Christian Liaigre is one of France’s most iconic and prolific interior architects and designers. In my eyes, he is a real cut above his peers. His journey, to the pinnacle of his profession, has certainly been varied and diverse.
Christian was born and brought up in the west of France, not far from the Atlantic coast. His love of nature and natural materials stems from his childhood as he loved studying and drawing the sand, weather wood, tree bark and leather from the nearby stables.
So much so that he decided to refine his skills by first studying at the Paris Academy of Fine and Decoration Art, then teaching drawing at the Academy Charpentier. City life, at that time, was not for him though and he decided to return to his roots and he took over the running of his grandfather’s horse breeding stables.
His artistic creativity was never far though and the opportunity for him to develop his passion for design came 10 years later when La Maison Nobilis invited him to be their Artistic Director. This is a role he took on to great acclaim. Liaigre developed a furniture line for the company and was the first to launch interior perfumes.
An independent at heart, Christian started his own label and opened his first studio at 61 rue Varenne in the 7th in Paris in the 1980s. He has never looked back and now has offices across the globe.
Christian Liaigre designs private residences, yachts, hotels and restaurants of high profile individuals around the world. Yet, loyal to his roots, Christian’s signature is natural materials - linen, silk and cotton, saddle stitching on leather, wood as well as bronze and marble - all beautifully crafted and singing to the same contemporary tune of subtle opulence.
At 73 years of age, Christian is busier that ever.
You may recognise some of his work.
So many people have been talking to me recently about The Bouillon Chartier – more commonly known simply as Chartier – I thought I would write a few lines about it for you.
Chartier is an institution. The brasserie opened its doors over 100 years ago and is much the same today as it was then.
It opened to service the many workers in the neighbourhood who lived in small rooms or apartments with little or no cooking facilities. Chartier provided good, nourishing food for a very reasonable cost.
And not much has changed.
The décor is typical of early 20th century brasserie, lots of wood, brass and mirrors. The dining room is now heritage listed. Note the dumb waiters and rows of small drawers. These were originally for the regular patrons napkins. Rather than giving them clean napkins for every meal, they simply stored them in the nominated drawer and changed them weekly.
As for the menu, it really has not changed, it remains traditional and reasonable – a main course is around Euro10.
I always start with salade de carotte râpées, then have steak au poivre and finish with a mystère ice cream.
Be aware that you cannot make reservations and the queue for a table can be very long. Depending on how many you are, you may get a private table or you may have to share with others. You could make life long friends in the process!
I must have been to Chartier over 50 times, the atmosphere is always gay and lively and never disappoints.
7 Faubourg Montmatre, 75009
Metro: Grands Boulevard
Open 7 days a week
11h30am to midnight
No reservations taken
Sometimes you come across the work of someone and you just fall in love with it. Well, allow me to introduce you to Marc Antoine Coulon, the acclaimed French illustrator and artist. I fell in love with his work.
He has been drawing for as long as he can remember and his work has been seen in the world’s top publications, advertisements across the globe and in galleries and museum.
With the stroke – a magical stroke – of a brush, he succeeds in representing some of the most iconic figures of our times.
Here are just some of his portraits and fashion illustrations.
p.s. If you happen to come across any of his work at a trash and treasure - grab it!
Very well travelled, Tricia has spent many years in the Tourism Industry and in France, and is perfectly placed to guide you on your own French journey into lifestyle, fashion and more...Stay tuned!