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We’re off to Fulham in London to visit the home of French native Chloé Macintosh, co-founder of Made.com. Chloé welcomes us into a house of astonishing architecture. Whilst the house is typically London-style on the outside, the inside is something else entirely. In fact, Chloé and her husband brought down the dividing wall between two houses to create a unique home. The have created a very pared-down and minimalist approach to decoration to give pride of place to light and natural materials. Opening straight out into the garden, the house feels like a holiday home where you could happily spend your time pottering between the garden and the kitchen. It has nothing of the subdued feel of English houses; the trend is resolutely modernist. On that day, we were lucky to have some sun and Chloé’s sons Félix and Elliott asked me to play football – English-style, of course!
How long have you lived in London, Chloé?
I’ve been living in London since 1998. I came to do a two month summer internship with Norman Foster and I never left. I fell in love with London.
Why did you choose this area?
I’ve always lived in West London, at first it was by chance, but now it’s very convenient because there’s a French secondary school nearby, parks and a really great community. I’ve got friends in all the neighbouring streets.
Can you describe your job?
I’m the co-founder of Made and I take care of all the creative side of things. The other partners are more business-focused, so that leaves me free to create the products and the brand. I do everything myself, without a creative agency. I work in the studio with my team and we create all the adverting campaigns, videos and catalogues plus everything connected to communication around Made.com. Lots of products are designed to meet specific requests from clients, but to begin with, I found the inspiration for my new collections among my friends. Everything I make with Made.com, was made by me for the first time. My work is a mixture of risks, discoveries, learning and adapting. And it’s all teamwork. Working with digital is very exciting and I encourage my team to stretch themselves as far as possible.
Did you and your husband decorate the house yourselves?
I trained as an architect, so I know how to get a client to help, but still ensure that I get the results that I want…That’s the skill of being a project manager! My husband had his say but then he let me get on with it. I have a real passion for interior design. I love poking around vintage shops and getting loads of mismatched stuff together to create a surprise and give a modern life to old, forgotten things.
When you’re at home, where do you spend most of your time?
Mainly in the big kitchen/dining room. I designed my house so that all family activity would take place in the same area. It’s also a place to entertain and organise parties at the weekend with the children or for evenings with friends.
Do you have a favourite style? Or period of time?
I’m a bit anti-style. I like putting things in contexts that are the opposite of what people expect, so I mix products and objects from all kinds of sources, like classic Louis XV with modern, ethnic and Scandinavian. My style is expressed through composition.
Which designer piece do you dream of owning?
That’s a difficult question, but at the moment it would be a desk from Schellmann Furniture that I came across in Milan this year. I think the concept is super smart. I’d also love to have a kids’ version, so they could hang curtains around it and create their own space.
Do you have an interior design tip for us?
Don’t follow interior design magazines too slavishly, look for inspiration on social media, like Pinterest and Instagram. I also think that it’s much less intimidating to find ideas in the homes of people who have similar means to you. It’s also a good way to create a personal space where you’re not trying to recreate an ideal, but to find ingenious ideas with what you already have. The interior design rule that I apply to everything is “Less is more”. If you have lots of things, it’s better to group them together in a dedicated space somewhere in the house, rather than scattering them here, there and everywhere. That’s why I created the big bookcase in the hallway. It contains all the objects, books and photos, the rest of the house is pretty minimalist.
How did you choose your children’s first names?
Felix was going to be called Lancelot or Marcello, but my husband was against it. So Felix was the name we both agreed on. As for Elliott, he spent his first day without a name and then, as I was leaving the maternity ward, I heard an announcement on the hospital radio that a little boy called Elliott had been found in the foyer, and that gave me the idea.
Tell us what a typical day is like for you?
I get up at 7 am. The kids come and give me a kiss in my bedroom, that’s how I wake up every morning. I get to the office at 9 am to see the teams, with my Soya Latte that I pick up on the way in. We have an open plan office in the heart of Soho, which is also our showroom. I spend most of my days in meetings with the members of my team or around their offices. It’s rare to find me sitting in my own office. I spend part of the week in our photographic studio photographing our collections. It’s an environment that I love and where I can express myself artistically with total freedom and it also creates strong ties with the people I work with. In the first years, I did a lot of travelling to see all our factories, but I don’t travel as much now because we have a bigger team. I try to get home around 6.30 pm to see the kids. I refuse to help them with their homework because, as a child, I always did mine on my own. So when I get home it must all be done and we spend some time reading and talking about our days.
Where will you be taking your next family holiday?
We’re going to Cabarete to go surfing and kite surfing. It’s a real adventure for the kids. My sister used to live down there a few years ago and goes back every year.
Which are your favourite interior design websites?
The French House is great for rather unexpected finds. I love Tom Dixon‘s accessories and the beautiful textiles of Wallace Sewell, which are made in Great Britain by a really lovely team. I also love the leather tiles from Genevieve Bennett, they are unique and very chic. Lastly, Raw Edge, my new design favourites.
Photos : Constance Gennari@thesocialitefamily.com
Translation by Textmaster