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For many years, Sonia Sieff has been living several lives. She is the daughter of iconic photographer Jeanloup Sieff and firstly belonged in the world of literature. Her current collection of reading matter clearly bears witness to this. She was trained to work with words before images, but gradually began walking in the footsteps of her father. Once she had graduated, she broke free, found inspiration and made a name for herself. Now as a photographer, with a particular appetite for the nude and “unacceptable portraits”, Sonia travels all over the world. Brands can’t get enough of her. She has accumulated a thousand and one treasures from her travels which can be found here and there in her Parisian hideout. The result is an eclectic style imprinted with patterns, bursting with colours and opposites which attract. We see the old side by side with designer objects, and warm African colours on cool Scandinavian furniture whose only purpose is to entertain. Because entertaining is indisputably in Sonia’s DNA.
Sonia, how would you define your style in terms of decoration?
My style is eclectic and blends together a selection of travel souvenirs, antique furniture, the colours North and South, not to mention Scandinavian and Italian design influences. I feel like beautiful apartments need to be lived in and build it up over time.
What are your inspirations for work?
They consist of travel, books, images of photography from great masters but also painters, designers and imaginative motifs. A striking sentence of a novel can inspire me for example.
Did you start the decoration from a particular piece?
A Scandinavian table to gather all my close friends around and unfortunately my chairs arrived months after! My Verner Panton table lamp was given to me by friends for my last birthday.
Where do you look to for furniture for your work? Do you have an online address?
I go often to the flea markets and chez Julien Segard is a favourite. Also Instagram – I follow a rather obscene number of accounts dedicated to design. I have made some beautiful discoveries thanks to a decorated friend, Clarisse Labro, who designed some of the furniture in my home. Some other preferred places are Svenkst Tenn and Shaker Workshops.
What do you like most about your interior?
I think what I like best are the happy mixtures. For example, the mix of the Svenskt Tenn et CSAO fabrics and for the table, that of Baccarat crystal and my family’s silver and ceramic plates from Positano. Every time I travel, I tend to bring back something sizeable – much to the dismay of the airline! It could be a picture from the 1930’s of Cochin, a Moroccan rug, some table mats from Japan or a nightstand from Paraty when I came back from Brazil.
Do you find it easy to reconcile having a nice decor and a child?
What is missing in your home?
A lot of things. I have a beautiful wish list. Beginning with a Murano glass chandelier, rather rococo then a coffee table by Capron and a lamp culture by Georges Pelletier. To enrich my inspiration wall, exchanging and giving images with photographer friends is another part of my plans!
Do you have a bargain or special piece of which you are most proud?
My collection of succulents brought back from my travels. Recently I acquired a red aloe vera from Zanzibar. Finally, my chairs by Shaker Workshops that were from the deepest part of the US and re-braided here in Paris.
Do you have a restaurant address you can recommend us in Paris or elsewhere?
I’m crazy about the sea and anything to do with it. I dream of going to have dinner Gérald Passedat in Marseille!
The best place for a holiday with children?
Without hesitation, it has to be Africa. For human and historic cultures without a time difference. An added bonus however is the vast stretches of beach as far as the eye can see!
Credits : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily