Personal Style: Sarah Lavoine

I’m calling this Personal Style, even though its a profile of an interior designer, because her work seems more like an exercise in style than in interior decorating… and what do I mean by that? Well, she’s french, actually she’s a polish princess, but she decorates in france and she was profiled in this weekends NY Times Style Magazine… (The whole issue was steeped in francophila, I already posted the article about Isabelle Hebey and how she helped shape 20th century france). Personal style is about having things look like you, everything around you has a certain aura, a something that makes the people around you know- oh that looks like x’s type… and it looks good on her. Its about making what you have work for for you. I have one friend that can make a bandaid look cool- no joke. And that kind of style can’t be taught. But we can be taught how to figure out what we like and who we are visually and not be fashion victims and trend mongers. People who don’t have it look like they are wearing costumes: “21 century girl!”… “Secretarial sweet but sexy girl from the office!”  “Serena Vanderwoodson is my idol, I wake up at noon and have a trust fund girl!”  or my worst “Im wearing a headband across my forehead GIRL!” You know those trying too hard people, we all do. But then there are the Jennifer Aniston’s and the Angelina Jolie’s (Why am I talking about them as a pair?!? Or even at all!) and hell, even the Kim Kardashians, who ALWAYS look like themselves. And maybe its awesome, and maybe it is not… but there is something to be said about a woman that looks both stylish and like herself all the time…. and whose house looks like her too.

Anyway, now that I went on a rant about personal style, lets see the apartment, shall we! It sits above the Tuileries in Paris, so it would have to be filled with 1000 cats for me not to like it.

The Be@rbrick bear is dressed in Chanel sitting next to a little drum kit? Who cares! Look at those windows!

Love the green wall, the lighting, the orange boxes… frames propped on radiators…

I usually find candles to be quite offensive… but they aren’t totally killing me here.

Pop star husbands polaroid collection.

Don’t you love the Yves Klien table, just casually thrown up against a wall as a makeshift bench? All I can see is a wire. Not kidding. Its staring me in the face.

Jamie Drake used this same hat like chandelier in his Decor by the Shore Showhouse room… which I wasn’t too fond of, but I know a lot of other people liked it.

Ive always loved that gigantic sconce.

There is just something so european about all those wires hanging out places- do you know what we americans go through to have our wires hidden? Outlets in the floor and chiseling and snaking through concrete walls… I’ve even rejected pieces of furniture because they wouldn’t cover the wires properly. AND in my den, where I have a tv in open shelving, I cut a whole in a box and put all the wires into the box with a lid- all to hide the wires.

And then there is the completely unstyled kitchen, looks like the photographer left his cup of coffee on the table so he could take the shot… I dunno. Theres something I like about it there… its cool girl decor, if you know what I mean… Unpretentious and stylish.

Anyway, you can see more of Sarah Lavoine’s work HERE, and see the Times article HERE.

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  1. MMish says:

    I get her style and she is pretty cool but a part of me is also dying to jump into these pictures and organize.

  2. etak says:

    I agree with the above commenter. I also have a problem with the ‘buddha in the corner as a decoration’ camp.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      I hate the budda too. I also don’t like adult toys. But I can deal with them in someone else’s house!

  3. Albertina says:

    I actually like the no styling. You see her real apartment, how she lives in it. You were funny about the wires. Its tough in those OLD buildings.

  4. Lauren says:

    Carpet in the kitchen? That grosses me out!

  5. Nicole Cohen says:

    1. I didn’t even notice the carpet. 2. I am SO TORN between liking that its unstyled and wishing I could rip every wire out of the photos, and 3. I don’t think its so messy, its not that much messier than my house, but there is like the daily mail still out, looks like unpaid bills still on the console, a box that needs to be returned to shop bop…etc… So basically its just like the photographs were taken on a random day.

    To be fair, her design work isn’t styled this way. Its neat and clean… But the times did call her the master of “perfectly imperfect interiors.”

    Either way… I love hearing what you all think about this stuff! Its fun when we all disagree.

  6. Emilie says:

    Good God she’s incredible. Lovelovelove the first and last outfits. Any idea where I can get a similar pajama-ish shirt?

  7. omg she has to two things I am absolutely dying for – Chanel Kid Robot which was also featured in architectural digest that you posted and the Philippe Starck ak47 lamp, which are in abundance at the SLS in LA. I do agree that the wire totally ruins it, she needs a good electrician!!!!

  8. Katherine says:

    If you are a fan, you can order her book (which is quite good) from Amazon Canada. The Cote Maison website also features her work regularly. Both sources feature the designs in a more edited form including a farmhouse to die for.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I will order it! From what I saw on her website, her work is more edited… but I kinda liked this view into real life for a change.