Beautiful, young and talented, Charlotte and Hugo are part of a new generation of interior designers who we will be following closely in the coming years. Having just arrived in their apartment, which is also their office, Charlotte receives us with her natural, unadorned beauty. Wearing an old pair of Converse sneakers, she walks around with an innate elegance, coffee in hand. Hugo, meanwhile is just as charming in his nonchalance. The pair live and work together on major interior design projects. With hotels and private apartments to their credit, they are beginning to develop a clientele and a distinctive style characterised by white backdrops, and a predelection for quality materials such as marble, brass and leather. We are huge fan!
Charlotte, Hugo what are your occupations?
We are interior designers; we design and fit out living spaces for the public and for individuals.
How would you define your style?
Our ambition is to create places that are easy to live in with simple and relatively clean lines. A project’s starting point is always the context, the history of a place or the lifestyle of the people when it comes to individuals. We love it when periods confront one another and we like mixing up genres, allowing the space to breathe and letting the light shine in. We try to create atmospheric, sensitive areas, and we hope they will endure in time!
Is it easy to balance office and home?
Yes, to the extent that there is a real fluidity between our private and professional lives. We draw inspiration from a lot of things that arise from trips, exhibitions, books and often daily life and Paris. The downside is that it is sometimes difficult to stop.
What is for you the meaning of Festen?
Festen means celebration, which was the first word that came to our minds and which naturally asserted itself little by little.
What education have you had with respect to interior design?
Our respective family contexts are quite far from the milieus of architecture or design. Our education has accrued gradually (and continues to grow), with much curiosity, encounters and an ever-growing sense of observation.
What works, objects or furniture do you prefer in your home?
There are many. Boxes of all kinds in leather or wood from the family inheritance, or two photos in our office in the Villa Malaparte, offered by one of our photographer clients when we finished work on his place. We like objects that have a story.
What is the object of your wildest dreams?
An Oscar Niemeyer chauffeuse chair or Tobia Scarpa sofa. Something a little more reasonable would be the Cabana library of the Campana brothers, and we just gifted ourselves a Superleggera chair by Gio Ponti, which is a gem.
Who inspires you today?
Eileen Gray, Scarpa, Ponti, and Peter Zumthor, Michael Anastassiades for his minimalist and sensual lighting… We discovered the work of Geoffrey Bawa in Sri Lanka recently, a true lesson in architecture and landscaping. Artists Taryn Simon and Rudolf Stingel, Cy Twombly and Gerhard Richter. We love the photographs of Paul Graham. The most recent inspiring exhibitions include, Edge of the Worlds at the Palais de Tokyo and the exhibition on Carlo Mollino at the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris.
What is missing in your home?
In a very concrete way, storage space! In our dreams, a garden and a garage full of bikes.
Is there any decor advice you would like to give us?
Mix genres and eras in furniture and objects, use noble and natural materials (wood, stone, metal) worked raw or in a sophisticated manner, and work your walls in white in every shade it offers. Respect the history of the place, it’s always important. And risks are never bad to take, as long as the place is personal and it exudes a certain harmony.
Is there a fault of bad taste one should never commit?
We do not like to give lessons in general… We nevertheless still have a certain allergy for spots that turn any apartment into an impersonal showroom. And try not to fall into the trap of copying magazine pages.
Is there a restaurant you would recommend in Paris or elsewhere?
Can you give us two decor addresses on the web or in Paris?
L’ArcoBaleno, Their articles are always exciting and vibrant and Amytis, The Hanging Gardens for their beautiful compositions of plants. In Paris, the Saint Ouen Flea Market, especially the Artefact stand of Alexander Guillemain and Rue Hérold for their always fair selection of Charlotte La Grandière textiles.
What are your future projects?
A 4-star hotel in Pigalle, another near Saint Raphael, a restaurant in Paris, and private projects in Paris, Corsica and Normandy.
Credits : Constance Gennari@thesocialitefamily