La Boheme: Loulou
Jewelery designer Loulou de la Falaise’s Paris home began, 30 years ago, as an empty white space. Today, it is, in her own words, “like a gypsy as it has a lot of colour and generosity. I want it to make people feel happy and surprised but at the same time it needs to be beautiful.”
And it is.
“Seated on my sofa by the enormous window, I dominate the entire space, and the light is magnificent.”
A few days back, I profiled the exuberantly individualistic Loulou Falaise declaring her a true original, embodying the style, look and attitude of the quintessential Rive Gauche haute bohémienne.
Like the artisté she was, everything in her sphere was touched with brilliance and insight, enhanced by consideration and a discerning eye. From her signature head wraps to her funky shoes, style has encapsulated the whole of her life as is evidenced in her home.
Loulou lives in an extravagantly decorated Thirties apartment in Paris’ Montparnasse district, which she shares with her husband Thadee and daughter Anna. “With its high ceilings, I felt like we were floating in the sky”, says Loulou, “so I draped pure white cotton curtains everywhere and hung a pendulous crystal chandelier to represent air.”
The words that come to mind in describing Loulou’s bohemian style would be: eclectic or enchanting disorder.
“I have a strong attraction to combinations of red. It is a colour that recurs constantly in my designs and my apartment. My shop is adorned with red furniture and a red carpet. It isn’t really a voluntary thing, but an irresistible attraction. It turns out that when I like an object or some other thing, it is very often red.”
A simple paint scheme provides the background for Loulou’s home.
“I have used eggshell; I wanted a neutral colour to place the emphasis on texture,” she says. A prudently inspired decision.
And that texture is everywhere, starting with the jewel-coloured fabrics that form curtains, cushions, rugs and throws.
“I like cotton, velvet and handmade fabrics such as kilims and blankets from the Atlas mountains. And I also have a weakness for bayadere (colourful striped cloth) – I put it everywhere!”
“My favourite materials are painted or gilded wood, lacquered objects, decorative paintwork and ceramics with a cracked surface.”
It is this wonderful sense of the unexpected, the focus on imperfection and lack of uniformity that pervades her home.
“I like blends of styles and things that have nothing to do with each other. I like surprises, things that clash, are unexpected, break unity, disrupt monotony – modern paintings with Louis XV furniture, for example. Mixtures of different periods are very interesting.”
This attitude has given the loft a carefree feel. Nothing is studied or self-conscious. Like nature, it has evolved over time in an organic fashion, but in a style utterly faithful to the owner and her passions.
A veritable Aladdin’s Cave, there is a sparkling collection of glassware and ceramics accumulated over the years adding its magic to this storied habitat.
Baskets overflowing with bangles and bracelets provide both functional storage and decoration.
“I’m consistent in my tastes,” says Loulou. “I like bright, multi-hued fabrics and colours. Anything can inspire me, whether it’s a journey or a crack in a wall. Sometimes I can even transform an undesirable object into a desirable one.”
“I also like the colours of precious stones. I like turquoise very much, and mixtures of reds with blue.”
“To find inspiration in everything can become automatic if you allow that little machine in your head to work.”
Taken from Fashion Designers At Home by Marie Bariller (Thames & Hudson) © 2008 Aubanel.