Thierry and Marie-Sophie are crazy about decoration. Once their workday ends, they indulge their insatiable appetite, reading decoration magazines, specialized online sites and regularly visiting the Drouot auction house. What is their motto? Feed on what they love: furniture! When they were moving into their new apartment only six months ago, they did all the work themselves. They rolled up their sleeves and got on with it. They demolished partitions, chose the glass, painted the walls and chose the wallpaper for the bedrooms. Everything was meticulously planned. Now the apartment is a real gem; spic and span as if they were awaiting a new baby. The Socialite Family wonder whether their secret dream might not be to drop everything to start their own interior design business…
Thierry, Marie-Sophie, what do you do for a living?
I am a jurist.
I am responsible for partnerships in a financial management company.
For how long have you lived here?
Six months. We redesigned the space and redid everything from floor to ceiling: it took three months; the apartment had been unchanged for forty years.
How did you design the décor?
One thing led to another. We had lofty ideas: a corridor with a strong presence, grey for the child’s room, a conservatory, a retro bathroom, black and white, a few carefully gauged patches of colour. And then when we imagined each room, we would imagine other things for the room next door…and this is the result! Everything was meticulously thought out, which was no small feat! But it’s very nice to glimpse a project, to move forward, to conceptualise it and then see it come to fruition.
We love to do up old apartments, we did it four years ago and we are already thinking about the next apartment! But for now we’ll calm down and enjoy this one… And maybe one day we’ll do it for other people!
What education did you have in terms of interior design?
My mother has always been sensitive to decoration and interior design, with a very keen eye for detail; she seeks to create spaces in which people feel good. In fact, we love exchanging suggestions about furniture and send each other photos of our finds. My father’s passions lie elsewhere: he is very sensitive to beautiful objects, to antique furniture with a story. We used to (we still do, in fact) visit auction houses very often. They are so exciting! That I think is why I like the mix of furniture: a 1970s lamp on a Louis XVI commode is a very good depiction of what I was taught.
How do you transmit a taste for beauty and beautiful materials to your children?
By surrounding them with things that we find pretty and explaining the life and origin of these objects. By asking their opinions of things around them, things that are part of our daily lives.
Can you reconcile a beautiful décor and family life?
Yes, I think so, with a bit more fussiness and a little less family life! The hardest part is the little fingers on paintings; but they’re learning.
We’re lucky because our son is very good from that perspective.
What are your favourite objects, works or pieces of furniture in your home?
An ancient mirror in a gilt wood frame, with a floral pattern that I find charming and poetic, though a little tarnished now, in which I used to gaze at myself as a child.
I love the marquetry commode: a classic but ultimately also very trendy. It fits easily with our interior and the idea that it spans the centuries is “cool” I think.
Describe your fantasy piece of furniture.
Where do you feel most at home?
Everywhere, really! Everything is still very new so we are still enjoying every room. Sleeping with my head against the glass, sitting to dinner with a view of the whole apartment, settling into the couch and getting lost in the subtle nuances of the colors in the paintings, crossing the corridor and getting this feeling of flowing, or reading stories in our son’s bedroom…
Do you have any décor advice for us?
Mix colors and prints. Daring color on the walls. Avoid uniformity. Combining beautiful objects from different periods works quite easily in the end; that way, pieces of furniture enhance each other. So do not hesitate to mix! And go for small objects that give tone to the décor and make the place feel lived-in: a nice notebook lying around, a box, a candle.
What is the no-no in terms of taste?
I do not think there’s any real bad taste if the object itself is beautiful or has a backstory. But sticking to closely to one period does seem a little museum-like, like something in a catalogue! Mixing plus the certainty that one is not mistaken.
What is the cheap item of which you are the most proud?
The table, which we purchased when the work was going on, without realising its size given that the living room was buried under tools, debris and paint cans! It is exactly what we wanted: beautiful and friendly!
Which is the latest restaurant you would recommend in Paris or elsewhere?
Les Novices. Really nice decor and great food. Ideal with families or friends as there are two large tables in the back and very practical benches. Plus the owner is very nice!
Could you give us two décor addresses on the web or in Paris?
Marie et Benoît, in Paris and Ars en Ré: a flea market style, small 1950s/1960s furniture, vintage military items that give character and great charm to a décor, super great linen cushions, just so many little finds, at very affordable prices! Also, Twicy Store: lots of small decorative objects (tableware, storage, stationery, …) fresh, fun and inspiring.
Credits : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily