The Paris-based designer creates an evocative modular living room for furniture house Duvivier Canapés.
The designer creates a modular living room for furniture house Duvivier Canapés
Itry to make feminine design with a bit of poetry,” says designer Charlotte Juillard, from her chic loft apartment in Paris. “I think I’m a really sensitive person, so I don’t want to do big, commercial things. I’m more into design that makes you feel something.”
For Juillard, it has always been thus. Having studied interior architecture at the École Camondo in Paris, she went on to do a residency in Treviso, Italy, at Fabrica. This multidisciplinary research centre, housed in a 17th-century villa refurbished by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, brings together people from diverse creative backgrounds to share ideas. It was here that she truly found her voice. “This was the great adventure of my life as a designer,” she says. “It was such a creative year that I wanted to continue to be surrounded by other creative people. I always work on my own, but I’m not a solitary person.” (She now works in an office near the Bastille among a collective of creatives.) “Then, a year ago,” she says, “Duvivier called me.”
Duvivier Canapés has been producing beautifully crafted French leather products since 1840 and furnishings since 1953. It’s a company associated with scrupulous quality and craftsmanship. “When they called me, they asked me to design a living room,” says Juillard, who has since created a series of modular furnishings for the brand in a range of lush fabrics and materials. “The idea was to create something you could totally change depending on your wages and your taste.”
A hit at January’s Maison & Objet, the Jules collection is inspired by Juillard’s own childhood. “When I was young, we used to go to the south-west coast for the holidays,” she says. “There are these really famous tchanquée cabins on the Île aux Oiseaux there; you can find them only in this place in France.”
The wooden cabins sit high above the water, balancing on skinny stilts, reminiscent of herons wading through the tide. Juillard’s furniture, too, features long, exposed wooden legs. “My idea was to give a little wink to something that means something to me,” she says.
The range includes modular sofas, a chaise longue, armchairs, ottomans and coffee tables. Each piece showcases a different material expression — be it honed timber; soft leather; or velvet upholstery in emerald green, dusky pink or classic elegant white — “for city apartments in Paris,” says Juillard. Her own Parisian apartment in the 6th arrondissement, built in 1840, is exactly that: pared-back and breathlessly elegant. It’s a lowceilinged duplex replete with white beams and angular walls of varying heights and degrees. Delightful objects of miscellany are scattered throughout, giving the apartment a playful sense of comfort: it’s a home. “I like little objects with strong identities,” says Juillard. “I love going to flea markets, like Les Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen. Most of the time, I find a little sculpture or objects that I love there.”
In every aspect of Juillard’s life, details are really important — whether it’s her home decor, her outfits, or her work and designs. “I have always thought that you cannot really be a designer if you’re not paying attention to all the details in your life,” she says. “I pay attention to my place and my style.” At home, this shows in those little objects, in the prototypes of furniture Juillard has designed, and in softening touches. “I need to be surrounded by beautiful things,” she says. “When I come home, I light some candles and create an atmosphere. A home should feel peaceful and beautiful.”
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Tsuki table mirror for Designer Box; homeware patterns for CXL by Christian Lacroix; Jules Toi & Moi single-unit chair for Duvivier Canapés; Charlotte Juillard; Les Brodés hand-embroidered wooden vases; Jules chaise longue for Duvivier Canapés; Lavastone daybed for Ranieri Pietra Lavica.