Her face and her voice may be familiar to you if you’re a morning person too. Sylvie Adigard has become almost inextricably linked with Télématin, the show that wakes France in a morning, and for which she is the journalist who specialises in lifestyle and the art of living. “My speciality” she assures us. It’s an assertion that we have trouble nuancing. This journalist is passionate, driven by a profession that is never still, where every day is synonymous with new encounters. Sylvie Adigard has been able to satisfy her thirst for learning with her own production company. Her willingness to question the why and the how of things allows her to dismantle one-by-one the clichés involved in design and architecture and helps her to bring larger projects to fruition. On the agenda soon: a film about “the master”, Philippe Starck, a series of podcasts on how people well-known in the world of decoration got started, as well as a work dedicated to the younger generation. We’re not going to learn much more about that during our visit to her Parisian apartment. It’s a very personal place which tells the story of a life of discovery; spaces filled with light and also occupied by our companion for the day, a towering Monstera Deliciosa. Looked after with love by her photographer husband – like all the other plants which are exuberantly overflowing their pots – its presence reminds us that enhancing an interior is a matter of compromise. An ongoing dialogue between the different members of the same family or each other, to which each, year after year, brings a little bit more of themselves.
Sylvie, can you introduce yourself?
I’m a journalist, columnist and producer… with a speciality that I proclaim loud and clear: the art of living. I talk about design, architecture and crafts on television in the morning on Télématin, the leading morning show in France, on France 2. I also produce and write documentary films about these same subjects. I love interviews. I’m passionate about knowing why and how design works. The creative people I showcase always have great stories to tell. Design and architecture may seem elitist, but I don’t think they are! Behind any creation, there is the inspiration, the context and the background of the person who drew or imagined it. I’m currently working on a big project based around young people. The younger generation is very interesting, especially in the field of crafts. Young people are incredibly mature and, at the same time, possess skills and knowledge that they know how to adapt and bring into their own time. I’m also working on a film about Philippe Starck. My current favourite: podcasts by personalities from the world of decoration and design who talk about how they started out in their artistic careers. We tried it out with decorator Vincent Darré, whose surrealist world I love.
Of all the people you have met, who has made the biggest impression on you, surprised or impressed you?
Without hesitation, Philippe Starck. He’s the master! He’s a pioneer and a visionary. I’ve known him since the beginning of my career. Sometimes I can be very reticent when I’m faced with some of the great architects. I’m still quite in awe when it comes to Renzo Piano or Jean Nouvel. I made real friendships with the designers and decorators from the French Touch, with whom I did some of the first television interviews.
What is your daily routine when you are on the air?
I work a lot. I love my job! I get up early at least twice a week (I’m in a breakfast show!) with my cat and my dog who pester me because they want their breakfast too! I go out quite a bit for work, but I try to be with my family as often as I can. I like to eat with my folks. I cherish the times when we get together. I always go back to work afterwards at the computer in my office, which is a real cave full of books, documents and memories – I love good-luck charms. So I don’t see too many films or series… alas.
You live in the centre of Paris, in a district undergoing significant changes. How do you feel about these changes?
I love my neighbourhood. I know everyone. I’ve lived here for over eighteen years. I come from the provinces, so I still like the capital city as much as ever. It’s just that the city, and my neighbourhood in particular, are a little more challenging to live with because, as you said, they are in a state of perpetual change. The works are essential for ecological reasons, to modernise the infrastructure, but this does complicate everyday life. It is continual in effect… and what I do sometimes complain about is the precisely that inconsistency. You don’t have time to get used to a place before it closes and morphs into something else. Especially the restaurants!
As an expert in the history of design, which period do you prefer?
I love Scandinavian design, America in the fifties, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, but I’m also a fan of some of our French designers like Philippe Starck and the Bouroullec brothers! I also love lighting, and I have a passion for Ingo Maurer. He’s spent his life designing it, and each of his pieces is more poetic than the last. I’m not a collector of design, but I’ve bought pieces for myself because I love them, and not for what they are worth or will be worth over time.
How would you define your style in terms of decoration? Who’s chosen what? Did you have to make any compromises?
I’d say it’s about living! My house isn’t a design showroom. Obviously, I have a few pieces from designers I like but mixed with furniture that has been sourced from flea markets or scrounged from my family. My husband and I choose everything together. We both have to like it, and the children have to like it too, of course! He is a photographer and has a strong artistic sense, as well as green fingers, as they say… so the house is quite full of plants!
When you are looking for furniture, lighting or decorative accessories, where do you tend to go? Shops, showrooms, flea markets, antique shops?
A mixture of all of them really. I put things together according to what I like best. When I need something, I compare, I remember what I saw when I was reporting. I often look at the decorative press. I very much like the magazine IDEAT.
Which piece do you like best in The Socialite Family’s collection?
The Cavallo armchair, because it speaks to the collective unconscious with its vintage vibe, while being unique and contemporary. It’s beautifully crafted and comfortable too.
You know your neighbourhood extremely well. What are the places we mustn’t miss under any circumstances, from the florist to the grocer?
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily