Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Famille - Paris

The Apartment-and-Collection That Is Home to the Interior Design Duo Orsini Daventure

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Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure

“A showcase to highlight our passion for collecting.” Such is the vocation of the three-room apartment owned by the co-founders – who are also a couple – of the interior design agency Orsini Daventure. Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure complement each other with their highly specialised aesthetic sensitivity. Two lovers of objects and religious architecture who studied at the prestigious Camondo school. Driven by the desire to exploit their multidisciplinary skills together, the duo formed themselves  – after a spell at Studio KO for one and Franz Potisek for the other – into a single creative entity where they carried out their own projects. Construction projects on a variety of scales where they express their style to the full. A signature style that they cannot define, where the beautiful and the ugly do not exist: “We like the idea of reinventing ourselves with each project. Each location and each client requires a specific response. Nothing could be more normal than wanting – after seven years of accumulated achievements for others – to create a home of our own that suits us to perfection. And “with as much work required as possible, so that we can finally express ourselves”! And this is what they have done with this elegant property at the foot of the Butte Montmartre, in which they have employed an impressive selection of materials. Because to make up for the lack of natural light, the two thirtysomethings had to rival each other in imagination. They used lots of different fabrics and rugs and made the most of the fireplace to make the living room glow, blending everything elegantly into a “golden mustard” look. A quest for warmth and light, where the birch in the kitchen and the carpet in the dressing room also play a major role… and highlight the furniture they have designed – another string to their bow – and Clément’s abstract paintings. Creations that can be found here and there in this apartment surrounded by the multitude of pieces they have collected, each object harbouring a story that is just waiting to be told! It forms an abundant whole, outlining the contours of an apartment with a shifting narrative thread, where each space is unique and conceived without concern for linearity.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
  • Clémence and Clément: can you introduce yourselves, please?
Clémence & Clément

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure. We are French, founders of the Paris-based interior design firm Orsini Daventure and are 32 and 33 years old respectively. We are partners and have been married for a few years. And there is also Pinto, our three-year-old dog.

  • Tell us about your background.
Clémence

I passed my baccalaureate in Japan and then did a year of preparatory art studies at the Atelier de Sèvres in Paris before entering the Camondo school. I loved my studies, very free and intense. After my degree, I started my professional life in a particularly creative way in stage design: I designed sets for haute couture shows. However, after two years of that, I wanted to work on more permanent and perhaps less superficial projects. So naturally, I returned to interior design. I had a very formative first experience in a super little company (the VIEWS agency), where I really learned the basics of the job. Then I collaborated with Studio KO, where I learned to unleash my creativity by working on amazing projects as part of a high-performance, international team. After these two experiences, I felt confident and ready to take the plunge.

Clément

After my high school years in Bourges, I studied at the Charpentier Academy in Paris, which prepared me for the Camondo competitive entrance exam. I met Clémence in class. After school, I went straight into Franz Potisek’s interior design studio, and I worked with him for six years. It was an extremely rewarding experience. Franz is very committed to the decorative arts and allowed me to train my eye by working with exceptional French techniques and expertise every day. Mainly in very high-end domestic projects throughout France. At the firm, we were quite unusual in that we only worked by hand, which is something I try to maintain as much as possible today.

  • Tell us about your education. Where did you grow up, and how did that affect the way your taste developed?
Clémence

I’m originally from Cap Ferret, but I had an international and cosmopolitan upbringing, as I lived for years in Milan, Vienna and Tokyo before coming to Paris to study. So I’ve always been between two worlds: on the one hand, the easy life and the bare feet in the sand; on the other, the bustle and opulence of the big cities. I moved fourteen times with my parents before I was eighteen and had to continually learn about new cultures and new places. My mother used to design a new interior every time, so that was a good starting point for me to do this job. I had a very open and multifaceted upbringing, lulled by the fantastic stories my father told of his childhood in Madagascar, among others. My choice to study art was never in question, although it was unheard of in my family.

Clément

It’s a bit of a cliché, but I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a kid, and I’ve always enjoyed it. My parents encouraged me very early on to express this creative side. In my earliest memories, my father would take me to the museum, and for a long time, I had the great classics of Russian music as a bedside recording (for those who know it, its real name is “The World of the Dinosaurs”). I grew up in the provinces and spent a good part of my childhood in the countryside. I realise now that this has influenced me a lot, especially in my unfailing love of old stones, French landscapes and the feeling of serenity they give me.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure

We like to say that we don’t have one! We like the idea of reinventing ourselves with each project.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
  • Tell us about Orsini Daventure, your interior design studio.
Clémence & Clément

We have been working on projects together for seven years and officially founded the agency two and a half years ago. Our training allows us to work on a wide range of projects and scales: while domestic spaces make up the bulk of our work, we have recently designed several shops and offices, and we love designing furniture. We are a small team of four, and at the moment, we find this is the right balance.

  • How would you define your style?
Clémence & Clément

We like to say that we don’t have one! We like the idea of reinventing ourselves with each project. Each location and each client requires a specific response. The context, be it geographical, historical or familial, stimulates us and dictates our style and direction. We try to be as radical as possible. We don’t consider that there is good or bad taste: the important thing is to assert something and to go through with the design.

  • Which of you does what?
Clémence

We always meet our clients together the first time. Then, depending on the feeling we get, one or the other takes over the direction of the project and develops it. On the other hand, ideas are always developed jointly. As our backgrounds – and characters – are very different, when they come together on a project, ideas abound and complement each other.

Clément

Clémence is more structured and brings rigour to my sometimes too far-fetched ideas. She’s very sociable and at ease in dealing with customers. As for me, I really like to find original objects; I am an avid fan of Drouot’s auction and the galleries.

What about designers and artists: whose work has influenced you and your work?

Clémence & Clément

We would need more than one page to answer that! We are neither of us pious, but we share a passion for religious architecture and, in particular, for cloisters. We can’t ignore the work of the inter-war decorators: we might mention Francis Jourdain, whose creations were not exclusively intended for the wealthy, which is not that common, and Armand Albert Rateau, particularly for the jewel of a bathroom created for Mademoiselle Lanvin. The Villa Cavrois, which we’ve visited several times, is incredibly contemporary, and the work of Adolf Loos is an infinite source of inspiration. We also invite you to come to Rouen to visit the rooms in the town hall decorated by Maxime Old, which we had to sneak into on a Sunday to take photos. Obviously, the 60s and 70s, very much in vogue at the moment: Henri Samuel, François Catroux, and David Hicks, to name but a few.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure

The flat is designed as a showcase to highlight our passion for collecting.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure

Who is inspiring you today?

Clément

Faye Toogood for the multi-disciplinary and radical nature of her projects and the Peregalli studio for the ambience they create. I recently noted the name of Amelia Tavella for her rehabilitation of the convent of Saint Francis, and I find the work of Bernard Dubois is very striking at the moment. There are also quite a few wonderful Chinese agencies in the retail sector, which are coming out with highly conceptual projects, but I can’t remember the names.

Clémence

I love Fabrizio Casiraghi’s work! For me, it’s a perfect blend of yesterday and today. And Studio KO, of course, they’re the best!

  • Tell us the story behind your apartment.
Clémence & Clément

Prerequisite: walls and a roof, in Paris! (laughs) Seriously though, a three-room apartment with as much work required as possible, so we could finally express ourselves for our own benefit. There were no neighbourhood constraints, but we were already living in the 18th arrondissement and were delighted to find it at the foot of the Butte Montmartre. We looked for a long time: almost two years, and it was such a no-brainer that we made an offer immediately on the landing when we finished the tour. We had to plan ahead… it was very dilapidated, and we had to build a kitchen and a bathroom.

How is your architectural signature expressed here?

Clémence & Clément

The flat is designed as a showcase to highlight our passion for collecting. The living room doesn’t get much light, and the decision was made to take it all the way with this warm colour on the walls (we call it “golden mustard”), lots of fabrics, carpets and a fireplace that gets used a lot. The bespoke kitchen is clad in stained birch combined with a coated worktop. In the living room, the fixed furniture elements, skirting boards and architraves were made by a craftsman from the Centre region. The floor and wall carpeted dressing room serves as an anteroom, the ceiling of which is covered with a fresco created by an artist friend, Dorian Zannettacci. The fully plastered bedroom and bathroom are bright rooms, and the off-white shades regulate the chromatic level of the flat. We have fun with the office, where we play with the setting and the strong line the wall hangings give. It’s ideal for stimulating creativity on Sundays. We weren’t particularly concerned with linking the rooms together, for once, but I think it works well. In any case, we live very well here!

How did you furnish these spaces?

Clémence & Clément

A heterogeneous mix of pieces that we designed: our dining room table, some chairs, the bookcases, sideboards and consoles in the living room, and everything else we found from different sources: auction houses, galleries in France and Italy, but also and often from countryside flea markets and provincial Emmaus stores. Each piece of furniture, each object has a story. I don’t think there’s anything we’ve bought new in this apartment, except for the carpets, which are all from Casa Lopez. Clément paints and some of his canvases hang in the apartment. He also made a mural above the fireplace to hide the television.

A heterogeneous mix of pieces that we designed: our dining room table, some chairs, the bookcases, sideboards and consoles in the living room, and everything else we found from different sources: auction houses, galleries in France and Italy, but also and often from countryside flea markets and provincial Emmaus stores. Each piece of furniture, each object has a story. I don’t think there’s anything we’ve bought new in this apartment, except for the carpets, which are all from Casa Lopez. Clément paints and some of his canvases hang in the apartment. He also made a mural above the fireplace to hide the television.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
  • Do you dream of owning pieces that you don’t have yet?
Clémence

I would like a 70’s aluminium fireplace set which we can’t find, so we will certainly design one in collaboration with the brand Walter and Moretti; their designer is a friend.

Clément

Randomly, I dream of porphyry busts, a large Oudry painting for the salon, and a ceremonial niche for Pinto. But I think we’ll end up designing that too.

What does your home say about you?

Clémence & Clément

Certainly, that we like objects. Our two cellars can testify to this as we can no longer get into them. Apart from this obvious point, you tell us!

What does The Socialite Family mean to you?

Clémence & Clément

It’s a platform that we’ve been following for years and in which we’re very proud to appear. A brand also in tune with the times, whose pieces we frequently find at our friends’ homes (personally, we have a soft spot for Carlotta lacquer tables).

  • Where will we meet again in the near future?
Clémence & Clément

We have just handed over two very nice apartments that will be photographed shortly and will be visible on our website and on Instagram. We are currently designing several boutiques for a French shoe brand, contemporary offices in Cotentin, a house in Greece and several flats on the Left Bank and in Neuilly.

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure

Each piece of furniture, each object has a story. I don’t think there’s anything we’ve bought new in this apartment (...)

Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure
Clémence Orsini and Clément Daventure

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