Augustin, at home where do you spend the most time?
I don’t get to spend enough time doing this but when I get the chance, evening or weekend, I just flop onto the sofa facing the Seine and read as much as I can or daydream.
Who designed the library?
It was my beloved sister, Fanny Prat. She designed this custom library not only to house all my books but to enhance their coverage- composed together it is a design feature in itself. In my mind, there is nothing more beautiful than books gathered together as decoration on the wall.
Which item do you prefer the most?
Probably my jukebox from 1967 from a bar in Milwaukee, USA. It is a Seeburg V200 that I saw at the flea market and couldn’t stop thinking about for at least a few months. I began to imagine and create the ideal nightclub music etc. I found a haphazard mix of Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Joan Baez and Barbara. It is a piece that takes up a lot of space and is quite intense however I really love it as it breaks up the sense of bachelor sterilisation.
Are you a collector?
I certainly collect books, in spite of myself. Over time, after receiving many and purchasing more, I have learnt to deconsecrate and care not about the object itself. Cautious collectors are common but more often than not, my guests will leave my home with a book in hand.
Where do you go to look for furniture?
I explore Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, finding classics. Sometimes and increasingly, I search leboncoin, eBay and other obscure US-based websites.
How do you describe your style in terms of decor?
For a long while, I referred to it as mid-century modern, evidenced in pieces by Charles et Ray Eames, Florence Knoll and Hans Wegner. In addition to that, I also have a passion for design icons as such, the LC1 chair by Le Corbusier has always fascinated me. It is a piece that’s virtually perfect with elegance and simplicity.
Your books act as the decor in your living room, are they arranged in any particular order or way?
They are alphabetised by the author’s name. After that, in chronological order of the bibliography of each individual author. It is for comfort and ease as I’d find it impossible to find a certain books otherwise. Furthermore, there is something very beautiful about being surrounded by these works that meet each other on the shelf, Lydia Salvayre and San Antonio, Doris Lessing and Primo Levi, David Foster Wallace and Michel Foucault.
Did you decide the decor?
Absolutely all me, complete with wanderings and errors in taste. That said, I live alone so apart from my dog Jean-Francois, the responsibility is all mine when it comes to explaining that expensive concept candle or the old lady puppet from Bali I’ve had since childhood…
Do you have an iconic architect or designer that makes you dream?
Probably Charlotte Perriand, even though I only have one her little stools. I dream of one of the great tables in ash from the sixties. They remind me of my grandparents in Auvergne.
Your idea of bad taste is what?
Nothing is more stunning in the living room, in my opinion, than a lack of taste. This is exactly what uniqueness and beauty is… preference and niche visions. The problem is when you start to accumulate clutter, you need to fight that all the weekend long!
A treasure or bargain of which you are most proud?
I really love my copper ashtray by Marine Breynaert. She made all the lighting in the apartment including some of the candle holders. This golden ashtray is surprisingly simple.
A restaurant you can recommend in Paris or elsewhere?
Without a doubt, it is Genio. It’s on Avenue Théophile Gautier close to the Maison de la Radio where I have my lunch almost everyday. The plate of orecchiette blows my mind every time!
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily