"What Inspires Me" with StudioParisien

Born through the fusion of two iconic and charismatic personalities: Laurène and Romain, StudioParisien was built over time since the two met 15 years ago. Laurene, an interior designer from Penninghen Art School and Romain a scenographer and designer met while working on their first project for a French Luxury House, “We met through a mutual friend who introduced us because I was looking for skills like Laurene has and we hit it off right away” says Romain. “It was immediately fusional in terms of creativity” he adds. Their collaboration is fluid and their artistic symbiosis is striking. Early on they were told that they had a common signature, a coherence that made their projects stand out. In 2013, they decided to associate their two identities and expertise, and created StudioParisien.

StudioParisien binds two different but complementary visions: the interior architect and the scenographer. Their projects are internationally acclaimed and made all the headlines these past years. Par Excellence had the chance to meet this fantastic duo!

>> Discover the website

Laurène B. Tardrew and Romain Jourdan. ©Jaïr Sfez

We meet Laurene and Romain in their studio at the heart of Paris on a very snowy day. StudioParisien is located in the district of Le Marais, rue de Sévigné. Le Marais is a small village full of energy and creativity. Historically there are many craftsmen, architects, contemporary artists and galleries. “There is a story around every corner” and it feeds the duo’s creativity on a daily basis. They chose to have a studio that looks like a flat, a cozy and warm place in which they like to work with the rest of their team. Just like their interior projects, their studio is rather minimalistic, soft and very comforting. It conveys the agency’s environment, identity and inspirations.

Laurène and Romain were brought up in Paris, a city that inspires them a lot. The French style and this new generation of French interior architects such as Joseph Dirand and Pierre Yovanovitch to cite a few, drives the two designers. “We were really carried away by this style”. Another great source of inspiration is craftsmanship and French know-how. StudioParisien are in a constant dialogue with the highly skilled craftsmen they work with.

From the beginning of StudioParisien, Ateliers Jouffre has been a regular resource to create innovative furniture. “Ateliers Jouffre were immediately eager to collaborate with us, so we worked together on our first collection with the Panther sofa, inspired by the Cartier’s Panther”.

There is a signature, a beautiful energy when you go to the Jouffre Workshops in Lyon, France” – StudioParisien

Strong supporter of arts and crafts, StudioParisien has at heart the protection of craftsmanship. “The general public is discovering and acknowledging all these techniques. It’s part of a heritage that have to be preserved and developed. It should not be lost. Young people are more and more excited to begin a career in a workshop, which is great!”. From their collaboration with the Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne for a recent residential project in Paris, StudioParisien remembers the Manufacture’s openness to creation, the great research work, the richness of volumes and colors. For Laurene and Romain, carpets and rugs are a real mean of expression that should be treated as a work of art that is put on the floor. “Carpets bring a real identity to a space, a real depth”.

“Paris is the city in which we express ourselves best and in which we want to be and create” – StudioParisien

StudioParisien cumulates a number of exceptional projects without being locked into a single visual signature. From Bhogossian, to Cartier and Christofle, the two designers are called upon for their creativity, their know-how and their craftsmanship. “It’s the drawing, the research, the understanding of a brand and the clients, the desire that we have around the theme. We approach things with poetry and clarity. We try to be as elegant as possible, as gentle, as companionable as possible” explains Laurène. It is also a lot of instinct adds Romain. Like many creative people, they have a vision. Images, forms, materials come to them quickly. Whether it is a form, a material, an atmosphere, a DNA, they are both very sensitive to the brand’s identity. “Laurène and I immediately have ideas and desires on our side, instinctively”.

Each project is the result of a rich and sensitive dialogue between the brand and the Studio, “It is about listening and stylizing their identity. There is a lot of curiosity and listening involved at this stage of the process and this is the phase I prefer” says Laurène. The end goal is to create a nice mix between the quality of the space, the light, the circulation and keep a global consistency while offering a beautiful interior.

While the interview goes on, we can’t help to notice the incredibly strong bond between Romain and Laurène. So, we ask: “How does this creative fusion translate on a daily basis?”

Ah well, it’s intense!” says Laurène.

We argue a lot!” adds Romain.

They are the opposite on the way they approach things and infuse each project with their extraordinary complementarity. “In fact, we function exactly like a couple in life, except that we are not a couple in life. We are a creative couple. It’s quite lively!”. However, they know that they are on the right path when they both agree on something. Overall, they have the same eye and vision.

“Before anything else, it is a human adventure. It is all about what we can transmit and bring to each other, whether it is with the team, the craftsmen and the clients.” – StudioParisien

The duo demonstrates a creative flexibility, skillfully playing between French craftsmanship and a desire for minimalist lines inspired by their French contemporaries. StudioParisien effortlessly transitions from residential to retail projects. The two designers also created a line of furniture and is constantly looking for new materials, crafts and techniques to create innovative pieces. Their curiosity and desire to explore is tangible and they have a lot of incredible projects ahead!


Victoria Wilmotte exposes her new iconic pieces in Paris

Translated from a French article by Signatures Singulières

Victoria Wilmotte exposes the different facets of her talent in the Silvera space in Saint-Germain. The opportunity to (re) discover her creative universe as well as her ingenious and singular furniture. Signatures Singulières Magazine went to her exhibition that honors the work and the French know-how of the famous designer.

Above: Victoria Wilmotte. On the right: “Zigzag” armchair upholstered with a purple velvet by Pierre Frey. ©Yannick Labrousse.

Victoria Wilmotte Collection. Dining table in Oyster Soften marble on an aluminium honeycomb. Unique piece. Dimensions: H 73,5 x 230 x 90 cm. ©Yannick Labrousse.
Coffee table "Gasket" in softened Brazilian slate. Anodized aluminum legs threaded and screwed to the top. Unique prototype. H 73.5 x 230 x 90 cm. Victoria Wilmotte collection. ©Yannick Labrousse.

Victoria Wilmotte, the art of precision

Former student of the Camondo School in Paris, then of the Royal College of Art in London, Victoria Wilmotte specialized in product design under the direction of Ron Arad. Over the years, she has established herself on the design scene by collaborating with renowned brands such as Poliform, Legrand, ClassiCon or Land Rover. In 2009, the designer created her own studio before opening her workshop a few years later to design bespoke pieces or prototypes for industrial production. This workshop became a real laboratory of ideas. She explored with metallic and mineral materials, She cut and hollowed their surfaces playing with the textures. A creative process that is close to a sculptor’s work, coupled with an engineer’s precision… Today, Victoria Wilmotte develops her creative universe by self-publishing unique pieces in her own workshop, VW Factory, that she presents at Silvera.

VW Factory, Victoria Wilmotte’s workshop. ©Fabien Breuil.
"Zigzag" Console in powder-coated folded steel. Top in softened silver wave marble (unique finish with this top). H 87 x L 140 x W 40 cm. Victoria Wilmotte collection. ©Yannick Labrousse.

Iconic collections and brand-new pieces by Victoria Wilmotte at Silvera

Victoria Wilmotte offers a sneak peak at her collections and exhibits the latest VW Factory products at the Silvera showroom in Saint-Germain. There you can discover an astonishing chandelier in folded sheet metal, a playful console and backlit marble lamps… But also, an armchair and a sofa all in velvet, quite innovative! This was the first time that the designer worked with fabric. And the result is astonishing. This exhibition is the occasion to discover the Ginza lamp post for Man Of Parts and its furniture edited by the brand Classicon, such as the Piega mirrors or the Pli tables, gloriously staged by the designer. “A project initiated as part of the Designers Days at Silvera Poliform – she (Victoria Wilmotte) once again surprises with her ingenuity, her taste for volumes and surface treatments” says Brigitte Silvera.

Table lamp. Base in softened Marquina marble and luminous veil in Lilac marble with an integrated LED plate. Dimensions: H 60 x 37 cm. Unique piece. Victoria Wilmotte collection. ©Yannick Labrousse.
"Zigzag" Chandelier in powder-coated folded steel. Ø 120 cm. Victoria Wilmotte Collection. ©Yannick Labrousse.

Interview with Victoria Wilmotte

Which new creations do you present in the Silvera showroom in Paris ?

A wall lamp, a chandelier, a console, a coffee table… A lot of new products that are part of my creative process. But also a statement piece, a completely new type of furniture for me: a sofa and an armchair. I was initiated to fabric treatment, forcing me to get out of my comfort zone to integrate softness and tenderness in a monster of precision.

Why did you create special and self-produced editions?

It all started when I worked with stone and marble. With these precious materials, you often have to draw tables and other bespoke pieces. I then followed the idea of limited and self-published pieces by creating my own workshop, the VW Factory, in which I can manufacture order-based production and develop my creative universe.

Maintaining your event in a context of confinement is quite audacious!

I did not want to cancel it. I wanted to close this decade with the creations that emanated from it. During the confinement, my desire to create compounded. I opened myself to other horizons and now I wish to continue on this path of proliferation and amazement!

Vases "ZigZag". Daum crystal paste. Limited edition of 300 pieces. Victoria Wilmotte collection. ©Yannick Labrousse.

10 years of creations in a limited edition book

To accompany this exhibition which highlights the graphic, rigorous and majestic universe of the designer, an anniversary publication celebrating the 10 years of Victoria Wilmotte’s creations is available. A book signed and edited in only 100 copies that lists all of the designer’s objects and installations. A beautiful book that reveals her creative line and inspirations, from volume, symmetrical compositions and contrasted design. A collector’s book not to be missed.

For all information, please contact the Silvera showroom located at 43, rue du Bac – 75007 Paris.



Jean Royère - an elegant and unconventional designer

While the current health crisis still prevents us from traveling, we offer you on a virtual visit of the Jean Royère exhibition at Galerie Jacques Lacoste, Paris.

Jean Royère [1902-1981]

Initiator of a unique, elegant and unconventional style, Jean Royère established himself as one of the greatest decorators of the 20th century with iconic creations. 

At the age of 30, Jean Royère turned away from a career in the import-export trade to dedicate himself to his true vocation: interior design. He started in a furniture factory in order to learn the job and train. His first ever design was a set of slimline furniture for his uncle, Jacques Raverat. 

The renovation of the Hotel Carlton’s brasserie on the Champs Elysée brought Royère into the spotlight and helped establish him as an emerging figure. In 1934, Pierre Gouffé, a noted Faubourg Saint Antoine furniture manufacturer, noticed Jean Royère and put him in charge of his firm’s contemporary furniture section. 

At the 1937 Exposition Universelle, Royère was recognised as one of the most important decorators of his time. Royère developed a new repertoire inspired by animals and vegatals. The Elephanteau armchair, the Trefle chair, the Champignon lamp and the Bouquet sconce are emblematic of this period. 

In 1949, Jean Royère opened his own gallery in Paris, rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and opened galleries in Cairo (1946), Beirut (1947), Lima (1955), São Paulo (1959). He was very popular in the Middle East and carried out many prestigious orders for King Farouk of Egypt, the Prince of Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, and many other.

What defines its work is his boldness, his curiosity and constant innovation. Royère innovated by proposing a luxurious creations without ostentation. He was always playing with proportions and bringing bright colors in his interiors. His most memorable work was often considered whimsical or eccentric, featuring unusual elements such as furry armchairs and curly table legs. 

Jean Royère died in 1981 in New York City one year after moving there. The Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris held a museum to show his work in 1999, and a posthumous retrospective took place in New York City in 2008. 

Jean Royère exhibition – Galerie Jacques Lacoste, Paris

From 20 November 2020 to 30 January 2021

Ever since its opening in 1986, Galerie Jacques Lacoste has been dedicated to the reappraisal and promotion of 20th-century decorative arts, promoting French designs from the 1930s up until the 1950s. 

With an extensive archive comprising over 10,000 documents, Galerie Jacques Lacoste continuously pursues its research on Jean Royere’s work, for which the gallery is the ultimate reference. The gallery has contributed to revealing Jean Royère’s innovative spirit and decorative fantasy through constant research all around the world. The Galerie unveiled on several occasions incredible exhibitions and publications. 

In 1999 the gallery dedicated its first exhibition to Jean Royère, and in 2008, Jacques Lacoste was invited by the Sonnabend Gallery in New York to present a selection of 80 exceptional pieces by the decorator alongside Galerie Patrick Seguin. Then, in 2012, Jacques Lacoste published a two-volume-set book on Jean Royère in collaboration with Patrick Seguin. A few years later, Galerie Jacques Lacoste hosts once again an impressive exhibition highlighting Jean Royere’s most prestigious creations: the Polar Bear armchair and the Creeper sconces, a straw marquetry Puddle coffee table, a Persian floor lamp, a Herringbone set (sofa and chairs) and Swallow sconces. With more than 60 pieces on display at the Galerie Jacques Lacoste, this exhibition is an opportunity to discover or re-discover the formidable creative fibre of this design icon. 

For Jean Royere’s admirers who can’t make it to the exhibition, we invite you to discover the video of the exhibition online : Jacques Lacoste

Galerie Jacques Lacoste

From 20 November 2020 to 30 January 2021

19, avenue Matignon Paris 8

+33 (0)1 42 89 11 11

Véronique de Soultrait - the passion of the ropes

Translated from a French article by Signatures Singulières

Véronique de Soultrait makes up a new know-how: the molding of the rope to create unique wall decorations. Absolute masterpieces for interior decoration, it is with admiration that Signatures Singulières Magazine makes you discover this goldsmith work.

Above: Véronique de Soultrait in her workshop – ©Pierre Salagnac – “Fleur” mirror made of rope marquetry.

Rope Screen. Restaurant des Rois, la Réserve de Beaulieu.

Eternal creative, Véronique de Soultrait knew since she was young that she wanted to work with her hands. In the eighties, she convinced her parents to let her join the Beaux-Arts in Lyon and she studied courses in painting and textile drawing. Quickly, she nourished a deep admiration for the work of the hand and claimed a certain loyalty to ancestral know-how in general. At the time, she conceives beauty and expresses herself as a decorative painter with her hands, however the task is arduous. She stops and goes towards a less physical creative activity, the macramé. One thing leading to another, Véronique de Soultrait starts to work on ropes. She launches a collection of cushions based on a macramé technique that she presents at the Maison & Objet fair. It was not a great success, but it did not discourage her from pursuing her passion.

Decorative screen made in natural rope and gold, pattern “Poisson d’or”.

Wall decorations

Véronique de Soultrait then decides to use this technique, which allies thread and rope, but this time on a wall support. Not only is she getting closer to her first love, but she is also inventing a new creative technique: creating wall decorations with ropes. Passionate about braiding techniques, she creates unique pieces for high decoration in her workshop in Lyon, such as wall panels, door covering, headboards, screens, mirrors, bedside tables or lamp bases, drawers, door handles etc. The applications are numerous. Véronique de Soultrait rolls, winds, stretches, dyes and waxes the rope to create unique decorations on a wooden support. She plays with materials and textures. The ropes and colors roll up and intertwine meticulously – like marquetry – under her fairy fingers. Each creation is customized to fit every project.

Rope scales wall. Cartier boutique in Zurich.

A taste for unique decoration

Passionate about her craft, Véronique de Soultrait gets into this new profession by following her instinct. As a new “cordelier”/ rope worker, she applies ancestral know-how to design and interior decoration and perseveres to make people discover her trade. She contacts great decorators such as Jacques Garcia or the Cabinet Alberto Pinto who fell in love with her work at first sight. The feedback is encouraging and Véronique continues to work her technique until she gets her first order.

“Madras” Armchair by Laura Gonzalez dressed in rope by Véronique de Soultrait. AD Interiors 2019.

At the beginning, she only creates black decors. She goes to the essentials of graphic design. Her work is very rigorous and demanding. The purity is paramount. What she does not want at all is to fall in an ostentatious luxury. To do so, Véronique is inspired by ethnic motifs or the thirties, she stylizes and magnifies them. Then, as creations go by, the color integrates very gently. Véronique de Soultrait dyes her ropes in her workshop to create personal and unique shades that are very subtle.

Details of a rope wall decoration on black linen.

The art of taming the material

As a very meticulous craftsman, Véronique de Soultrait takes care of every detail, from the design to the choice of materials. The range of worked ropes is very wide, from the most untreated to the most precious like gold threads. For each realization, the most appropriate ropes are selected. As for the patterns, they are designed with more or less dense braids and can integrate fabrics for backgrounds. Each realization is made by instinct.

“Game” Wall panels in black ropes on a linen background. ©Erick Saillet.

The dialogue with material

Véronique maintains a deep connection with the rope, a material that she considers both “sensual, soft, spiky, mat and shiny” and “that bends to your desires”. Within the limit of the material, she creates raw, natural and sophisticated decorations. More than a paradox, it is a richness, that also characterizes her personality, a creative instinctive who shapes for hours barefoot in her workshop. Solitary and yet so spontaneous, so radiant. Natural and simple, yet creating works for such a luxurious clientele. A truth, a know-how that goes beyond appearances. And this is surely what makes the beauty of these works.

“Eternité” Mural composition.
“Fleurs” Sculpture. Brass base, modules dressed with rope.
Mandala in rope. Console table covered with rope marquetry. Totems in black and gold rope. Modules covered with black rope and gold leaf.
Rope and suede decoration. On the right: “Anahatha” heart chakra.

Véronique de Soultrait
162, rue Vendôme
69003 Lyon
Tél. : +33 (0)6 75 70 18 35


"What Inspires Me" with William McIntosh

Featured image: 432 Park Avenue, NYC. Design by William McIntosh Design. 

William McIntosh established his namesake firm in 1990. With a team of dedicated professionals including Architects, Designers, Artists, and Craftsmen, McIntosh and Raffone have completed elegant and luxurious interiors all over the world.

Individually and as a team, McIntosh and Raffone have been featured in many world-renowned publications including Architectural Digest, Departures Magazine, Elle Décor, Palm Beach Cottages and Gardens, Traditional Home and numerous others.

>> Discover the website

William McIntosh

Born upstate New York, William McIntosh was quickly spotted by his High School Art teacher, who saw great potential in him. “I was always an aspirational kid. I loved going to the “fancy “neighborhoods and looking at the houses. When new houses were being constructed in our neighborhood, I would wander through the skeletal 2×4 framing and imagine what the rooms would look like when complete. I liked everything about construction and the transformation that would take place, from a hole in the ground to a finished house.”

William graduated from Pratt Institute in New York where he got an excellent design education. “It was a very intellectual approach to design and the interiors program was based in architectural theory. While there I became exposed to the work of the brilliant New York designers of the day, Ward Bennett, Joe D’Urso, Bray Schaible, Mel Dwork among others, who were on the cutting edge of what was becoming the new minimalism and the High-Tech movement.”

After his graduation, William worked for the noted Interior Design firms of Timothy MacDonald Incorporated and Bray-Schaible Design. He spent two years in the office of Bob Bray and Michael Schaible and was able to observe close up their design thought process – which seemed so effortless. However, at that time, he was itching to open his own office. The opportunity then presented itself in 1990 when he got a commission for a beach house in the Hamptons. “A neighbor of my clients saw the house and that led to a city apartment. After that the ball just started rolling and, knock wood, has been rolling for thirty years now.”

Stylistically, his years with Tim MacDonald and Bray – Schaible were foundation building years. “Both offices work, although stylistically different, was based on integrity and intelligence. I have always worked to maintain those goals in our work. Stylistically, since then I have developed my own voice and have followed my interests in interpreting a broad range of styles.”

 “It has often been said that you need to first know the rules before you can break them. My time with these firms taught me the rules.” – William McIntosh

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of William McIntosh Design. Looking back, William’s greatest accomplishment is his team. He has indeed consistently had decent, talented and committed individuals work for him. This includes his collaboration with Martin Raffone, William McIntosh Design’s Creative Director and William’s husband. They recently decided to make their collaboration official after they realized that collaborating together was surprisingly easy and the resulting designs were beyond what either of them had ever created individually. “We realized that creatively we were taking the work to a higher level, and that’s what it’s all about.”

“People who have given their time and talents to produce the projects that you see. I sincerely believe this. It has made all the difference. Over the years I have regularly gotten comments about how professional, responsible and nice my staff is and that could not make me prouder.” – William McIntosh

30 years later, William is still passionate, inspired and his talent transcends his projects. His favorite part of the job is the first time sitting with the floor plan of a new project, where it all begins and you get a grasp of all the possibilities.

Par Excellence is a collective of renowned craftsmen and we always ask designers how they feel about craftsmanship as they rely a lot on them for their projects. For William, being meticulous is key. “Our work is known to be largely bespoke. We are creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture for every project as well as one of a kind architectural detail. The execution of these elements has to be meticulous. The piece is a failure if it’s not meticulous.”

“We chose Ateliers Jouffre because we seek out vendors who are the top in their field. We do this because we can confidently entrust them with our designs and guarantee the best quality for our clients.” – William McIntosh

Linked to many of Manhattan’s most amazing buildings, including 432 Park, the Plaza, the Puck Building, and Herzog & de Meuron’s 160 Leroy Street, William McIntosh is deeply connected to NYC, a city that he considers to be the center of the world. Found of travels and greatly interested in the influences coming in from around the world, William is constantly travelling (when the world is not hit hard by a pandemic!).

What is next for this amazing duo and their worldwide design company?

“More and more, we are being asked to design the total architectural scope for our clients’ projects. We are seeing that as the biggest and most exciting development coming up in the years ahead.”

Embracing classicism and minimalism, William McIntosh Design’s work is both extremely elegant and yet very familiar and livable. Praised by the press and the industry, we wish them at least 30 more exciting and prosperous years ahead!


Art & Design Festivals you do not want to miss in 2021

To start the year and turn the page on 2020, here is our selection of worldwide art and design events you do not want to miss in 2021! 

© Claire Israel

AD Matières d’art helps you discover talented artists and craftsmen through the presentation of their material: wood, glass, straw marquetry, bespoke wallpaper, mosaic. Those artists always go out of their comfort zone to bring modernity to traditional techniques and showcase innovative aesthetics.

Date: March 26th to April 4th, 2021

Place: Palais d’Iéna, Paris, France

Featured work: Martha Jungwirth Barry X Ball

The European Fine Art Fair is going to host its fourth edition in Spring 2021, with a focus on Modern and Contemporary Art & Design. Founded by art dealers in Maastricht in 1988, the fair has grown to be one of the most awaited art exhibitions. 

The historic Park Avenue Armory provides the prime Manhattan location and setting for the world’s leading art dealers to exhibit their pieces. Collectors and visitors can admire and purchase a wide range of paintings to antiques and ancient furniture and more. 

While TEFAF NY fall edition 2020 was cancelled and transformed into an online initiative, the spring edition is set for May 7-10, 2021.

Date: May 7-10, 2021

Place: Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York, USA

©Susan Xu

In 2021, NYCxDESIGN will present its Design Days from May the 13th to the 18th, showcasing NYC’s talented design community. The program will feature primarily virtual events, in addition to outdoor experiences, select tours, and other small gatherings, The annual NYCxDESIGN Awards program, hosted by Interior Design and sponsored by ICFF, will take place virtually to celebrate and recognize exceptional design in NYC. These Design Days also include the Design Pavilion’s Open to the Sky, a unique city-wide installation in all five boroughs of NYC.

Date: May 13-18, 2021 

Place: New York City, USA

©Philippe Chancel

Révélations is the unmissable event of art crafts and international contemporary creation. The fair values craftsmanship and traditional know-how from around the world. The 5th edition celebrates the African continent. It will take place in Grand Palais Éphémère at the foot of the Eiffel Tour. 

Date: June 10-13, 2021

Place: Grand Palais Ephémère, Paris, France

Salone del Mobile 2019, Poltrona Frau. Source: Poltronafrau.com

After being postponed several times since its initial schedule in April 2020, the Salone Internationale del Mobile di Milano will take place in Fall of 2021, September 5-10. For its 60th anniversary, this edition promises to be exceptional. The Salone is split into three categories; Classic, Design and xLux. A great place to find inspiration from the thousands of products exposed!

Date: September 5-10, 2021

Place: Milano, Italy

The NY Luxury Design Fair will be launched at the Javits Center in September 2021.

The twenty-year Architectural Digest Design Show has been reimagined by TheMART as the NY Luxury Design Fair. By providing access to the best in home design, it is for sure the place to go for the latest trends in luxury design. Both emerging and established talents are showcased to offer the world’s best design with a broad range of styles. An innovative and immersive design experience for designers, architects and consumers!

Date: September 9-12, 2021

Place: Javits Center, New York, USA

Scenography by India Mahdavi, Homo Faber 2018. ©Tomas Bertlesen

The 2021 Homo Faber edition welcomes Japan’s finest artisans and designs to Venice to celebrate, showcase and preserve excellence in craftsmanship. The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship organizes an extraordinary journey across the creative landscape of Europe and Japan. The Foundation fosters exchange and collaboration between the finest artisans and sponsors of bespoke creation.  

Date: September 9-26, 2021

Place: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy

Mathieu Lehanneur, Salon Art+Design 2019. Mathieu Lehanneur collaborated with Jouffre and Ateliers Saint Jacques for his furniture. Source: Thesalonny.com

The Salon Art + Design celebrates in 2021 its 10th year anniversary. More than ever, this event will bring together the finest galleries from around the world who showcase top design art from the 19th to contemporary times. Furniture, lighting, mirror, textiles and decorative pieces of the highest standards!

Date: September 11-15, 2021

Place: Park Avenue Armory, New York, USA

Dimoregallery, PAD 2018. Source: Padesignart.com

Key event for international design and art collectors, PAD LONDON presents 20th-century design, art, photography, collectible jewellery and decorative works. International galleries from Europe, North America and Asia come together to showcase the most exclusive pieces on the market today. Unique in its kind, the fair is enjoyed by a broad audience of passionates and experts. The fair also takes place in Paris in April 2021. 

Date: October 4-10, 2021

Place: Berkeley Square W1, London, UK

Arched and rounded furniture at Phase Design. Source: Brownstoner.com

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair has been recognized as North America’s leading platform for global design. Each year, the ICFF welcomes international exhibitors, established brands and emerging designers, retailers, developers and architects, showcasing the next trends for contemporary residential and commercial interiors.

In 2021, ICFF and Wanted Design Manhattan will co-locate with Boutique Design New York and The Hotel Experience at the Javits Center in November 2021.

Date: November 14-15, 2021 

Place: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 429 11th Avenue, New York, USA


"What Inspires Me" with Nebihe Cihan

Born in Turkey, educated in the US, living in the UK, and working on projects all around the world, Nebihe is truly a multi-cultural designer. After graduating from the prestigious Parsons the New school of Design, she focused on high-end retail, working for Michael Kors for many years. In 2016, Nebihe decided to found the eponymous design studio in London, Nebihe Cihan Studio. She designs refined and sophisticated interiors for clients around the world, and infuses her projects with this multiculturality she benefited from her extensive travel, making them particularly interesting and atypical. Art lover, Nebihe always tries to include some art pieces in her projects. She is constantly looking forward to discovering new artworks  or vintage furniture during her many travels in Europe or in the United States

As a French collective promoting cultural synergies in the world of design, Par Excellence jumped on the occasion to discover this rich and talented personality.  

>> Discover the website

Nebihe, I understand that you come from Turkey and used to live in NYC, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career path?

I was born in Turkey. I moved to the US at a young age to go to boarding school. Initially, I went to university for Economics and Finance in Boston. After graduating from university, I decided to change my career path as I realized I had other passions. I moved to NYC and went to graduate school to study Interior Design at Parsons the New School for Design. When I was studying at Parsons, I did various internships, last one being for the French designer Catherine Malandrino who I ended up working for two years after my graduation. In 2011, Michael Kors had a huge expansion plan to open retail stores and wholesale shops around the world and they were recruiting for architects and interior designers to expand their in-house Store Design team. I then joined the Michael Kors Store Design team where I worked for five years designing stores around the world. I had the opportunity to work with some of the most successful people in the fashion industry. I learnt so much at Michael Kors, it was the best school I have ever attended. Although I loved NYC and my job, my dream was always to have my own design firm one day and move back to Europe. I moved to London in August 2016 and started my interior design studio. I now split my time between the UK and US due to my projects. 

“I love visiting antique stores, flea markets, and galleries. I am always hunting for new things even when I am not hunting.” – Nebihe Cihan 

What is your favorite part of your job?

The best part of what I do is collaborating with my clients, working with amazing designers and artists. The client’s brief is always on the top of my list. I spend a lot of time with my clients to understand their lifestyle and how they live in order to deliver them a successful project that they are happy with. I love visiting antique stores, flea markets, and galleries. I am always hunting for new things even when I am not hunting.

How would you define your style prior to the creation of your own company vs. now that you’ve created your own design company? 

I think my style is constantly evolving. At the core of my aesthetic, were always clean lines, attention to detail and rich and sophisticated finishes. I have always been drawn to timeless design. Prior to creating my own company, I was not brave to experiment with vivid colors, I tend to stick to neutral palettes and preferred more a contemporary approach to things. As I take on different projects, I tailor and adapt my style to client’s needs. I am experimenting more with colors, forms and materiality. I collect a lot of vintage furniture and I work to incorporate these pieces into my projects and mix them with the contemporary. 

The entry of a London pied-à-terre designed by Nebihe Cihan Studio. The Paonazzo marble console and armchair were both designed by Nebihe Cihan Studio. ©Stephane Julliard

“Craftsmanship is everything to me. If your design is poorly executed and lacks quality, no matter how well it is designed, the project can be a failure.” – Nebihe Cihan 

How important is craftsmanship to you and how do you integrate it into your creative process? 

Craftsmanship is everything to me. If your design is poorly executed and lacks quality, no matter how well it is designed, the project can be a failure. In my opinion a good design should last, therefore I do not like to sacrifice from quality in my designs. Having built stores globally for Michael Kors, I worked with millworkers from all around the world; USA, China, Singapore, Poland, Turkey, Italy, France and Spain. My eye is trained to pick up details and I am also very knowledgeable about costs. If we are developing a new millwork or upholstery detail, I make sure to request prototypes always. I don’t work with factories if they don’t provide us with shop drawings for example. Before shipping to site, I always visit the factories and do a final quality check. With production, I don’t like taking risks therefore I only work with craftsmen I trust. I have very close relationships with the factories we work with. 

How is working for high-end retail different from working on residential projects?

Designing homes is a lot personal and intimate. You forge a bond with your client, based on trust, they trust in your talent to bring their vision to fruition. There are more emotions involved with residential projects so you have to be careful with managing the client’s expectations. Budget is usually flexible and bigger per square foot. There is more room for creativity compared to designing a retail store. On the other hand, designing a retail store is niche and a strategy. You have to design an experience for the customer to enjoy but also stay true to the brand’s identity. There is always a strict budget and a hard opening date. Designing a beautiful interior is important but you have to make sure that your design houses the required display capacity on the shop floor and in the back stock for the brand to reach their sales volume. The lifecycle of designing a retail store is shorter than a residential project. Therefore, you need to be prepared to work under pressure. Majority of my projects at the moment are residential projects, however I still take on retail projects as it is my strength. 

Bel Air Residence designed by Nebihe Cihan Studio. Nebihe chose natural materials and colors to fit with the surroundings and create a continuity with the outside. In the living room, you can spot the surrealistic black marble ‘Ocean Memories’ bench by Mathieu Lehanneur. Around the house, Nebihe included a selection of art pieces such as the Annie Morris Strack 8 sculpture. ©Matt Harrington

“Sometimes when I am stuck on a project and need inspiration, I jump onto the first Eurostar train in the morning and go to Paris or Brussels.” – Nebihe Cihan 

I read that the architecture of a building is a major source of inspiration for your project, where else do you get your inspiration from? 

I am truly inspired by my extensive travel, my love of art and a keen interest in history but I must say travel is really the biggest. Sometimes when I am stuck on a project and need inspiration, I jump onto the first Eurostar train in the morning and go to Paris or Brussels to visit antique stores, furniture galleries and come back to London the same evening. 

You seem to be very sensitive to fine art, how do you manage to always perfectly integrate artwork in your design?

Art has always been a passion for me. I try to attend all the important art fairs around the world, whether I am shopping for a project or not, I like to train my eye. Having worked for clients who are art collectors taught me a lot. One client asked me to help them curate their art collection from scratch for a project. They gave me a list of artists that they like and asked me to present them with a selection of works for the project. Selecting the pieces was the fun part as I knew their taste but placing the artwork around the house was more challenging than I thought. I integrate artwork in all of my projects now, I think you get better as you do it. It is all about practice and training your eye. 

As a NYC-based agency, we are in awe with your project in Park Avenue, NYC. Could you please tell us a bit more about this project?  

Rising at an impressive 1,396 feet, the architect, Rafael Vinoly, set the scene with 12’6’’ high ceilings and vast, 10 ft by 10 ft windows featuring unparalleled views of New York City and Central Park. The high ceilings and vast layout lent itself to showcasing an extensive art collection. It was imperative to the client, that there was a symbiosis between the artwork and the interiors. As a result, the art really set the tone for the interiors and added character, with vivid touches of colour. I was careful to choose furnishing that complemented the artwork with neutral tones and rich finishings, as not to detract from the art or spectacular views. My client is a modern art collector and has a large collection of works. However, for this project he wanted to curate it with me from scratch, we did not select works from his existing collection. Instead, I sourced all artwork from Lisson Gallery, Sean Kelly Gallery, Tina Kim Gallery, White Cube Gallery and Galerie Perrotin. The greatest challenge was to marry the artwork with the furnishings. I actually worked with my client to curate all the artwork for this project first, before sourcing the furniture. I usually integrate the artwork at the end of a project, therefore this was different in terms of what I had done in the past, however I really enjoyed the challenge.

Park Avenue residence designed by Nebihe Cihan. Sculptures, paintings and other pieces of art are perfectly integrated throughout the home with elegance and minimalism. ©Matt Harrington

You have lived in so many cities with very different vibes. Which one awakens your creativity the most?

It is hard to pick one as I am truly inspired by so many cities but I can say that Europe and NYC excite me the most. I never lived in Paris but I spend a lot of time there for work. I lived in Florence for a short period of time when I studied Art History and I visit Milan often for work. I am constantly high on inspiration when I am in Paris and in Italy, these are the most inspirational places in the world for me. On the other hand, NYC has such an energy and vibe as a city. I feel like a different person when I am in NYC, the most motivated version of myself. Having lived in three continents, I can say that there is really no place like New York!

Your career path is impressive! What is next for you now? Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share with us? 

Thank you! I am currently designing a retail store in Miami at Bal Harbour Shops for a Parisian jewelry brand. It will be the brand’s first retail location in the US and it happens to be at my favorite mall. Next big project I have, to begin as of early 2021, is a private villa in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It will be my studio’s first venture in Saudi Arabia, where I have good clients and many friends from. I am always excited to start a project in a new territory.  


Online Art exhibitions around the world

While the current health crisis still prevents us from traveling, we want to bring you on a virtual escape to the best online exhibitions worldwide!

David Hockney’s Sweet Normandy

Through this virtual exhibition, the famous British painter presents a joyful and colorful look at Normandy, a region in France that he loves so much. 

Since October 15th, Galerie Lelong & Co. has devoted a new exhibition to David Hockney, “Ma Normandie”, in which he tells the story of springs spent in Calvados through his paintings. Initially scheduled until December 23rd, the gallery extends the exhibition until February 27th and also offers to discover it in virtual version while waiting for its reopening. 

David Hockney : Ma Normandie – Nouvelles Peintures

Galerie Lelong & Co

The virtual tour of the exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website.

Installation view of the exhibition "David Hockney: Ma Normandie". Photo: Fabrice Gibert / Galerie Lelong & Co.

Joan Miró at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

The Parisian museum Centre Pompidou is hosting a virtual exhibition dedicated to Joan Miró on its online platform. A dive into the dreamlike world of the Catalan painter around his triptych “Blue I, Blue II, Blue III” painted in 1961.

All three paintings have been preserved by the Centre Pompidou since 1993 and were restored in 2016 before being hung for the first time in its galleries. Conceived in collaboration with WAOLab, an agency specialized in 3D digitization of works, objects and space, this entirely virtual exhibition allows a better understanding of the origin and artistic importance of these three paintings.

Joan Miró

Centre Pompidou

The Miró virtual tour proposed by the Centre Pompidou.

Screenshot of the virtual tour on Centre Pompidou's online platform.

Frida Kahlo: Photographic Portraits by Bernard Silberstein

This collaboration between the Cincinnati Art Museum and the University of Cincinnati centers on Bernard Silberstein’s portraits of celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Bernard Silberstein photographed Frida Kahlo on a few occasions in the early 1940s, often depicting her in the rooms of Casa Azul, her home in Coyoacán, Mexico. Discover this series of pictures following Frida Kahlo’s life. 

Frida Kahlo

Cincinnati Art Museum 

The online exhibition can be found here.

Picture of an artwork showcasing Frida Kahlo's face in Mexico.

Let’s Get Lost, Jim McHugh

Renowned for his artist portraits of Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and David Hockney, Jim McHugh is also known for his Polaroid series “Let’s Get Lost”, revealing a nocturnal Los Angeles filled with old buildings of forgotten beauty. The online art platform 28 Vignon Street is devoting a virtual exhibition to Jim McHugh. Let’s Get Lost is a traveling photographic exhibit of beautiful photographic prints that evoke the 1930s and 1940s. 

Jim McHugh

28 Vignon Street

Jim McHugh’s online exhibition.

The Daring Diagonal Virtual Museum

Recently launched, the Daring Diagonal Virtual Museum is a very unique experience. Despite its digital format, the online museum offers an imaginary museum floor plan through which visitors can wander. They have access to separate virtual galleries, that are organized by disciplines and themes or by chronology. There are sections devoted to architecture, fine arts, landscape design, interior design, and more. 

The Daring Diagonal Virtual Museum

Discover the online museum here.


Atelier de Ricou, the art of wall decorations

Translated from a French article by Signatures Singulières

Specialized in the restoration and creation of mural decors, Atelier de Ricou perpetuates the beauty of Historic Monuments and the art of creating painted decors. A know-how that Signatures Singulières Magazine wishes to highlight.

Above: Cyril and Stéphanie de Ricou. Right: bases and capitals of the pilasters of the Ballroom of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

Constitutional Council, President office. Restoration of gypsum decorations.

Born in 1989, l’Atelier de Ricou creates custom-made luxurious decors. Cyril and Stéphanie de Ricou founded the workshop when they met. With their two distinct skills, the magic happens. On the one hand, the creation of painted decors, on the other hand, the restoration of paintings and sculptures for Historical Monuments. At the dawn of their careers, the two founders benefited from the teaching of personalities from the art world. Michel Bourbon and M-L de C, art restorers, and Lila de Nobili, theater decorator. As true mentors, they offered Cyril and Stéphanie a valuable background. Today, the two aesthetes continue to enrich their experience over the years and pass it on in turn. With their workshop, they lead a team of several dozen decorating specialists. Together, they work towards a common goal: to awaken the spirit of prestigious places.

On the left: decor on canvas, like a milky way, for a stairway. Right: treatment of all the walls and ceilings of a New York apartment in a degraded raw material.

A workshop with many talents

It is in Courbevoie, in the heart of the Hotel de Guines, classified as a historical monument, that the Atelier de Ricou works and draws its inspiration. In this former residence and workshop of the sculptor and ornamentalist Jean-Baptiste Boiston, painters, sculptors, restorers, gilders and architectural historians work in symbiosis. With their in-depth knowledge, they work on the preservation and perpetuation of mural decorations. To their credit, no less than three hundred projects have been completed, testifying the variety of techniques, styles and materials used. The Atelier has undertaken renovation works for the Palace of Versailles, Hotel Lutetia, Hotel le Crillon and Hotel de la Marine, and they also worked on the creation of modern decors for penthouses, villas, duplexes and headquarters in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and Switzerland.

Ephemeral wall decoration on woodwork in the Quintessence showroom in Paris.
Above left: restoration of the large lounge of the Hotel de Guines. On the right: The Cultural services of the French Embassy in New York. Gilding of the ballroom.

Painted decors and international historical monuments

Atelier de Ricou’s know-how is put to the fore and shines throughout their projects worldwide. Moreover, the Atelier is also present in New York, within the collective and showroom “Par Excellence”.  Created by Charles Jouffre, this collective represents French know-how across the Atlantic. In addition, Atelier de Ricou is supported by a design office that seeks to develop customized plastic solutions, specific to each project. They also have a unit dedicated to the analysis of ancient decors in order to establish precise diagnoses. Each project is unique! As for the so-called “technical” know-how, specialists of all kinds work hand in hand. Fresco, molding, patinas, material effects, trompe l’oeil, gilding, French lacquer, skin glue painting, stucco, marble… They know how to do it all. The team is furthermore reinforced by specialized restorers with the “Musées de France” accreditation. Thus, the workshop can intervene on sites classified as Historic Monuments.

Above: Hotel de Crillon, lounge of the Duke of Crillon. Restoration of Adrien Karbowsky's paintings in the Borghese salon which became the Josephine Bar at the Lutetia hotel.

Atelier de Ricou’s workshop: from painting restoration to pure creation

The supports and techniques mastered by Atelier de Ricou are numerous. From the restoration to the creation of painted decorations, their range of techniques is wide. Thus, the workshop can be in charge of the most complex projects. They can take care of large-scale building sites’ restoration, mural painting, painting on canvas, whitewash, gilding, polychrome or gilded woodwork, gypsum, cardboard … The supports and techniques mastered by the talents of the Atelier de Ricou have no limits. They also create a lot of decors. This specialty can lead to the creation and restitution of decors in historical settings. To do so, the workshop uses specific techniques (including rare and disappeared ones). But it can also include the creation of fully custom-made contemporary sets. Atelier de Ricou has no limits and distinguishes itself in the path of excellence. A work hailed by Signatures Singulières Magazine.

Château du Grand Lucé. Decorator, Timothy Corrigan.
Restoration of old woodwork. Ricou's workshop.
Samples from Ricou's workshop.

Atelier de Ricou
51, rue de Visien
92400 Courbevoie
Tél. : +33 (0)1 46 91 07 55


Travel to Paris through Books

While the current health crisis still prevents us from traveling, we want to bring you on a virtual escape to Paris with this selection of books dedicated to France and French culture! 

If you are buying a book, please do not forget to support your local book shops.

PARIS CHIC by Alexandra Senes & Oliver Pilcher

Assouline, 2020

Author Alexandra Senes and photographer Oliver Pilcher invite us to discover some of the most sophisticated homes and private hotels in Paris, chic bars and restaurants and Parisian monuments. We immerse ourselves in the daily life of Parisians, and witness intimate portraits of various families through Oliver Pilcher’s lens.


Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, 2020

Following these mouth-watering French recipes is the perfect way to bring France to your living room! The renowned David Lebovitz delves into the drinking culture of the French in this book. Each recipe is illustrated with beautiful images to help you create the most creative infusions, regional apéritifs, cocktails and savory French snacks. Alongside these recipes, David Lebovitz shares some stories about life in France and French traditions.

LET’S EAT FRANCE by François-Régis Gaudry

Artisan, 2018

This book is a feast for food lovers, particularly French food lovers! You will find classic recipes, including how to make a pot-au-feu, eight essential composed salads, pâté en croûte, blanquette de veau, choucroute, and ratatouille. In addition to that, François-Régis Gaudry added a region-by-region index of each area’s famed cheeses, charcuterie and recipes. You will also find guides to the breads of France, the wines of France, the oysters of France and the French Fries of France! This is the perfect book to learn how to cook French cuisine while learning about its history.


Harry N. Abrams, 2016

If you have always wanted to live like a true Parisienne, then this book is for you! Interior designer Sarah Lavoine explains her approach to styling an apartment, covering each room in the home. She suggests how to add unforgettable details to create a restful and chic environment for your home. Chez Moi is a design book that tackles every aspect of a Parisian’s lifestyle, from cooking to fashion and shopping.

PARIS ON AIR by Oliver Gee

BookBaby, 2020

Oliver Gee, the renowned award-winning podcaster, invites you to follow him on his journey through the streets of Paris. After living in Paris for five years, he teaches you how to order cheese like a French person and how to make a Parisian smile. If you want to discover the French capital and have a good laugh, this book is for you!


Abrams, 2020

In this book, Lindsey Tramuta focuses on French women and dismantles usual stereotypes associated with them – white, slim, fashionable, often a snob. She portrays 50 French women, activists, creators, educators, visionaries and disruptors, like Paris’ Mayor Anne Hildago, among others. Lindsey Tramuta also shares her favorite women-owned businesses in Paris.