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February 2007


MEET THE DESIGNER

Robert Couturier
By Alexa Stevenson

LUXURY KNOWS NO BOUNDS FOR THIS PARIS-BORN DESIGNER

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What was your big break as an interior designer? Being hired by Adam Tihany while I was still studying [at the École Camondo in Paris] and working for Sir James Goldsmith. Are there any trends you wish would disappear? I wish the fashion for interiors looking like expensive hotel rooms would go away. What's your design philosophy? Making the people I work for totally happy with the interiors I give them. With time becoming more and more demanding, I do not like to work with anything fake, or with reproductions and bad art. Who is a designer from the past you admire? Henri Samuel, Emilio Terry and Jean-Michel Frank. How about someone still working today? Jacques Grange. Do you have a style icon? Bess of Hardwick, Madame de Pompadour and the Vicomtesse de Noailles, to name a few. What's your guilty design pleasure? Embroidered fabrics by [Jean François] Lesage. They are incredibly expensive but so beautiful. Describe your home in Connecticut: It's three houses on 16 acres on a lake in South Kent. Two are 18th-century American, full of 18th-century American furniture, and the third, where we live, is a fairly classic structure reminiscent of English as well as French 18th-century architecture. I always cringe when I see: Reproduction furniture and fake anything. Name a source of inspiration: One is not enough! Anything and everything. I strongly believe: My strong beliefs have nothing to do with architecture or decorating! I am inclined, though, to believe that money spent on quality is money you seldom regret having spent. Describe your clients: Indescribable! They are so varied. I do work in France, England, St. Barth, Caracas and all over the U.S. for all different types of people from different backgrounds. What's your favorite place to shop? I have no expectations, so I always get wonderfully surprised. I can be in Paris or Woodbury and it is always the same pleasure! What is something you can't live without? Good furniture and the old masters. And I can't stay too long away from my house in Connecticut. What is something your clients should not live without? Good art and furniture. Who is your dream client? The next client!

ENJOY GREAT DESIGN

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