Stéphanie Lizée chose to move in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, a neighbourood completely changing near Gare du Nord. This woman coming from the south of France fell for the fresh capital city, for its courtyards, cafés, inhabitants and (numerous) exhibitions. A real source of inspiration for a woman who belongs to the new generation of prominent architects. Stéphanie loves forms and materials, timeless lines and delicate places. She has an eye for beautiful objects, and thanks to this, she brings a thrilling, comforting and bright soul to these places. Bright, just like the colours she subtly combines. Her apartment is just like her. Her father’s collection of art books is the common theme of the place, and the mixes of materials she and Gae Aulenti – her model – love are legion. By having us visit her apartment, Stéphanie seems to tell us a story. The story of her passions, her family life and also her work. It’s an extension of herself. It was also true when she was a little girl and when, just like her father, she used to move the pieces of furniture all the time.
Stéphanie, what do you do for a living?
I am an interior designer. I design every type of spaces: apartments, shops, restaurants, etc. I studied at the Académie Charpentier in Paris, and I quickly wanted to work alone. It’s quite intense, but really addictive. You can see more on my website : Stéphanie Lizée.
Who taught you about architecture and interior design?
My father taught me about beautiful objects when I was very young. He’s a multifaceted artist, who paints and sculpts. He used to move the pieces of furniture a lot in the house, which upset my mother! This is something I got from him: I quickly get tired of the places of the furniture. I think I chose the right job. When I left the family home, I was very young, and he gave me his collection of art books and, above all, the Warren Platner he bargain-hunted almost 20 years ago now, in an antique fair in Provence, for only 150 French francs.
Which architects and interior designers inspire you the most?
I’m passionate about the Italian architects and designers Carlo Scarpa, Gio Ponti and Franco Albini. And I love Gae Aulenti, and especially her renovation of the Altana Palazzo Pucci in Florence. I love everything she created: the stainless steel furniture, the carpeting, the big and contemporary terracotta cushions. I wished I could live there. I also like Oscar Niemeyer, his architecture and his furniture. Everything inspires me. I could live in the headquarters of the Communist Party. I’m not sure Franck would be ok, but the atmosphere there is amazing. I wish I had his Rio chaise longue or his On1 armchair.
How would you define your personal style?
I don’t want to design fashionable places, and I don’t like what’s superfluous. I care about the materials, colours and lights. I want to create true living places: fluent, delicate, timeless and not ostentatious, and where the furniture has the place of honour.
Where do you find your inspirations when you design spaces?
Paris inspires me, I’ll never get tired of it. Especially the Parisian courtyards, cafés, people, and exhibitions. Lastly, there was Maurizio Cattelan in the Monnaie de Paris and Cy Twombly in Beaubourg. But I was also moved by the exhibition of Christo in the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. His monumental mastaba fascinated me.
What are your current favourite materials?
I’m obsessed by stainless steel, enamelled terra cotta, coloured carpeting and mohair velvets. I like the materials when they live, tell a story, and when they are made by passionate people. We need to mix the materials: please, no total look! I am also very fond of greens. Every green: the grass green like in Pablo’s room, the khaki in our entrance and the olive mohair by Pierre Frey in our daybed.
How do you design the spaces? What would be the most important thing in a home for you?
I like starting from the place, which inspires me materials and an atmosphere. I like when all the rooms are linked and when the colours and materials come from a real reflection. I straightaway see the volume I have to design. Usually, the first idea I have is the best one. The most important would be to give a soul, a style, and a great atmosphere to a place. This is what happens at home. There we feel very, very good.
What’s your favourite colour right now?
Green, but not only! I like combining subtly bright colours. No half measure, but firm and accepted tones. Olive greens, royal blue, reds, terra cotta… Well, warm colours, mostly because of the season and my roots.
I like combining subtly bright colours. No half measure, but firm and accepted tones
Where are you going to hunt your furniture for your home?
I look for furniture in my neighbourhood, even when I don’t intend to. Between my apartment in the 10th arrondissement of Paris and my office in the 9th, I cycle by Nationale 7 , but also by Jacques Debauge, rue Condorcet – where I bought my very 80’s red bracket. And also The Garage Sale, faubourg Saint-Denis. I could buy lights and chairs every day. I would need 200m² more to put it all. And there is also the classical leboncoin, Selency and the flea market of Saint-Ouen, where I found my low chairs and the USM.
Is it easy to combine a nice decoration and family life?
Yes. The space needs to be a lively place; it doesn’t have to be rigid. I like tidiness, but I’m not fussy. I can’t design our space if I know we are not going to fully live in it. I like the fact my son appropriates the apartment, and he’s good at it!
Could you recommend us 3 places for decoration you love?
In Paris, the antique dealer Jacques Debauge and the Galerie Christine Diegoni – a great selection of lights by Sarfatti and Sottsass. Online, Shopu. A wonderful selection of daily objects.
Is there a restaurant you would recommend us? In Paris or elsewhere?
Of course an Italian restaurant! Le Cibus, rue Molière. It’s a very secret place, there are only a few tables. It looks like a restaurant in Naples. Their octopus salad and the Sicilian wine are to die for.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Traduction : TextMaster @thesocialitefamily