Karine Pelloquin and Frédéric Aguiard
Famille - Bordeaux

The 19th Century Arcachon-style Villa Belonging to the Founders of Coutume {Studio}

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Karine Pelloquin and Frédéric Aguiard

Karine Pelloquin and Frédéric Aguiard, the founders of Coutume {Studio} have a gift. The gift of making the walls talk.From boutique to apartment to hotel, this couple have an almost legendary capacity to bring out the real character of a space, no matter what its typology.Guided by an insatiable hunger for creation, the list of their qualifications in this area appears infinite. These include image consulting, artistic direction, styling, product design, scenography, interior architecture, interior design, and more. The “fusion duo” as some of their close friends affectionately call them, have spent over twenty years honing their savoir-faire. They have a real love for materials, fabrics, shapes and shades that are closely linked to their common experiences in the world of fashion, really bringing their work to life. This is something we confirm when we meet up with them, and they explain that they “like to mash up genres to arrive at happy accidents, creating a universe where the decor really expresses the place.” Combined with {Studio} (which is more or less compulsory in this profession), the name Coutume arose from the dialogue between the old and the contemporary, as well as their style. It is recognisable but is above all an embodiment of character. In their own house, an Arcachon-style villa located in the Saint-Augustin district, Karine and Frédéric are distinguished once again by their propensity to blur the lines. Especially when it comes to eras. Almost two centuries old, this extravagant building, polished by 7 months of work, is a real surprise because it is designed to be a real refuge influenced by the wabi-sabi philosophy. It’s a very long way from the pomp and circumstance of its origins. Entranced by the sight of a large sofa with textured cushions, our gaze then tracks to the dining area and its skylight, throwing dancing reflections everywhere, before ending up at the leathery relief aspect of a Marsala armchair. On the table, there are items with minimalist shapes but bold edges. This is often the case in their various projects too. There is also a lot of art. And last but not least, plenty of colour that dovetails with the plethora of wood here. The ultimate accessory that adds the final polish to this re-awakened gem of a building.

Karine Pelloquin and Frédéric Aguiard
Entrée Escalier Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Entrée Art Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Coussins Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}

Karine, Frédéric: could you introduce yourselves?

Karine & Frédéric

We are a couple in real life! Just as we are in our many projects, all of which are intimately linked to design. For nearly 30 years, we have been in tune with the rhythm of fashion and couture as art directors and designers. Our shared artistic journey has given rise to a particular interest in materials, fabrics, shapes and colours. Our current activities in textiles and decoration are part of a wide range of projects: image consultancy (creating identities, logos and developing brand images), artistic direction and styling (colours, materials and shapes) product design, scenography and interior architecture and decoration too.

What is Coutume {Studio}?

Karine & Frédéric

We opened Coutume {Studio} at the end of 2019 in the heart of the golden triangle of Bordeaux. It’s a showroom, a boutique and a gallery as well as a decoration, interior design and architecture agency. In addition to the services offered, Coutume {Studio} also has the reputation of being quite an exceptional place, specialising in the world of interior design, and housing a wide selection of unique pieces from artists, decorative objects and both contemporary and antique furniture staged in the ornamented, enveloping and reassuring space offered by a beautiful private house. It is a building with an unusual configuration. You push open the doors of a carriage entrance to discover a paved passageway which opens up into the showroom at the end. The grand entrance welcomes us beneath a magnificent glass roof where the natural shades capture the light coming from the garden. Inside, the living space opens onto two living rooms illuminated by the light filtering through the large windows. The beautifully preserved old herringbone parquet floors and the walls finished with lime plaster (Coutume {Studio} natural paints) arouse the senses and create an impression of familiarity.

Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}

We like to mix styles and bring to life objects or pieces of furniture from the most celebrated designers alongside things that we have found or custom-designed under the Coutume {Studio} label.

Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}

Why the name?

Karine & Frédéric

For many years, we’ve been visiting flea markets, second-hand and antique shops; we have a real passion for them! There, over the years, we have bought and accumulated many objects, and we delight in the idea of transforming them, bringing them together, modifying them into new pieces and sometimes giving them a new purpose. Coutume {Studio} was born out of this passion! It’s a contraction and combination of the words “couture” and “home”. Coutume draws upon the heritage of an object (a project) to enrich it with a second life, to make it familiar. Studio refers to the creative agency. The curly brackets bring them together as a whole.

What does each of you do there?

Karine & Frédéric

We rarely share tasks! We are a real “duo”. Our close friends call us “the fusion duo”! (Laughs). We both work hands-on in all our interior design and decoration projects: on the choice of furniture, the layout of the showroom and also on the selection of suppliers and artists.

How would you define the Coutume {Studio} “style”?

Karine & Frédéric

A continuous dialogue between the old and the new! We like to mix styles and bring to life objects or pieces of furniture from the most celebrated designers alongside things that we have found or custom-designed under the Coutume {Studio} label. As lovers of natural mineral or plant-based colours, raw textures and untreated materials and fabrics, we emphasise craftsmanship and authenticity in each of our projects. We like to mix genres and thus provoke happy coincidences. That’s how we create a world where the decor expresses a sense of place.

Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Chambre Art Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Chambre Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Chambre Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salle de bains Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Extérieur Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard  Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}

What are the inspirations, tastes, experiences and philosophies that come together to achieve this result?

Karine & Frédéric

We find Belgium particularly inspiring. We like the way they work minimalism into interior design and are also somewhat influenced by the wabi-sabi philosophy, which advocates a return to simplicity, understatement and the beauty of imperfect and modest things.

You are at home here in Bordeaux in a 19th-century Arcachon house. Tell us about this type of residence. What exactly is it?

Karine & Frédéric

We live in the heart of the Saint-Augustin district in Bordeaux. This house (almost 200 years old) was built between 1830 and 1850 by a wealthy wine merchant who lived on the Quai des Chartrons, in the historic centre of the city (in other words, close to where he traded). This place was his “country villa”! He used to come here in a horse-drawn carriage with his wife and his servants. The couple had no children, which is probably why it’s not too huge! At the time, the Arcachon basin was the “prized” destination of the wealthiest people (from Bordeaux and Paris, Coco Chanel, among others). They had beautiful villas built here, inspired by the architecture of Swiss chalets – very fashionable at the time. The owner was inspired by this sign of wealth, which explains the Victorian “Arcachonnais” style of our house, which was characteristic of the extravagant buildings popular in the winter resort of Arcachon at the time. In 1920, this elegant structure was sold to the parents of the 92-year-old lady from whom we bought it. It then stayed in their family until we purchased it in February 2016.

How did you renovate it?

Karine & Frédéric

We completely restructured it! The spaces have been opened up and redesigned keeping the rooms airy with the primary desire being to preserve – with the greatest respect for its original features – the decorative elements. The intricate wooden bow-window has been restored, the ceilings in the building have been carefully carved to preserve the original historic rosettes, and the plaster mouldings with their designs including intertwined acanthus leaves (the emblem of the Villa) have been reproduced identically. After seven months of work, this beautiful and venerable building with contemporary accents has regained its former nobility!

Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Salon Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Cuisine Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Cuisine Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}

And how did you furnish it?

Karine & Frédéric

Every area of the house (and, in particular, the large room on the ground floor) has been designed to with our old furniture in mind. Before we settled in Bordeaux, we had a large, contemporary house with generously-proportioned rooms. We had designed and had furniture made to measure up to its XXL proportions, and we wanted to keep it all! Consequently, we had to de-compartmentalise and redesign the spaces in our new Bordeaux house so that we could install, in particular, our imposing sofa and 4.3 m long metal table, as well as all our objects and the artworks that follow us every time we move. All of our furniture is made up of antique pieces from flea markets and antique dealers, combined with pieces of furniture that we have reworked (tinkered with and modified) or other pieces that we have designed and handmade by craftsmen. We designed all the lights in the house ourselves. They are future Coutume {Studio} prototypes. And as for the paints and the colours everywhere in our home, we have chosen to stay with the natural and “sandy” tones of Bordeaux Stone. One single “chalky” tone gives a certain rhythm to the main spaces. And it is the “shadow” shade used in the master bedroom that echoes the shadow of the morning light and delineates the bed head.

What are your latest favourites/discoveries in terms of artists, objects and craftspeople?

Karine & Frédéric

When we arrived here, we very quickly got to know and discover the work of talented young designers such as William Guillon and Pierre Mounier (Mumo Design) whose creative, artisan approach we particularly appreciate. All their pieces are made locally in Bordeaux or in the Bordeaux region. They are an integral part of the Coutume {Studio} team and through their creations, regularly exhibited in the showroom, they contribute to the unique signature of Coutume {Studio}. We have been passionate about ceramics for many years, and we have also found talented craftsmen/potters such as Christian Bourcereau and Josette Burgaud whose pieces we have been accumulating at home for some considerable time now. We really appreciate their craftsmanship, and we are now exhibiting them in our showroom! We also discovered the artist Sophie Cauvin a few months ago, during a trip to Belgium just before the lockdown. She’s a painter and ceramicist whose work “the expression of the material” we loved. We are exhibiting some of her ceramics at the moment.

Where are we likely to find you in the coming months?

Karine & Frédéric

We are preparing for the beginning of 2021 a collaboration with the renowned Italian design studio Studiopepe!  The duo has invited themselves to our showroom in Bordeaux for an exclusive Studiopepe x Coutume {Studio} “staging”.

In Bordeaux – and the surrounding area – what are your must-see addresses, the ones you would recommend to our community without a second thought?

Karine & Frédéric

It’s hard to choose between our favourite places! They can all, for different reasons and interests, be “must-sees”. But here are two of them: Les Puces de Saint-Michel, with its antique shops and the flea markets that appear on a Sunday morning, and the restaurant La Belle Saison, for its magnificent panoramic view of Bordeaux.

Extérieur Cuisine Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Extérieur Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Extérieur Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Extérieur Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}
Extérieur Maison Bordeaux Karine Pelloquin et Frédéric Aguiard Fondateurs Coutume {Studio}

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