At first glance, we thought we were dreaming. A second look, and we opened our eyes wide. A third, and our whole body was wide awake. Our senses were on full alert as there are so many things to see at Annick Lestrohan’s home. She is the founder, along with her daughter Ingrid Giribone, of the Honoré brand! A visual frenzy – at the height of its voluble creativity – which, since 2000, has been constantly embellishing our interiors. However, this twentieth-century apartment, with its theatrical style and ideal location (because it is located in the heart of Marseille,) has not always been like this. Its current appearance is due to the way in which, according to its owner, “it tamed me, inspiring me to do things I certainly wouldn’t have imagined, to make a place that would be more like me”. We could never have been so happy about someone not falling in love at first sight! Because, to make herself feel at home, this native of Marseille has deployed a wealth of ingenuity and mischief. By seeking her main inspirations from Spain, Annick had the idea of playing with dark colours that contrast with the light that makes the city so famous. A relaxing darkness that perfectly suits the freshness of the cement tiles and the thousand and one green plants that soar up to the office ceiling as they would from the corners of a finca. For the rest, everything is purely delicacy and fantasy. Mostly craftsman-made pieces, dreamlike brass bestiaries, lots of treasures from the past and others straight from her imagination. Annick loves life. But she also has a gift. That of bringing together.Influences, but especially other people. Starting with her five children and thirteen grandchildren!
You won’t believe it, but this apartment was the opposite of love at first sight. I couldn’t imagine living here.
Annick, who are you? How did Honoré come into being?
I’m Annick, and I love life. Honoré was created in 1985, out of necessity. At that time, I was a single mother with four children, before my little Antoine arrived, and my world revolves around them. But at the same time, I have a profound need to express myself. Creating around children was the obvious choice!
Who is Honoré?
Honoré and I grew up together, then my daughter Ingrid joined me. Honoré needed to express itself in a world that is still very much linked to its origins. Honoré gets dressed up and tells stories. Whether they are about fashion or decoration.
Will we find your brand identity here?
When I create pieces for Honoré, very often it’s the result of an idea I had when I took an interest in a place, when I was considering a project. I brought this apartment into my work.
What is the story behind this apartment?
You won’t believe it, but this apartment was the opposite of love at first sight. I couldn’t imagine living here. Finally, under duress, it tamed me, inspiring me to do things that I certainly wouldn’t have thought of, to create a place that was more like me.
What have you changed from the original space – which was rather more bourgeois – to achieve this result?
I didn’t want to take away the bourgeois element of it. That was the card I played: I only changed its origins, by fusing the colours a little more.
What were your main inspirations for its layout and decoration?
Spain. Southern Spain and its freshness!
Where do your furniture, lights and other accessories come from?
I’m a great treasure hunter! I don’t chase after signature pieces. On the contrary, I like the idea that my find is unique in my interpretation of it.
What creation in The Socialite Family collection could live in your home?
Are there any favourite materials or colours you like to surround yourself with?
I like white and dark colours, black in general. I don’t really like the other colours. Otherwise, just little touches added by objects or textiles; I prefer natural materials.
Why did you model your apartment with touches of dark colours, such as black or dark wood?
I like the darkness, the soothing effect it brings to a Mediterranean apartment when it is no longer bathed in this intense light.
There are lots of plants here. Why? How did you choose them?
This is the first time I’ve ever lived in an apartment without a garden I needed to bring in all this greenery to feel properly at home. I’m in love with the plants that grow in the Mediterranean basin, but it is mainly them that choose me. They’re often very imposing.
We notice that craftsmanship occupies an essential place in your life. What are (or have been) your favourite encounters in recent years?
The most noticeable thing in my work is, indeed, the importance of craftsmanship. So you can easily recognise the favourites I’ve had throughout each of my adventures. But my most amazing encounters are with my children. Really, I was infinitely lucky to have seen five incredible talents born. They make me very proud.
You have five children and many, many grandchildren! When you don’t entertain guests at home, where do you like to go to Marseille?
Photography: Eve Campestrini – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily