Béatrice Laval shows us around her apartment and shares some tips on playing with colour when decorating.
What is your relationship with colour ?
There is no colour I don't like. A space can impose its colour on you according to its natural light and the way in which it is used. Colour is a vibration, a wave, it transmits a particular energy which can create emotion. All the different colour variations found in the sky were a real source of inspiration when I was chosing the colours for my apartment for example.
How to use colour in a room?
Colour allows you to define a space and to create different areas in the same room. I try to avoid the total look at all costs and to use colour only on certain walls, preferably those that are opposite a window so that the colour benefits from as much natural light as possible. And for the wall where the window is I use white or a neutral colour as a contrast. I select the position of different colours according to where the entry point to a room is and how people move around it. You rarely look at a room from a fixed point because you move around! I like to think of an apartment as if it were a filmset and colour helps me to do that.
Can you use colour everywhere?
I've painted the ceiling in a number of places in my apartment which changes the light and helps to create different atmospheres from room to room. In the same way the motif on the kitchen wall which goes all the way up to the ceiling affects our perception of space. It works like a trompe l’œil or a mural, redrawing the lines of the room and making it seem more modern.
Why did you use a dark colour in the bedroom?
I like using sombre, almost dull colours in the bedroom as they are more conducive to sleep. In this room I played with a contrasting shade of nude pink which tempers the blue and almost feels white in certain lights. It softens the atmosphere of the room. And since the room faces east, using it on the ceiling gave it a different light in the morning which made the room feel more warm and cocooning.
How did you structure the living room?
We redesigned the space so that the entrance opened directly onto the main living area, which gave us a lot more room.
In terms of furniture, there are two big sofas, made-to-measure shelving and a dining room table. It's a unique living space where we come together as a family.
When choosing the colours I really wanted to make the difference between each space stand out, especially the old entrance area.
I used the 'Triangle noir' wallpaper from Le Monde Sauvage, which really contrasts with the walls of the living room and creates a bit of an optical illusion.
For the main living area, I used a mid-blue on the walls opposite the windows and kept the rest white. By choosing not to paint all the walls blue, you create an effect of openness towards the outside and the balcony. The light really comes into the room and is reflected by the floor which I painted a very pale grey. The colour both makes the room feel bigger and creates a sense of unity throughout the space.
Which is the most important room for you?
The kitchen. It's where we all come together to cook as a family which we love. I wanted a light, bright kitchen with traditional and modern accents.
I love the tiles which go up the wall and make the space seem bigger. The decision to paint the ceiling yellow makes the mouldings and cornices stand out more and creates a sense of grandeur. This room was the dining room before we made it the kitchen. It really is the beating heart of our home, the place where we all come together to cook, which we love. I am fascinated by kitchen objects, from crockery to egg cups to casserole pots! They deserve better than a closed cupboard which is why I keep them out on shelves like decorative objects.