This week we went to Nantes to visit Delphine and Nicolas Imbert. Former Parisians, they escaped from the urban chaos to change their lives in a dream home. Delphine, who is an interior designer, studied under Charles Zana. She now works independently and with the help of Nicolas, took on the transformation of their house. Each piece has been designed precisely where antique furniture, raw materials and faded colours combine in a world that is very inspiring. Since then the family has grown so lets discover her house with its very personal decor.
What education did you have in interior design?
I was fortunate to have an open education about art in general, but not specifically on interior design. I remember always being sensitive to the feelings that one experiences by being in a place, of the comfort and usability, and having spent my childhood building huts outside, hiding in closets, and decorating the house… Later I did studies in applied arts, and it was the people I met, with whom I worked, who educated my views. When I met Nicolas, we wanted to share our taste for furniture and beautiful spaces. We have often strolled through the Saint-Ouen flea market where we lived, and then the desire to create a place that was just for us brought everything together.
How does one transmit a taste for beauty and beautiful materials to one’s children?
Naturally, we take our children to see and do things that we like, exhibitions in Paris or the beauty of the beaches near where we live in winter. Children have the ability to take time to contemplate their surroundings and sometimes pick up things that escape us. Then we stop and look at the grass, the trees, or drawings in books with them… From Valentin’s room, we can see the Maison Radieuse by Le Corbusier, so we often look at it together, talking of architecture, colours, and say that one day we will visit it.
Are nice decor and family life compatible?
Yes, it’s a whole, I like seeing a few children’s toys in the salon, it’s joyful, you just have to find some nice baskets to store them.
What works of art, objects or furniture do you prefer in your home?
We have long admired the work of our friend Vincent Loiret, a designer in Paris. Drawing is an important part of his research, and there was a series of free and very intuitive line drawings we liked in particular. A few months ago, he kindly offered us a drawing from this series. The old mirror Nicolas and my family gave me for my 30th birthday.
What is the piece you would want in your wildest dreams?
Right now, we would love a carpet Beni Ouarain in the living room and to re-upholster our couch in a nice corduroy. Nothing extravagant. Something crazier would be a “coup de coeur” of Christine Diegoni, a Sotsasslamp – the Colonna floor lamp for example – or the ceiling lamp No. 2003 by Gino Sarfatti, a Saarinen table in white marble from Knoll or a piece of furniture from Studio Dimore (…)
Where do you feel most comfortable?
There is the very bright kitchen that opens onto the terrace and the garden, which is very convivial on summer evenings and perfect for watching the children playing outside while I prepare dinner. Otherwise our room, which is all white and from the bed you can see the sky and a palm tree.
What is missing in your home?
An office/workshop for me with lots of shelves for all my samples and materials.
Do you have any décor tips to give us?
Do not be too rigid with decoration, move objects around to see how they look, compose things differently for a change. And also, put things away often.
The fault of bad taste not to commit?
Combining lime green and orange.
The inexpensive piece of which you are most proud?
Arne Jacobsen Série 7 chair, a first edition that was lying in a gutter in Paris and I found one morning while going to work. The crib that I found at my grandmother’s just before the birth of Gustav and which is still in our room I love it so…
A restaurant you would recommend in Nantes, or elsewhere?
Can you give us two Deco addresses on the web or in Nantes?
Your last family vacation destination?
Saint-Malo, the sea, the fresh air, and my childhood too.
Your future projects?
Nantais interiors, work sites that are starting soon, a trip in April with Nicolas to Stockholm and giggles with my boys.
Credits : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily