Leaving London to be “near her other half”, Emily Capron not only began a new part of her personal and professional life on her return to the French capital. She also began work on her apartment. An interior totally redesigned in the course of an evening with her alter ego – and husband – Cyril. Between the crucial stages of the viewing and the offer, the young couple perceived the potential of this 62 m2 and decided to redesign it on the spot. In just a few hours, the essentials were there. The old two-room apartment now had three, the layout was reinvented. The identity of the property we are presenting to you today in this article had begun to assert itself! The taste – and the rigour – of these two interior designers are already there, plain to see. And they confirm it to us: “Everything was clear in our heads. We didn’t hesitate in our choices! ». The founder of Studio E-C and Christophe Pillet’s talented collaborator explain these same choices to us later on. The original wooden floor, with a patina in some places and recreated – as if it had always been there – re-imagined in some of the mouldings. The combination of pink marble and walnut as a harmonious palette aimed at breathing new life into the classic elements previously discussed. As for the storage units, they all bear their signature. From the kitchen to the library in the entrance hall, the dressing room and even … the coffee tables in the living room. A ballet of geometrical shapes in this room where all eras coexist! And what about the bathroom? A blue box that immerses us either in the waters of Alain Capeillères’ swimming pool or in those of Corsica, so often in Cyril’s dreams, as a native of Bonifacio. Where will we find them a few years from now? There are many answers, still uncertain. Emily and her Studio E-C’s building projects will perhaps help them to fulfil one of their shared fantasies: a house with a view of the sea.
Emily, Cyril: can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are both interior designers, and we met at the end of our five years of study in Paris. Cyril had always lived in Corsica, and I lived in the Loire Valley. After my degree, I went to work in London and was there for seven years at Foster + Partners, and then at Gundry & Ducker, while Cyril started his collaboration with Christophe Pillet in Paris, which continues to this day. I have been back for some time now, so that he and I can start a new stage in our lives and embark upon a new professional adventure. It was after a few collaborations in Paris that Studio E-C was born.
What did you learn from your years at Foster + Partners and then Gundry & Ducker, Emily, and what did you get from your collaboration with Christophe Pillet, Cyril?
Foster + Partners taught me rigour, precision, perfection and innovation as well as teamwork on large-scale projects (notably the Apple campus at Cupertino) and pulling the occasional all-nighter to meet a deadline! At Gundry & Ducker, it was more about the technical detail, strong concepts and the use of colour, English culture and site management.
After more than 10 years working alongside Christophe, I have acquired considerable rigour in designing things on different scales, whether that is in architecture or interior design, but, above all, a taste for art and certain significant pieces in the history of design.
Before that, what education did you have in art and design?
Ever since I was very young, I have been fascinated by the drawings and plans produced by my uncle and aunt, who are both architects. But the culture of art and design came later, during my studies, and that is still developing day by day.
Like Emily, art and design education came really during my studies in Nice and Paris. It is still continuing today, and at a much faster pace, for the projects we are developing with Christophe! But living in Bonifacio, surrounded by hotels, restaurants, villas and yachts, I was imbued with the art of living and entertaining from a very young age.
Emily, what is the style of Studio E-C?
Studio E-C is a new adventure for me. Strictly speaking, there is no predefined “style”, it depends on the context, the place and its history, what springs from that and the personality of our clients. But we are continually looking for ways to reinterpret historical and traditional standards in a concern for simplicity and modernity through the private and public places we create. We are seeking to move away from fashion and its effects to create timeless architecture and style. We prefer natural or traditional materials that take on a patina and evolve over time, giving them a new life.
We designed all storage furniture to measure so that it is as optimised as possible. From the library in the entrance hall, to the kitchen in its entirety, via the dressing room (…) as well as the dining table and coffee tables in the living room!
Tell us about your inspirations. What inspires you?
In a way, “everything” inspires us. Whether it’s the decor we see in a film, an embroidery on a textile, the tiles in an old kitchen, the colours in a landscape, even the handle of a knife. We are quite curious about what is happening in the world of photography, fashion, good food, the art of the table and so on. We are always discussing the things we observe and what we become aware of, which enriches us mutually. And, of course, there is the legacy left to us by the great artists of the early 20th century, Carlo Scarpa, Charlotte Perriand, Ettore Sottsass… to name but a few.
Is there an artistic movement, an era or a designer that you could never become tired of?
The avant-garde architecture of the early 20th century.
You have completely redesigned and remodelled this apartment. Tell us about the work involved, and your choice of materials and finishes.
We imagined and redesigned the apartment in one evening (just after we viewed it and before making an offer). The aim was first of all to create this two-room apartment out of three rooms, giving the impression that this extra space was already part of the design, but also to create a way of separating the more private spaces from the reception rooms. Similarly, as far as materials were concerned, in some places we wanted to renovate and recreate the original wooden flooring with a patina that would look as if it had always been there and to restore the mouldings so that they would continue to look exactly the same. Natural wood is used for all the furniture in the apartment. There is also a touch of pink marble in the various rooms, which is used for shelves, skirting boards, edgings or worktops.
What result did you have in mind?
Everything was clear in our heads and we didn’t hesitate in our choices. Our wish was to give back to this flat the classic look of a Parisian interior while breathing new life and a new dynamic into it. A warm and pleasant space to live in everyday and that reflects our image.
Colour takes pride of place in your bathroom, entirely in blue, and only there. Why did you make that choice?
Indeed, it’s only room in the apartment was treated differently from the others. A box within a box. This allowed us to have fun modelling a shower and bathtub together as well as a made-to-measure vanity unit! We could imagine we were at the bottom of a municipal pool or under the water in Alain Capeillères’ swimming pool.
How did you furnish the apartment?
It was done naturally and progressively. We already had a few pieces that had been with us for some time, both in London and Paris. Wedding gifts, such as the Callimaco floor lamp from Sotsass, lots of other lamps and chairs, and also prototypes, photographs, objects we’ve found on our travels or on our outings to flea markets, which we like very much! It even goes as far as the dinner service. Recently, we found a silver champagne bucket made by Berger, which is a real favourite for both of us. Apart from that, we designed all storage furniture to measure so that it is as optimised as possible. From the library in the entrance hall, to the kitchen in its entirety, via the dressing room, the chest of drawers and the vanity unit, as well as the dining table and coffee tables in the living room!
Where will we find you in the coming months?
Actually, in our flat in Paris, making a few detours through Bonifacio and London. In our dreams: in a little stone house, in the sunshine, with a sea view (and a swimming pool!) That we would have completely renovated and designed ourselves.
For Studio E-C, in Orleans working on a project for a workshop, offices and shop, and also in Paris for a Parisian apartment building project and, if the economic situation allows it, a hotel and a restaurant. In our dreams: hotel in Corsica, a restaurant in London and a villa near the sea.
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily