This is our first of hopefully many in the series: Designers at Home! I am very excited to welcome Francine Gardner of Interieurs! Francine is an amazing designer and has traveled the world in search of inspiration. I am absolutely in love with her home, it is so personal and beautiful beyond words. Francine was nice enough to answer a few questions for us about her life, her business and her design presence below. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into her life and take time to discover her shop in New York the next time you are there, I know I will.
. What are the three major differences when designing for yourself, as opposed to designing for your clients?
Budget! When designing for myself, I often need to compromise on the level of contractor, finishes etc..I do not plan or follow the process as I would for a client. I buy what I love regardless of the period, the importance of a piece of artwork for instance. My personal space is to be lived in, with the constant influx of friends, my son's friends, pets, kids… When I design for a client, I start with floor plans, look at the light, the flow and am extremely focused. Once a presentation is approved, I start the installation process and shopping process. I practically custom design everything for my clients, from kitchen to bathrooms, cabinetry, interior architecture, pool etc… Then I go shopping for the unique pieces that will give the house its personality, always keeping in mind the client's lifestyle and budget.
2. As designers, we tend to love many different styles and items. How did you select the style for your home and why?
My current home evolved over the years. We bought it sight unseen as it was love at first sight, a stone stable and carriage house that reminded me of the houses of Gascony in France. It is filled with heirloom furniture mixed with modern pieces from my Showroom. From my travel, I have brought back textiles, art, objects, furniture which are part of the home. Books are present in every room, stacked or on bookshelves. My style is eclectic with a soul…if that makes sense.
3. How would you describe the style in each of your homes?
The common denominator in all the homes I have designed is unique, eclectic. From Beach houses to ski houses, contemporary loft, apartment, country houses….the style is clean, uncluttered, with meaningful furniture. Attention is given to the surfaces: walls, floors, ceiling and each home is unique in itself but represent the life of their owners.
4. Your homes tend to be very neutral, is there a reason behind this?
My clients live very busy lives, often managing multi homes. My goal is to provide a sanctuary where they can be themselves, at peace, I bring calmness to their lives and can only do so by keeping a neutral palette. The color come from the spines of books, artwork, flowers, objects…
5. What is your staple piece that you incorporate into each of your designs and feel is necessary to a complete and finished product? (mirror, chair, art, etc.)
I would say our lighting is always unique and often custom made. All our project have at least one light by Jose Esteves, either from our Interieurs collection, or custom designed.
6. What is your favorite room in your house and why?
My library…this is where I deep into my world of books and leave everything behind.
7. What is your secret to creating an elegant space synonymous with comfort?
Proportions, textures, quality of the furnishings and a good floorplan.
Thank you again to Francine for taking the time to participate!
all images via Francine Gardner