Forbes Lifestyle Arts Laura Gonzalez: Design Maven Of Maximalism And Eclecticism Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I write about luxury, art and culture. Following Sep 25, 2023, 07:08pm EDT | Press play to listen to this article! Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The go-to architect and designer of the Paris jet set, Laura Gonzalez has left her invigorating mix-and-match touch on residences, hotels, restaurants and boutiques worldwide while conquering the French capital.
She imposes her signature style: a daring blend of revisited classic references and plays of materials, fabrics, colors, patterns, textures, crafts and eras. Combining multiple sources of inspiration, her artistic eclecticism imbues each of her projects with a soul. Believing that design is like fashion where you have to mix things up, her interiors may be mismatched, but they work together.
She gives the lowdown on working with clients and some of her favorite projects. Relais Christine five-star hotel in Paris Photo Didier Delmas Describe your creative process from the time a client commissions you to the final design. How do you start and what aspect do you start with? The biggest and most important part when a client calls upon us is the research we have to initiate.
Before we even start to draw or imagine anything, we have to fully grasp the codes of the project. We read a lot of books related to the region and story around the project’s area, see a lot of images in beautiful books, we also get inspired by the magazines. As many of my projects are abroad, I try to mix the local codes, through local craftsmanship for instance, while giving them France’s unique savoir-faire and our office’s vision.
How much freedom do you have to incorporate your own design language and approach into the interiors? If a client has decided to work with us, it’s because they see themselves in the work we have completed and created over time. We share the same esthetics and sensibilities. However, there is a difference between a retail and a private residential project.
We tend to have more freedom in a retail project such as a Cartier boutique or a restaurant, where we have to follow or even create a graphic chart, compared to a private client who has a precise idea of what he or she wants. But generally speaking, it’s all about bringing together the client’s aspirations and my inspirations. Sir Winston British pub and brasserie in Paris Photo Romain Ricard Among the private residences you have designed, which ones stand out? One of the most important residential projects I have designed is my showroom in Mainneville in Vexin.
It is a 19 th -century house we have restored and refurbished with some of the best craftsmen we have worked with. The house is meant to be open to the wider public by appointment only, to showcase my furniture line. MORE FOR YOU Today’s ‘Connections’ Answers And Hints For Monday, September 25 New Pixel 8 Pro Leaks Reveal Google s Exciting Camera Updates The Challenger 2 Tank Has A Lot Of Armor.
The Ukrainians Added More. Why did you decide to launch your own line of furniture, lighting and objects in 2017, who are the craftsmen you work with to manufacture them and what kind of customers are they targeted at? Are all the pieces made in France? I have been designing furniture for many projects for some time now. In an interior designer’s career, I believe at some point you have to design your own bespoke pieces, made to measure to fit perfectly the project’s universe and inspirations.
One of the most iconic pieces is the Bosphore lamp and wall light I designed and made with ceramist Jean Roger Paris. The whole point of launching the line was to make it available to the wider public, while enjoying designing it. Most of them are made in France, but can also be manufactured in Portugal, Italy or Spain.
Bosphore wall lamp Photo courtesy of Laura Gonzalez What is the hardest thing in design for you? The hardest thing would be to keep on finding challenges in every project. I do not want to be bored. On the contrary, I need to be surprised and raise challenges all the time.
Tell me about your studio, how big your team is and how many projects you work on at any one time. Today my team is composed of 20 people. It’s not a lot, as we can be handling many projects at the same time, in all fields: interior design, furniture design, architecture, etc.
I love my team. At the beginning, the studio felt just like family as we were fewer. And, at some point, we grew bigger and bigger.
When a new member arrives in the team, he or she first needs to understand my style in order for me to pass on the codes of the office, and then we can have fun and exchange ideas. Cartier Vendôme boutique in Paris Photo Romain Laprade Tell me about some of the interior design projects you’re currently working on or have recently completed. What is your game plan for the future? I am currently working on multiple projects around the globe: hotels in Cape Town and Rome, the Arts Club in London, Cartier boutiques worldwide.
One of my favorite projects is the Saint James hotel in Paris. This mythical hotel conceived as a private late 19 th -century townhouse is a true legacy to the neo-classical style, with great references to Ancient Greece. We called upon many craftsmen to work on different parts of the hotel and blended various styles to create an audacious result – bespoke furniture punctuated by arts and crafts, a contrast between fabrics and layers, florals and panoramic wallpapers – to elevate the ambiance to a purely magnificent spirit of the 19 th century.
For the future, I want to be surprised and challenged in my projects, and get somewhere I have never been before. Follow me on LinkedIn . Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions.