Fanny and David Millet prefer to swim against the tide when it comes to decorative trends. Their new project? A spectacular and yet intimate apartment, where they welcome us accompanied by Andréa, 13 years old and Adam, who is 11. Inquisitive youngsters who have been aware of beauty all around them since early childhood, shaping their awareness of art and architecture. When you visit their historic “nest” – the building dates back to 1789 – reinterpreted with the help of the architect Saba Ghorbanalinejad, it is impossible not to think back to this creative family’s previous home. A genuinely original, out-of-this world interior, and one of those that inspired us to create The Socialite Family. This is similar – the pieces of furniture are more or less identical – but at the same time so different! The couple shows us their skill in orchestrating the arrangement of items that have been with them since the beginning of their life together. Outstandingly functional and beautiful: their belongings rub shoulders in what the designer calls “cheerful disarray”, while an immaculate kitchen is enhanced with red lacquered details and mirrored doors. Together with the imposing glass roof in the dining room, they succeed in setting the scene for a truly successful meeting of old and new.
Fanny, David: could you introduce yourselves, please?
I’m a stylist, David is a graphic designer. We’ve lived in Paris for years now. We moved here after living in Italy and London. We have 2 children; Andréa, 13 and Adam, 11.
How did you get to where you are today?
I studied law before enrolling at the Institut Français de la Mode. After my studies I started working at a French fashion house.
I studied at Ecole Estienne Paris, before swiftly setting up my first graphic design studio. I am currently Managing Partner of Agence Simone.
Tell us how you learnt about aesthetics. How did your tastes develop?
I learnt about aesthetics in a pretty passive way! I grew up in Africa then Paris, in places where art and architecture had a particularly strong presence. I naturally became very aware of it. My mother’s elegance also greatly influenced me.
I have always drawn. Meeting my step-father as a teenager opened the door to modern art.
How do you familiarise your own children with art and architecture?
Our children are often immersed in beautiful places that we each have our own say on! We also listen to a lot of music. Their aesthetic upbringing is gently shaped by these elements.
Which designers and artists have had a strong influence on you and your work?
Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, Tadao Andō, Auguste Rodin, Kiki Smith, Louise Bourgeois, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, Ettore Sottsass, Fra Angelico, Olafur Eliasson, directors, and so many others!
Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian, Rothko, Cy Twombly, Georges Nelson and Josef Müller Brockmann.
Tell us about when you first saw the apartment.
We pictured ourselves in the apartment from the word go, despite it needing lots of work! We fell in love with the views of the huge sculptures on the Musée Picasso art gallery and the glass-covered courtyard with sky views. The apartment is arranged around this glazed space which contrasts with its classical style. It also has old, beautiful volumes (the building dates from 1789).
How did you design it?
We asked architect Saba Gorbhanalinejad to help us as some areas required structural renovation, such as the kitchen placed in the middle of the living room and the dispropotionately-sized bedrooms. I also had a list of ideas that I was able to bring to life throughout the space. For example, the white kitchen, red handles, mirrored doors and Italian references.
We have had the same furniture since we moved in together a long time ago! Family pieces essentially; a mix of very old and contemporary style.
In a previous interview, you told us that you “hate accumulating and buy very little”. Is the way in which you “consume” decor still the same? If so, why?
Yes, I feel comfortable in spaces with minimal decor, where pieces are both functional and aesthetic. I enjoy freeing myself from clutter; I find it very easy to do!
What does the apartment say about you?
This apartment is a cocoon where the four of us express our desires in an intimate and cosy setting. It is also a welcoming space where family and friends come, go and relax. We like minimalist, colourful, functional and warm surroundings, topped off with a touch of drama!
How would you describe The Socialite Family?
Intimate photography of urban, modern-day families.
This apartment is a cocoon where the four of us express our desires in an intimate and cosy setting. It is also a welcoming space where family and friends come, go and relax.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily
In collaboration with evian®