If you walked into Karl Lagerfeld’s home right now, you would see an incredibly stylish affair.
Not because he’s the creative director of Chanel, or because he has worked in fashion since the early 1950s, but because his interior designer is Christian Liaigre.
Parisian chic is both Liaigre’s forte and his prowess, and the most stylish set in the world flock to him for his timeless designs. Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs are amongst his clients, which really says it all.
Owning a Liaigre piece has now become a mark of distinction.
Last year the founder stepped down from his world-renowned brand and and left two women — the head of interior architecture and furniture, Frauke Meyer, and his wife, the artistic director Deborah Comte-Liaigre — in charge.
Comte-Liaigre is the founder of Liaigre’s Design Service — a service which provides high-end and personalised interior design solutions to existing architectural structures. Verdict got to take an exclusive look at one of the most interesting projects Comte-Liaigre has been working on in recent months.
The project is a luxurious property in Athens, Greece. Liaigre was tasked with the designs of both the interior and outdoor spaces.
Inside the house in Athens
The client was a Greek business woman with a refined taste and a specific brief. Comte-Liaigre explains:
“This has been the first time we have worked with this private client. As she has important professional responsibilities, she wanted to be able to share moments with her family and friends when not at work. This house is then meant for gatherings and parties, not so much formal ones, but rather intimate and casual ones.”
The interiors had to reflect the client’s needs and Comte-Liaigre worked closely with the architect of the house, Jenny Nomikou, to create the desired ambiance. The resulting designs imbue an earthy sophistication, with comfortable furniture and soft-textured details.
Featuring Liaigre’s signature wooden pieces, such as the above feature cabinets, and colourful notes, such as the above yellow artwork, the resulting feel is one of both luxury and tranquility.
How is the design world changing?
The design world is changing rapidly as desires and expectations evolve. Interior design is adapting quickly as a result. Comte-Liaigre believes that the “major trend of our time is eclecticism”.
In years gone by, consumers shopped for their interiors like they would their evening wear or their jewellery. Interiors were markers of wealth and good taste, which would be showed off when entertaining guests at home. However whilst indulgent looks into the homes of the super elite and the famous will always be a guilty pleasure for many, classic designs and comfortable pieces have overtaken the show-off status markers.
This project in Athens, according to Comte-Liaigre, perfectly sums up this newfound desire for comfort above glamour.
“People are looking for more personal and comfortable interiors than ever before. This is very different to years gone by where people wanted their interiors to show social status. Liaigre always creates ambiances and designs that are fit to mix and match with the owner’s personal taste in art. This includes classical or contemporary pieces or antiques. As tastes change, Liaigre is still a classic.”
Customisation is a key design trend for the future
Comte-Liaigre says that the most important thing they offer their clients is the promise that each project and each design they work on is unique and customised. No two client’s needs or expectations are the same, and the high level of personalisation that the company offers is something they hold very dearly.
“We never use the term ‘concept’ as each creation represents one person with one dream and one vibe. We are always driven by the same thing, whether our Studio Liaigre is creating a piece of furniture, or our Liaigre Design Service is tackling an entire interior decoration project like this magnificent Athens-based house: you will never experience the same atmosphere or encounter the same combination of fabrics and furniture.”
Yet creating interior designs that seamlessly blends with the external spaces is a real challenge. They have to complement each other, and cannot be individually unique. Comte-Liaigre told Verdict that getting this right with the home in Athens was her biggest difficulty.
“The house comes with five terraces. All five can be seen simultaneously from certain angles of the house. We therefore had to ensure an overall harmony, while maintaining the individuality of each separate area. We don’t often have the opportunity to tackle so many outdoor areas in a single project. It was a great opportunity to give free rein to our creativity, but it was also hugely challenging.”
Facing the competition
With the rise in online furniture and interiors retailers, such as Made.com, how is Liaigre, as a heritage brand, braving this new competitive landscape? By sticking to what it knows, it seems.
“With the Design Service, our purpose is to offer a unique purchasing experience where we go beyond the usual retail experience. The Design Service is very successful with clients who are seeking guidance in their choices. We guide our clients, through many dynamic conversations, in their choice of furniture, finishes and fabrics. We also advise them on finishes such as wooden floors of marble for their bathrooms.”
Knowing their clients is hugely important to the brand. With the move to more ecclectic designs, Comte-Liaigre believes that expressing this in both their projects and their showrooms is going to be a key success-factor in the creative evolution of the brand.
Comte-Liaigre believes that touching the finished product, feeling the quality and the materials used, is also something that these online retailers cannot offer their customers.
As a result, Liaigre showrooms are cropping up all over the world. Liaigre already has 7 across Europe and more across America, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, China, Singapore and the West Indies.
It is refreshing to see a heritage brand that is so forward-thinking.
For more information on the brand, visit their website.