Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Places & Faces

Luxe, Calm, Modern: Christian Liaigre

French national Christian Liaigre is one of the world’s most sort after interior and furniture designers. The 72 year olds exacting eye produces one of the most considered interior styles in the industry with slim lines and low tones that produce a result that just jumps out at you.

Even almost 40 years on since the launch of his interior design firm the mention of his name in jet set circles still elicits reverence with clients including Karl Lagerfield, Valentino and Marc Jacobs plus many other notable names.

Liaigre grew up in the forests of the Vendee region near the Atlantic coast and his family was passionate about breeding horses. You can see this influence in his work with his use of leather and stitching on his elegant designs. ‘My favourite pieces are always linked to memory’ sites Liaigre, however, his zen inspiring designs can apparently be linked to a trip of his to Jim Thompson’s house in Thailand in the 80’s where he learnt the importance of simplicity and sense.

Liaigre’s real break came when he renovated the Hotel Montalembert in Paris in 1990 and the Mercer Hotel in the former residence of John Jacob Aster in New York’s Soho. This highlighted his style of low lying dark African furniture set against a soothing palette of black, white and grey. The mood sparse and pristine, monastic and moderne. A mini revolution in the interior design world some might say.

Since then his designs and influences can be seen in many styles including in the work of Armani (interiors), Kelly Hoppen and B&B Italia. Famous property maverick and hotelier Andrew Balazs once described Liaigre as ‘refined and soulful with an exquisite sense of restraint’. As one of the world’s most sort after interior designers he has also worked on other hotels including Hotel Le Sereno in St Barths and the Puerta America in Madrid also include on that list Rupert Murdoch’s 57m yacht and Bryan Adam’s home – who are both fans.

Now he has partnered with Rothschild Capital (2009) and has opened 25 showrooms across Europe to showcase his furniture and design collection. Although passing over the reigns to his wife now, he has many more years to continue his luxurious, calm and above all else modern aesthetic. Thank god for that.  

Anthony Spon-Smith

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