The advent calendar, check – the Christmas tree, check – the decor and glitter, check! All that’s missing is the Yule log! The countdown has already begun, there’s commotion everywhere and like every year, we are late. Invited over by Anaïs Olmer, the creator of Chez Bogato, we could not resist the temptation of sharing some ideas with you. A former Artistic Director, Anaïs got into pastry 6 years ago. It was a bet that paid off for one who knows how to shake up the traditional dessert codes. With amazing bespoke creations, Anaïs plunges us into her world full of humour and fantasy. Colours galore, new and elegant forms, you want to eat them yourself.
Anaïs, what happens during Christmas dinner at Bogato?
We make a Christmas meal at the store each year with the girls. We are only girls, but we are ever more numerous. Before, it was a lunch and then one thing led to another and it became dinner. We enjoy delicious preparations made by one another and we taste our annual Christmas creation. This year it includes a biscuit with crunchy speculoos, light praline mousse and fresh mandarin, decorated with small speculoos houses. I offer a gift to each of the girls who works for Bogato (they all do a great job). Each year, it’s the same gift for everyone, but in different versions. Two years ago it was a palette of Dior eye shadow, which is one of our most loyal customers, and last year a scented Astier Vilatte candle reminiscent of a city that makes you dream. This year, I cannot tell you… Then dinner invariably degenerates into a real party. I think we need to let off steam after the holiday season.
Do you spend time on your Christmas decorations? Gift paper? The finishing touches?
At Bogato, Virginia looks after the packaging. At home, I like to redo the wrapping to avoid shop gift-wrapping so as to make a nice mix under the tree. For Christmas I like gold with lots of glitter the best.
Where do you spend the most time at home?
The living room! It’s our common room and also our kitchen and office.
Do you spend time looking for furniture? And if so, where do you go?
I go into all the shops that offer 20th century furniture, but I do not really spend time looking for furniture, I’m waiting to find what I need. I still regret the items purchased by need and not because we fell in love with them. So now I wait, I wait to find the object that I like and that really goes with the place, something that surprises me! Hence the bare bulbs above the table…
What background did you have in terms of the home, interior décor, furniture?
My parents really liked interior decor and they took a long time furnishing the apartment in which we grew up. They loved antiquing and car holiday returns could take days if we ran into too many flea markets on the way back. But I already liked it even then. Our apartment was rather bourgeois 1930’s and 40’s but with a certain humour like our corridor of fake grass and Luxembourg toile de Jouy on the walls. The kitchen was very large and super warm with yellow walls and white, red and yellow tiled floor and work surfaces. It was always the favourite room of all my friends who still talk to me about it. What I like too is finding things, colours, unique and amazing furniture and objects. My parents taught me to look at them, to look for them.
Did the children participate in your choices?
Yes, especially when we redid this apartment. Mila has a very keen eye that impresses me. She has strong personal taste and sees very well when something works or does not. Watch out though, monochrome or baby pink, are not her thing! Ernest is less sure about his tastes for the moment. His thing is super strong geometric patterns, hence the Minakani Lab wallpaper with big triangles. If we had left him entirely to do as he pleases, he would have had a psychedelic orange tunnel above his bed, but we were afraid he would go crazy!
Do you have any décor advice to give us for the home? Anything on the mixture of strong colours? Furniture, periods?
My advice: dare to use colours, but take the time to choose. Do not limit yourself to a wall or to a colour. Keep white or very light colours for sunny and bright rooms. Go towards much richer, darker colours in the darkest rooms. It makes them warm. For bedrooms it’s ideal. For furniture, don’t rush! I’m really happy to still have many things to find because then anything is possible…
Is there a designer piece that you dream of one day owning?
I think I already have it with my Loewy buffet. But I would also like a 1972 Unibloc 4 by Roger Landault. In yellow of course! Ideal for a family of 4 players.
The inexpensive thing of which you are most proud?
My collection of dollhouse furniture from the 1950s.
Your apartment is in colour, very gay, what were your inspirations?
I always liked colour, I think it’s my thing, for cakes too! I wanted a white living room and two boxes of colours that go from the living room to the bits of the bedrooms that I did not want to be white at all. Red and blue often show up in my colour choice. Red is really warm, but blue is enveloping. I love them together and prove that each colour has a huge variety of shades since one can put red and blue together without them being reminiscent of the national flag. For decor, I love colours that are unisex for the whole family. Then, what I like is the play of colours among themselves. An apartment, a space, is better than a cake for playing with colours. They respond to one another and change with the light. I spent a lot of time choosing my 13 colours, but I think I would have been unable to choose just one! The Farrow range is useful because it’s very specialised. It is a very good base, but for me it lacks reds and bright colours. My best friend is my limitless Pantone. But one can quickly get lost in it.
How did you choose the names of your children?
Mila: that was a hard nut to crack. We wanted a short name but with character. There are Milas (Milena) in Slavic countries and in Argentina it means, “loved by the people”, or in any case “there is love in it”… Ernest, was obvious. We didn’t even have any other ideas, we love that name.
A restaurant that you would recommend to us in Paris or elsewhere?
There are lots of great restaurants in Paris and new ones opening every week that we would love to discover. But my restaurant is the Lao-Thaï . I have been going there since I was 5 years old. It is real Laotian and Thai food with no frills, neither on the plate nor in the room. We travel and we feast!
Credits : Constance Gennari@thesocialitefamily