants. Growing up in my parents’ house they were everywhere and now in my house it’s just the same. I use them as decoration but they have far greater creative potential.
Your dream project?
To renovate a series of abandoned townhouses. I’d like to find a way to keep their charm and their soul whilst also bringing them up to date and rendering them completely original.
A current obsession?
My love of plants is much more than just an obsession, they are an integral part of all my projects. Plants, flowers (fresh or dried), floral motifs, wallpapers, natural materials, I use them all. I suppose you could say it’s become my calling card!
A way to make the world a better place?
To consume less but better. I like interiors to be inviting and warm and decorative objects play an important role in that. But it’s important not to overcrowd a space. So quality rather than quantity, in life as in decorating!
Have a unique vision
Every decorating project needs to be unique and to have its own identity. This idea is at the heart of what I do, both professionally and artistically. Each individual is different and an interior needs to be the reflection of that, of our personality, our life story, our habits, our desires and our needs.
I called my design studio « Maison singulière » because I wanted to draw attention to the singular nature of each of my projects.
Bright, acid colours
For me, colour makes a room. I use it in different ways on each project and of course, the natural light affects the choices I make. Sometimes I just use a small amount here and there on otherwise white walls with sober, monochrome furniture. The result is spectacular.
I also like to think of spaces like « boxes », with the same colours on the walls and the ceiling. It really draws attention to the accessories and objects that you choose. If you feel the room needs a view, add a trompe l’œil wallpaper on one wall.
Colour brings joy and stimulates creativity. It also defines the mood of a project or the atmosphere in a room. It can really change our perception of a space. I love natural, sunny tones that lean towards the colours of the natural world.
I love pattern. Flowers, geometric shapes, animal print… I love it all! They give life to a room and add depth and movement. Wallpaper in particular is a great way to introduce pattern, or the fabric for a seating area or on cushions or a rug. I particularly like the LMS wallpaper range, especially the ‘Damier’ pattern in outremer and ‘Stars’. I have been known to frame them and hang sheets of them on the wall as works of art.
The natural world
Nature is the essence of life, the element without which nothing can exist. In an interior it takes you on a journey of discovery, helps you to relax and adds a sense of serenity. When designing a home, it’s vital to bring the outside in. Try using plants, flowers, succulents as much as you can.
And don’t forget wood, rattan, jute, linen and wool. Natural materials are also a powerful reminder of the natural world that help to improve our emotional wellbeing. They add an aesthetic and ecological benefit as well as warmth and softness and work well with most decorative styles.
I also like to bring the natural world into an interior through art (paintings, wall coverings, floral or vast trompe l’œil wallpapers). They don’t need to be particularly realistic, as long as they create a unique atmosphere that takes you on a journey.
Choosing art is not about spending vast sums of money on something by a well-known artist. You need to put your heart and soul into finding something that you love, that makes sense to YOU and that helps you to articulate the story that you want your home to tell. Art can take many forms: paintings, sculptures, wall coverings, objects. An art work stimulates emotion, tells a story, evokes memories and reveals something about you and your vision of the world.
Let there be light
Good lighting is absolutely essential if you want to feel comfortable in a home. It helps to create atmosphere, highlights detail and puts you in a good mood. I just love it when the sun lights up my living room and everything is suddenly bathed in natural light. What could be better!
When I am designing an interior, I try to structure the space so as to make the most of it and to really highlight the colours and materials I am using. I favour large expanses of light colours (on the wall, rugs or marble), shiny materials that will reflect the light and lots of mirrors.
A home is much more than just a roof over your head. It is a place full of memories where we build our lives and to which we become deeply attached. When you fill a space with objects and decorative accessories, it comes alive and helps to make the link between the host and the home.
For me comfort is everything so I particularly like to use lots of fabrics such as linen curtains, velvet eiderdowns, waffled linen cushions and natural wool carpets. This way the colder elements – a marble bowl, metal candle sticks, a brass mirror or a glass jar - sit against a softer, warmer backdrop.
I particularly like to mix and match different styles, so a family heirloom or a vintage find next to a contemporary design piece. Opposites attract in interior design as in life.