Architectural Digest (UAE)
IN PARIS’ NORTHERN BAN LIEU ES there is a paradoxical district – a polarity of poverty beside the most wondrous of riches. A melting pot of class, race and cultures, Saint Ouen-sur-Seine is an electrifying catalyst of creativity, where street hawkers and antiques dealers forge their futures. In fact, Saint Ouen plays host to the highest concentration of antiques shops and second-hand furniture merchants in the world, and within this varied tapestry, Galerie Glustin; a rabbit warren of rooms filled with such things, founded by sisters Karine and Virginie.
A ruin when they discovered the building 20 years ago, the Glustin sisters’ renovation is in the style of an 18th century Paris mansion – boiserie, antique fireplaces and parquet de Versailles floors surround their exquisite mix of mid-century furniture and contemporary art. Self-identified feminists, female designers such as Gabriella Crespi, Maria Pergay, Eileen Gray and Line Vautrin are favoured, but increasingly, if they have the notion of a perfect piece but cannot find it in the market, they make it. “It started as a pastime – just doodling sketches between client appointments,” says Karine. “The idea was always to incorporate precious materials – jade, lapis lazuli, rock crystal, alabaster, onyx – and then one day we just did it.”
Enlisting local craftsmen to realise the pieces, they are often one of a kind, and collaborative items with French artist Erwan Boulloud are exceptional. Work is underway on a new collection that the sisters will present to interior designers and architects from all over the world at Paris Design Week in September. “Coup de coeur,” says Karine. “Do you know what it means? ‘Blow to the heart’, like ‘love at first sight’. That’s what we have in mind when we work. Whether we’re making pieces we’ve designed, or hunting treasures around the world, it is all for our customers to discover, so they can fall in love too.” glustin.net