Meeting with Emilie Bonaventure
Some time ago, we discovered the decoration agency Be-Attitude and the boutique Personnel & Friends founded by Emilie Bonaventure. Conquered by the work of the talented decorator, scenographer and entrepreneur, we wanted to meet her to learn more about her close relationship with interior design
How did your passion for interior design come about? What are your sources of inspiration?
I knew from the age of 13 that I wanted to be a decorator. The magnificent light of the South of France, discovered in 1987, quickly became my source of interest in painting, 19th century artists and the birth of modernity, themes to which I devoted my research work at the Ecole du Louvre and then at university.
My encounters with Chahan Minassian, Antoine Broccardo and Jacques Lacoste have allowed me to give free rein to my passion for European and American objects and furniture, from Art & Craft to contemporary design. I am passionate about the dialogue between objects and their environments. They tell the story of their owner.
I am also very interested in, curious about and admiring the work of Andrée Putman, modernism and functionalism of the 1930s, and all the aesthetic currents of the 20th century.
How would you define the style of your interior?
Before I opened my studio-boutique two years ago, I had been working at home for 10 years. So I spent a lot of time there.
It had to look like me, be cosy and relaxing, while still being functional for my work as a set designer. White and light colours are predominant in the relaxation areas such as the bedroom and the living room, as this rests my eyes which are extremely busy throughout the day. Soft textures and quality materials reinforce the feeling of a cocoon where time decelerates (but never stops).
I wanted the kitchen to contrast with the rest of the flat. I wanted it to be both beautiful and functional. It is therefore black, with an original detail: carpet on the floor. You’d think it would deteriorate very quickly, but as I’m a precise person, even in the kitchen, my carpet doesn’t have a stain!
As you can see, I can’t give my interior an identifiable style, but like all the others I can create, let’s say it’s a warm, welcoming and chic setting. Each object in my collection, each detail reflects my personality, my tastes, my influences and tells a story.
What are the latest design pieces you have bought?
A beautiful armchair by Borge Mogensen, a Swan armchair by Jacobsen designed for the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in 1958, and a beautiful stainless steel hanging console by Roger Landault.
Who are your favourite 20th century designers? Do you have a favourite iconic piece?
Through my collaborations as a scenographer, I have been lucky enough to stage a lot of design pieces that are icons in the history of decorative arts. The list of designers I am particularly fond of is long, but I must mention Jean Royere, for whom I have a particular affection and knowledge.
It is the same for Pol Chambost, whose work I know very well. But I also love Scandinavian furniture and the Italian creations of Gio Ponti, or Piero Fornasetti. In fact, there are so many… When you love, you don’t count..
What is the project you are most proud of? Why is that?
I am particularly fond of my restaurant projects because, coming from a family of restaurateurs, gastronomy has always been a real passion for me.
They are always challenging, whether in terms of ergonomics or technical and aesthetic constraints. I always try to work in such a way that the décor of the place fits perfectly with the personality and tastes of the chef. It’s a setting that I think has to be just right and balanced enough to blend in with the chef’s cooking.
Frenchie Covent Garden was an important step for me in 2016. With Greg and Marie Marchand, we worked hard for a year on this project, after redoing Frenchie Paris the year before. A second project is always stronger because we know each other better. So we can accomplish more. We are delighted with its success and what it has become in less than a year: a fixture on the London dining scene.
How would you describe the style of your decorations?
I would prefer to call them decorations, rather than decorations. The places I imagine are very much rooted in their time and place. The décor is one with its architecture, it doesn’t look added or over added. Interior architecture, scenography, design, decorative art, contemporary art, fashion and gastronomy define the hybrid cultural DNA of my studio. I am at the same time a decorator-scenographer, an art director, a designer and a creator… A transversal positioning where listening and tailoring make the unity. It’s crucial for me that the experience is lived as a whole.
Could you tell us more about your future projects?
I never talk about my projects until they have started. A signed project will remain a secret until I’m sure I can deliver it on time. This is one of the commitments we have never failed to make. However, I can already tell you that I am very attentive to what is happening on the gastronomic and hotel scene in France and abroad.
1 – Set of Minotti armchairs and chairs in green fabric, Gigi RADICE – 1950 | 2 – Italian ashtray in glass crystal – 1950 | 3 – Dutch Metawa tea service in teak and metal – 1960 | 4 – Artifort “Oyster” armchair, Pierre PAULIN – 1960 | 5 – Eklipta wall lamp in opaline, 7 – Pair of Scandinavian white metal wall lamps – 1960 | 8 – Pair of marble and chrome steel coffee tables, Florence KNOLL – 1960 | 9 – “Troika” armchairs, Pierre GUARICHE – 1950s
You would like to contact Emilie Bonaventure for a project? The Be-Attitude agency is located at 22 rue Milton in the 9th arrondissement of Paris . You can also contact her by phone at 01 71 97 51 91 or by email at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org !