Lally & Berger Studio was introduced by Charles Jouffre (founder of Par Excellence) from Atelier Jouffre to the Meurice hotel’s management. A little while later, Luc and Margaux were hired to renovate the hotel’s 160 rooms and suites over time. The peak of this collaboration throughout the years is surely the unveiling of the Belle Etoile Suite at the Meurice Hotel. Offering the finest view of Paris, the 6,674-square-foot Belle Etoile Suite on the penthouse level of the Meurice hotel is also one of the most spacious suites in Paris. The two designed every delicate detail of the Suite infusing it with character and personality. By showcasing highly-skilled French craftsmanship all along, Lally & Berger Studio truly aimed at offering a warm and convivial atmosphere to create a Suite where you instantaneously feel at home. 

The Suite Belle Etoile features Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne’s rugs hand tufted in wool and silk with cut and loop pile inspired by delicate feathers, Jouffre’s sofa, bedspread and curtains, as well as Meljac fittings. 

You may wonder who hides behind the Lally & Berger Studio. Margaux Lally and Luc Berger met while they were studying at the Ecole Supérieure d’Architecture Intérieure de Lyon in France. As part of their degree they both did an internship in the offices of the renowned French decorator Charles Zana. In 2013 they started their own firm together as they had heard about a project opportunity in Val d’Isère. They met Charles Jouffre for a 5-stars Hôtel project called le Yule. It is fair to say that his meeting with Charles Jouffre symbolizes their first introduction to high-end French Savoir-faire. Since then, they have been working on amazing projects, showcasing both their unique talent and exceptional craftsmanship. Intrigued by this powerful pair, we had the opportunity to interview them about their work for the Belle Etoile Suite and their approach to interior design and craftsmanship. 

What is the secret to a successful duo or team in interior design? 

Margaux L.: Complementarity is the Key of our duo. Together, we draw strength from our differences. We assume the eclectic style of our various projects and readily admit to having quite different personalities. I am more structured and sociable, Luc more patient and something of a perfectionist. However, we both share a passion for exceptional French craftsmanship. We are really complementary in our personalities, our way of working, our skills and it’s a source of strength. This duality makes the project process progress every time. It’s easier to find a solution when you talk with someone. 

Luc B.: For me, we are a team because we are always in the dialogue, as the pieces in our project. When we are not both convinced in a choice or an idea, we know this is not a good solution. We carry on our research until we are both 100% satisfied.

What were your inspirations for the suite Belle Etoile, which has been named “the most beautiful hotel suite in Paris” by AD Middle East?

Margaux L.:  We imagined this suite like a town mansion, a place with character and personality. We wanted each client to be able to take possession of the suite as if it were their own apartment. We used the architectural language of Parisian town mansions, most notably in the materials we employed: marble thresholds, a chevron-patterned parquet, wood paneling, gilding, bronze door handles with handcrafted details… Our approach was one of subtle, refined luxury, which is visible in the details (the embroidery on the broadcloth curtains, the bronze inserts between the parquet and marble flooring…). We wanted to maintain a warm, convivial spirit, rather than create a conceptual space with a ‘Wow’ effect, to transmit a notion of entertaining and art de Vivre à la française. Our goal was essentially to create a suite where you feel good and don’t want to leave.

Luc B.: Furthermore we wanted to accentuate what makes this suite so incredible and unique: its exceptional location. You feel like you’re all alone in Paris with the city at your feet and it’s as if all its monuments were there just for you. You never get tired of looking at them. Rather strangely, many of the windows were previously blocked up, notably in the bedroom. Working with the Pompidou Centre in front of you, waking up opposite Montmartre, putting on your make-up with a view of the column on the Place Vendôme, having lunch while looking out over the Louvre or relaxing while taking in the dome of the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower gives a magical dimension to each daily gesture

How would you define Lally & Berger’s style?

Margaux L.: We try to find the perfect balance between the place’s character and the client’s character. We want to expose our vision of Art de Vivre, the art of hospitality, and the pleasure of reception. In all our projects luxe is in every detail, in the material chosen and the manner we work them. That’s why we love to always work with high-end savoir-faire.

Luc B.: We are in the process of finding the perfect balance between tone, subtle shades, matter of materials, touches, furniture forms, brightness to create a sweet atmosphere and warm spaces. The more a space keeps your mind free, the more it will go through the ages. We prefer to mix styles to create soft timeless dialogue instead of playing with trends. Our way of working is to define the codes of space and to make them almost timeless. We want people not to be sure if they’re entering a décor from the past or from the future. We like to play with that notion of space and time. 

We are organizing a panel discussion on the 6th of May on how interior designers and artisans collaborate. Today it seems that there are two distinct worlds, who sometimes have difficulties communicating. But craftsmanship and interior design have common roots for sure. What place does craftsmanship occupy in your work? According to you, what is the recipe for a successful collaboration with craftsmen? 

Luc B.: We both share a passion for exceptional French craftsmanship and collaborate regularly with artisans like the Ateliers Joffre, Declercq Passementiers, and the Ateliers Saint-Jacques, but always in a very contemporary spirit. Prestigious materials crafted by excellent savoir-faire are one of the treasures of a sustainable world.  

Margaux L.:  Craftsmanship is what gives character to your project. Working as a team with knowledge exchange and finding a solution together is a successful collaboration.

What is the project you are the proudest of and what would be your dream project?

Margaux L.:  We are really proud of the Suite Belle Etoile. Projects like this don’t come along every day. The satisfaction with the result is immense. 

Luc B.: We really like challenges and building a team with passionate collaborators with specific knowledge to manage a unique project. For us any unique project is a dream project.

© Stephan Julliard

Learn more about the duo’s works on their website and enjoy the beautiful video displaying their work for the Belle Etoile Suite at the Meurice’s hôtel :