Friday, January 18, 2013

Designers at home: Francine Gardner of Interieurs

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


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My Notting Hill said...

Seeing Francine's home was a wonderful treat - serene, interesting and welcoming! Thank you.

Wild Oak Designs said...

wonderful shots, and great the stone walls...sigh

Drew Slinger said...

We've been wanting to find some great interior decorators. I really like what you have here, thanks for posting. I will definitely try these out for our new home.

Kristie Franklin said...

Beautiful home, I love the finishes. I had similar terracotta tiles in my last home and loved them. I found them to be very warm and inviting.

Francine Gardner said...

Dear Christina
I just opened my computer and am so thankful for your wonderful post. I am really thrilled, especially getting recognition from you! I am in Paris, meeting with my vendors and did not even have time to look at my computer until now. Paris is quite beautiful under the snow...really hope to meet in person one day !

The enchanted home said...

Beautiful home and fascinating interview...cannot imagine buying a home sight unseen but obviously it was a great move:) So much charm! I agree about neutral interiors and I bet your library is wonderful!

Splenderosa said...

Christina, I absolutely adore Francine Gardner. Her home is exactly what I would have expected, it's also very very much the way a lot of my French friend's homes look.
This is going to be a great series, I think. You chose a perfect 1st interview.

quintessence said...

Love seeing Francine's home here! We just ran into each other in Paris - she is a woman of exquisite taste, endless energy and generous soul! Love the idea of this series.