At The Socialite Family we create bold and timeless designs to suit any interior. We aim to create an easy relationship between elegant design and a comfortable home, a principle to which Giovanna de Bosredon – founder of the interior design studio Auguri – also adheres when she is designing her projects, including this apartment in Bordeaux where she recently moved with her family. For the Paris-Malaquais graduate, the harmonious decoration of a space is based on one essential principle: “creating a dialogue between the history of the property and what is to come.” For Giovanna, now resident in Bordeaux, an indicator of a project’s success is that it has “been carried out appropriately without compromising what is already there.” And she has followed this principle in her home by excavating the beauty of a parquet floor hidden under layers of tiles and concrete, repairing the mouldings, and cleaning the white stone of the walls. Elegantly simple architectural assets that are harmoniously combined with softly coloured – and perhaps “slightly old-fashioned” – furniture that echoes them. A selection of objects with stories, “(which) are not randomly chosen from a catalogue”. Far from the fashion effects and decorative schemes that are “too pronounced, too marked or ostentatious” for her taste, the former collaborator with Laura Gonzalez brings her Mediterranean identity to bear “without taking herself too seriously” in her family home. From Miuccia Prada to Luigi Ghirri, numerous Italian influences have inspired the designer to create a refined world full of nostalgia, where other children will soon – perhaps – join Pio, walking or running from one end to the other of these carefully considered spaces!
Round cushions are so now! Back in favour in some of the most beautiful interiors this September, these soft cushions with their sensuous shape are available in a myriad of different varieties – and can be used in endless different ways. These velvet cushions are certainly going all out. Perfect colours for the autumn/winter season, when we all want to kit out our chairs and sofas. In bright solid colours, The Socialite Family’s round cushions are already a classic – we can’t get enough of them.
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Giovanna, Gautier: will you introduce yourselves, please?
Coming from an immigrant family, I am of Italian origin through both my parents (Calabria and Sicily). I grew up in an international atmosphere between Brussels and Luxembourg. You might say I’m a child of Europe because I’ve been living in Bordeaux for three years, after eight years in Brussels and seven years in Paris! I created the @auguri_auguri Instagram account at the end of 2016 to share my inspirations, aesthetics and love of places around the world. I’m a trained architect. In parallel, I established an interior design and art direction studio. We’ve lived in this apartment for a year with Pio, who is 20 months old!
I’m a music producer and co-director of an independent label. I’m from Bordeaux, and I came back to live here a little before COVID after several years spent living between Bordeaux and Paris.
What is your background?
Architecture seemed to be an obvious choice; when I was a child I used to have fun designing my dream house! I still went through law school before going to La Cambre in Brussels for my bachelor’s degree and to ENSA Paris-Malaquais for my master’s degree. I’ve always liked collecting places. I now have tons of business cards, cards (short ones) that list them in pictures on Instagram and in a database. It’s an index I’ve been nurturing for years! I work very intuitively. I wanted to take a break after six years of studying and joined Louis Vuitton, where I was able to work with exceptional craftspeople on some outstanding international projects. During this period, I realised that interior design, working with materials, the sense of detail and decoration spoke to me even more than the world of architecture. One thing led to another, and then I returned to Laura Gonzalez to devote myself to this aspect of the job. I learned a lot and flourished there working on some very nice boutique, art direction and hospitality projects (restaurants, hotels, and so on). I jumped ship in 2018 to join Barbarito Bancel as project manager on the renovation of the Moet-Hennessy offices above the Bon Marché Rive Gauche before setting up my studio in late 2019.
Tell us about your upbringing. Where did you grow up – and how did that influence the way your tastes have developed?
My family background is quite far removed from the architecture and design world. My parents are, nonetheless, aesthetes who’ve always had a taste for decorating and dressing well, the Italian way. They passed it on; my sister is a stylist, and I’m an architect! I think my education was mainly built on travelling from a very young age. We travelled to see places, to look for others, to observe with curiosity, and we still marvel at each new encounter.
Architecture seemed to be an obvious choice; when I was a child I used to have fun designing my dream house!
Introduce us to Auguri Studio, your architecture and interior design business.
My ambition is to create places with simple, clean lines. I really like to start from a neutral base because it will continue to work over time. I often work on renovations, so I start from a context, a story or a way of describing a project, from people’s daily habits, and from details specific to this or that client. So many tangible and intangible elements are essential to accurately defining a project so that it works! Site visits often allow us to clarify very quickly how we’re going to interact successfully with what’s coming, to create some kind of link, so it looks as if it had always been there. For me, a project is successful when it’s carried out appropriately and without compromising what is there already. I avoid fashion effects or decorative schemes that are too overpowering, too marked or ostentatious. I appreciate simplicity, the fact that the place breathes without being too busy and that the light can find its way through the spaces to create a soothing atmosphere.
How would you define your style?
Warm minimalism. I enjoy the purity, the variations of neutral tones on the wall or very soft colours, enhanced by sophisticated details, and refined and natural materials, which have character. The mix of styles in the furniture helps to create atmospheres and tell stories. It’s a real challenge to create a space and an architecture that is minimalist and timeless yet avoids being cold and clinical. There’s a real balance to be found between architecture and interior design. The two must coexist without competing. As always, the simple things are the most difficult to achieve. I think there’s always a kind of nostalgia in my work, a nod to the past through the furniture, and colours that are perhaps a bit old-fashioned. That’s my Mediterranean side. The important thing is not to take yourself too seriously, to tell a story and above all, to remember to have fun. I find a place where everything is matched, predictable and planned is quite boring. I’d say my ambition is to create in architecture what effortless chic is in fashion. A space that exudes a form of harmony without overdoing it. I think it’s the most elegant.
What references do you draw on?
There are lots! I’m often inspired as much by designers and architects as by people in the fashion industry, photographers who capture an atmosphere, an attitude. Cécile Beaton is the master of this aesthetic vision. I really like the nineties look because it’s understated, uncluttered and yet highly distinctive. I’m Italian, so of course, Italian inspirations speak to me. Muccia Prada has it right, in my opinion. A good balance between the old and the new, with a touch of Italian fantasy that is handled very well. Luigi Ghirri is also a great source of inspiration: he manages to enhance everyday life with soft, desaturated colours and his narrative style appeals to me. And Eileen Gray and Mies Van der Rohe are my favourites in design and architecture. They represent this calm and elegant vision of space very clearly. I really like the modernists for their graphic, spatial geometry combined with materials that were innovative for the time. They go well with any interior.
My ambition is to create places with simple, clean lines. I really like to start from a neutral base because it will continue to work over time.
You also run the @auguri_auguri Instagram account. What are the interiors that have impressed you the most, moved you, or inspired you?
It’s hard to say. I got married in Sicily this summer, and the place we chose was a reflection of us: a balance between the simplicity of the decor and the wealth of Sicilian culture. This place really has a special feel to it. I also love Rose Uniacke’s work; it exudes peace and beauty.
Tell us about how you came across this apartment.
This place was in a terrible state when we viewed it. It had been completely abandoned by its occupants. It was like a very sad survivor! I remember looking back down the hallway and seeing this long space and thinking that this was where I would see my children learn to walk or run. It’s divided into three parts. The day part, our night part and the night part for the other rooms. We are in the historic centre of Bordeaux, so this is a building where the ceilings are very high, and the original features deserve to be restored to their true glory.
How did you design, renovate and refurbish it?
The basic work was restoring the beauty and comfort of the apartment. Despite the size of the rooms, the day zone was enclosed within itself because the ways people lived in the past were very different from the way we like to live with space today. We redesigned the layout to make the circulation more fluid and to create a dining room; there wasn’t one before. We revealed the Bordeaux stone, the wooden floor buried under the tiles and concrete, and repaired the mouldings. Finally, we had to reveal the beauty of the architecture, which was sufficient in itself!
What about furniture?
The decoration evolved as we went along. It’s totally vintage, often found on a whim or a fancy. Each object was chosen specifically to fit in. It takes a lot of time but gives a lot more character. The objects are not chosen at random from a catalogue; they have a history. But it’s still evolving; we’re going to change most of the furniture in the living room, to be honest. See you at the next photo shoot! (Laughs)
I think there’s always a kind of nostalgia in my work, a nod to the past through the furniture, and colours that are perhaps a bit old-fashioned.
What does this place say about you?
This apartment is welcoming with its curved ceiling. It’s designed to be our living space. The place where our family will grow up (I hope!), and where we entertain our friends a lot. Hospitality is very important to me. We often gather here with our friends around the dining table, but also in the living room and kitchen. The idea of working on the circulation was, above all, not to restrict the use of the space. We can start off with a drink in the living room and have dinner on the balcony, or spend the whole evening in the dining room and kitchen, which interconnect. It is a warm space, our refuge in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and parents!
What does The Socialite Family mean to you?
A contemporary vision of a personal and accessible lifestyle!
Where will you see us next?
In this heart project around all my addresses, in a hotel project, a restaurant and several houses in the south west… but above all in travelling, the best source of inspiration to cultivate one’s curiosity and feed one’s eyes.
In Bordeaux – and the surrounding area – what are your must-visit addresses, those you would recommend to our community without thinking twice?
Mazal, which is an Israeli restaurant where the party is on the plate and in the atmosphere, at the second service, everyone ends up at the counter! The Noailles is an old Bordeaux institution, but I like it a lot because the cuisine is traditional and generous Baston, half canteen, half bakery, they have a passion for good produce. The rue du Hâ is full of great places to eat, all of which are delightful. Capperi, for 100% Italian pizzas. L’Alchimiste is a coffee roaster with an eye for Japanese detail. And of course, the Sources de Caudalie and its Table du Lavoir, where you can really indulge yourself!
This apartment is welcoming with its curved ceiling. It’s designed to be our living space. The place where our family will grow up (I hope!), and where we entertain our friends a lot.
Photography : Jeanne Perrotte – Text : Juliette Bruneau @thesocialitefamily