“Learn to think in colour and you’ll see the world differently“. So said the great colour specialist Michel Pastoureau a few years ago. Far from being trivial, colours say a lot about us. Full of meaning, they reflect the greater history of the world as well as the small, intimate history of each individual. For Lisa Gachet, her partner Kévin and their two children Suzanne and Lazare, there’s no doubt: colour is a joy. The Socialite Family visited the colourful and highly imaginative home of the creator of Make My Lemonade and her family to enjoy a conversation with her. And it was a gloriously colourful visit, of course.
Lisa and Kévin, could you introduce yourselves, please ?
I’m 35, and Paris has been my home for the past 18 years. I’m the founder and artistic director of the Make My Lemonade brand.
I’m a 38-year-old expatriate from Limoges, and I’ve been living in Paris for nearly fifteen years. I work in communications for Red Bull.
Lisa, we visited you in Paris three years ago! And today, we are here in your new apartment with Kevin and your two children. Tell us how you came across this place.
An awful lot has happened in three years! After your last visit, we bought a 59 m2 flat in the 18th arrondissement, and we renovated it completely. It was a real challenge to do it all in a short space of time… especially as we were constrained in the timing by the birth of our first daughter, Suzanne. We love a challenge, so we decided to have a second child as soon as possible, and the apartment was about to become too small, too!
It’s a fact that when you become a parent, you spend more time at home. Bearing in mind the weather in Paris, we had to find a bigger space, somewhere we could be comfortable, especially on rainy days! We sold our cosy little nest and, now, we’re back in the 10th arrondissement — renting. We didn’t do any major renovation work, just some light refurbishing and decorating. With its wooden floors and mouldings, this apartment was a blank canvas, and we had no trouble imagining ourselves living here.
I like the idea of the total look applied to different surfaces and materials. We've used our apartment as a laboratory for experimenting with colours
Lisa, you are the creator of the Make My Lemonade ready-to-wear brand, which needs no introduction. To what extent does fashion influence your approach to interior design?
My brand is very colourful and, I hope, joyful! When I design a pattern, I often think it would look just as good as a curtain, tablecloth or cushion. I like the idea of the total look applied to different surfaces and materials. During our latest collaboration with Monoprix in May, many of the prints were used on both decorative items and clothing. The range we designed was completely cross-disciplinary, and it was a delight to have so much freedom. Generally speaking, the idea of creating a more comprehensive approach has been in the back of my mind for a long time, and the brand’s in-house range is about to see the light of day. In that sense, we’ve used our apartment as a laboratory for experimenting with colours.
What have been your inspirations as you’ve been designing this space?
We’re lucky that we often agree about decoration. On a personal level, Kévin also encourages me to go all out: he knows how central colour is to my well-being. There are different inspirations in every room. The starting point for each room is the wallpapers or the colours chosen for the walls. In the dining room, we used Mues design wallpaper in a peachy pink gradient and played with touches of Pantone colours to see what would work best with this sort of pinkish hue. The result is quite bold, but the sky blue of the Tylko sideboard was perfect. Then, to avoid adding a third colour that could be too strong, we used warm mustard, orange and yellow tones to match the wallpaper. The living room was a real gamble. I wanted a meadow green wall: it’s a Pantone colour that we gave to our decorator, who found something very similar from a supplier. We wanted to use this intense green with orange. This Julie Lansom woven hanging light was our moving-in present, and it’s a real ray of sunshine!
For the children’s bedroom, we kept the large Flower Market illustrations by Astrid Wilson that were already in our previous apartment, and played around with shades of pink and green. When we moved in, there were PAX pedestals from IKEA. We chose Plum Living doors and panelling in rosemary and blush, and the decorative elements are cane and rattan or natural wood so as not to overpower the whole.
For the bedroom, we fell in love with these very chic stripes in pink and burgundy from Mues design. Everything was built around them: the double curtains in cotton gauze and corduroy from The Socialite Family. For the dressing room, we chose Plum Living in light oak with wickerwork again to add a timeless touch. It’s also a nod to our old apartment, where the wickerwork was already there in our dressing room. Finally, we played with touches of burgundy for the Studio Gaïa ceramic bedside tables, which we contrasted with the white of the large The Socialite Family pendant and the curly wool armchair that we’ve had for years.
From the outset, you and The Socialite Family have shared a love of colour and materials. Why have you chosen our Brera lights, Teatro and Palazzo curtains and our Classica chair?
Lighting is always a complex subject. There’s a vast range, and we wanted to find elegant pieces that we wouldn’t tire of quickly, and that would stand the test of time. We also thought the Brera’s pleated technique was magnificent.
It reminds me of the pleats we use regularly at Make My Lemonade. The Teatro and Palazzo curtains completely swept me off my feet: I’ve been a fabric lover for a long time, and the materials used in these curtains are divine. And the cherry on the cake is, they’re blackout. I’m not even going to mention the muted, intense colours, which add character and a touch of gravitas to the decor of these colourful rooms. As for the Classica leopard chair, those of you who’ve known me for a while know all about my love for a leopard pattern; it’s almost a basic for me. What’s more, I love the fact that the leopard spots are woven in jacquard rather than printed – it makes all the mismatched chairs around our table look even better!
those of you who've known me for a while know all about my love for a leopard pattern; it's almost a basic for me
Stripes, curved shapes, amusing little touches: your apartment is fantastic and irresistible! Do you have any tips for combining so many different colours and patterns in your home?
I’ve done a lot of experimenting. I particularly like designing the settings when we’re shooting our collections, but I’d say you shouldn’t be afraid that you might get bored by colour. For me, it’s like wearing clothes that I love: they make me smile whenever I wear them! I’m happy when I see a successful colour combination. But if I had to give one piece of advice to people who are still undecided, it would be to buy some big, thick sheets of paper and test colour samples on the walls you want to decorate. You get a much better idea of the potential results on larger surfaces than with tiny pieces of paper. And don’t hesitate to put a few pieces together in front of these large painted sheets, perhaps using a lamp or a tablecloth, to try out different colour combinations before you take the plunge!
How do you manage to satisfy your decorative desires at home while still maintaining a kids-friendly environment?
We’re lucky: our daughter loves her room and plays in there a lot. So, for the time being, our living room doesn’t look like a nursery. However, to get more interaction with her and make the most of her being there with us, we have dedicated cupboards in the living room where she keeps her books, and we’ve set up her little kitchen in the living room – which also means that the four of us don’t have to cram ourselves into the children’s bedroom. As for the rest of it, the cupboards and wardrobe are closed with childproof magnets, and there are very few things within reach of curious hands. But these little hands grow up quickly, and we have to remain vigilant… without forgetting that our apartment is a living space that reflects us, full of colour, encouraging happiness and triggering smiles!
I'm happy when I see a successful colour combination. No advice : just experiment !
What are your favourite haunts in the 10th arrondissement?
Centre Commercial Kids for the warm welcome and the selection of clothes, consistently cutting-edge, with brands we love… (22 rue Yves Toudic, Paris), Holybelly for a daily treat, a perfect spot for early risers too: no queues and waking up with a new flavour (5 rue Lucien Sampaix, Paris). Mamiche, the bakery, is just down the road from our old apartment but we still make a small pilgrimage there. Ham and cheese rolls for breakfast are our guilty pleasures (32, rue du Château d’Eau, Paris). Then there’s Le Réveil du 10e. We’re never disappointed by the eggs mimosa on the menu at this little brasserie (29, rue Bouchardon, Paris). And just opposite the Make My Lemonade boutique, Gros Bao is an easy place to treat friends and family. Everyone loves the crispy chicken (72, quai de Jemmapes, Paris).