Olivier Granet’s home embodies a sensitive approach to materials and the result is vibrant, colourful and moving. A vision of beauty that The Socialite Family’s creative studio shares, as found in our Carlotta Alta marble table which the artistic director of the Domaine de Gaztelur quickly incorporated into his decor. It forms a centrepiece in his California-style house in Biarrote, which invitingly combines influences from elsewhere. One influence is Morocco: a place this “lover of nice things” holds dear. All aspects of the country can be found in ideas melding outside and inside, from the use of terracotta in their bathroom (a nod to the Pink City of Marrakech) to LRNCE-stamped “cement tiles” in their bedroom. This favourite brand was founded by Laurence Leenaert — his Belgian friend — whose pieces he collects from bespoke rugs to graphic ceramics on show here and there. Indeed, this dynamic man is insatiable when it comes to arts and crafts, especially if a work is by his nearest and dearest. A painting by Guillaume Grando (aka SupaKitch), organic creations by the ceramicist Olivia Cognet and a totem by Laurent Dufour all turn the inside of the home into a museum where every piece is a surprise… Even into the beginnings of an eclectic set brimming with details. This joyfully curious identity offers the same treat for the eyes you can now find at Hôtel de la Plage in Biarritz — where Olivier Granet was also artistic director — as well as in the many other projects being undertaken by this thirty-something showcasing his talents as an interior designer!
Can you introduce yourselves, please?
I’m a notary specialising in family law in Biarritz.
I was born in Bordeaux and I’ve been living in Biarritz for 14 years, I’m curious about everything, and passionate about fashion, design, architecture, decoration and floral art. After my art studies, I worked in different fields, including event management and stage design, and then specialised in visual merchandising and graphic design. I love beautiful things, I draw my inspiration from my numerous trips to Morocco, England, the Netherlands, New York and Paris, where I’m regularly invited for Fashion Weeks and exhibitions. Nowadays I’m the artistic director of the Domaine de Gaztelur, a designer and a builder.
Tell us about your upbringing. Where did you grow up – and how did that influence the way your tastes have developed?
I’m from Millau in the Aveyron. My parents have always tastefully renovated old buildings. Moreover, they’ve just renovated a farmhouse into an eco-friendly rural gite, the Domaine des Combes – Ferme aux Anes. But it was Olivier who really made me aware of decoration!
I have a twin, Marin. We’re opposites! And a big brother who loves fashion and decoration. My mother brought us up on her own after our father died when I was three years old. I have a very close and loving relationship with her. She always allowed me to express my art and creativity by supporting me and pushing me to continue. What I did was study design and specialise in visual merchandising and graphic design, which led me to create my first venture: B2. A lifestyle magazine that’s earned me several mentions in the trade press. But my taste certainly also comes from my encounter with my mentor. He’s opened doors to wonderful places and exhibitions for me. He, my family and my friends inspire me and support me. They all encourage me to go beyond my limits!
What about designers and artists: whose work has influenced you and your work?
My friend LRNCE has been involved in many of my recent projects. I love her unique and colourful world! Geoffrey and I bought a work of art with waves from our friend Guillaume – aka Supakitch – for the purchase of the house. It quickly established itself as a key piece in the project! I like to mix work by completely different artists. You can find very organic works by artists such as Olivia Cognet and more cubic mottled objects like the table ashtray or the totem pole by Laurent Dufour. I love meeting new designers and, as Geoffrey says, “our house is a museum”. But take note: he gives his opinion, too! (Laughter)
At first glance, the house was very modern, with bay windows and black outlines. It had a very Californian feel to it!
Tell us how you came across this house.
The house has a history, and it was love at first sight. We went in and made an offer within five minutes. It was an obvious choice. We found everything we were looking for here after several viewings that had come to nothing due to lack of certainty.
How did you redesign it?
At first glance, the house was very modern, with bay windows and black outlines. It had a very Californian feel to it! I wanted to keep that atmosphere but add a cosy warmth with the use of colours, prints and materials. For the living room, we started with two paintings by the artist Magnis Fisker, and they which formed the basis for the entire decorative scheme. We then worked with LRNCE to create a custom-made carpet in similar colours. For the dining room I wanted to bring in a carved wood frieze to underline this room and unify it. Like a showcase for the Carlotta Alta burgundy marble table from your collection. The bedroom was created using LRNCE cement tiles in a very Moroccan riad style. Finally, for the kitchen I wanted to keep a restrained look by working with an avocado marble on the worktop and splashbacks. A very long masterpiece!
How has your dual role as art director and interior designer influenced the way you have decorated and furnished it?
Indeed, with my experience in event decoration and visual merchandising I certainly have a different approach to the layout and decoration of a space. I think about functionality, but I also make sure that each element, each piece of furniture has a precise place through its colour, its material or its shape so that perfect harmony emerges.
You have worked with a colour palette that is sometimes refreshing (very green-oriented), and sometimes earthy. Why is that?
Green is my favourite colour. This house has a lot of vegetation around it and is very open to the outside, so it was a bit like keeping the continuity and bringing the garden inside! The terracotta is really to recapture the colours of the pink city of Marrakech. It fascinates me!
Where did you get your inspiration?
My inspirations come from all over the place but mostly from my travels – especially in Morocco – my travels, and the people I meet – so many beautiful people and worlds!
What pieces will we find?
In no particular order: a Patricia Urquiola armchair, my collection of vases and cushions made with EKKA, lots of LRNCE, works by Olivia Cognet, Mathieu Chavaren, pieces by Ferm Living, lighting by Panik Jurek, and wooden boards by Lucas Castex. And of course a lot of objects, antique furniture, pieces I create for the Gaztelur estate, and so on.
What does your interior say about you?
It reflects my generosity, my joie de vivre, my madness, my eccentricity, my obsession, the mix…
Where will we see you next?
I’ve just finished decorating the Hotel de la Plage in Biarritz with the architects Philippe Pastre and Patrice Gardera. You’ll find pieces I’ve selected from The Socialite Family collection there! I’m also working on several other projects, including two beautiful villas on the Basque coast. And then there’s my third cushion collection for this winter designed with EKKA – made in chain stitch in India – that’s also in production. I’m writing volume 2 of my guidebook “Six days in Marrakech” (I wrote volume 1 during lockdown, and it’s sold out) but also a collection of vases designed and made there, art direction at Gaztelur and a huge event planned for Christmas… As well as event decorations with my wonderful team and the best florists. Watch this space!
This house has a lot of vegetation around it and is very open to the outside, so it was a bit like keeping the continuity and bringing the garden inside!
Photography : Eve Campestrini – Text : Juliette Bruneau @thesocialitefamily