Royal Roulotte, Parisian design firm talks to Chez Pluie


 Royal Roulette Fontainbleu house Tom dixon pendant light antique Louis Philippe mirror

Royal Roulotte's signature style - bohemian chic. Image via Royal roulotte

Chez Pluie is delighted to share a recent interview with the incredibly talented and creative Alexandra Valla – co-founder of Paris Design firm Royal Roulotte.

How do you work with trends?

Trends are important for us as they allow us to evolve and grow in our work. Décor and fashion are closely linked which is why I find - much more now than a few years ago – that one must watch how trade fairs like Maison et Objet are evolving. I think that if you follow trends, you must maintain your personality and identity to ensure people can recognize your style in the spaces you create.

Paris apartment by Royal Roulotte floral wallpaper louis philippe mirror Tom Dixon light

Parisian apartment with a Tom Dixon pendant light, Louis Philippe mirror, chandelier and monochromatic floral wallpaper. Image via Royal Roulotte

I think that if you follow trends, you must maintain your personality and identity to ensure people can recognize your style in the spaces you create.

After visiting Maison et Objet there are two themes currently apparent to me. On the one hand you have the ‘bling-bling’ and on the other a return to natural themes and raw materials. The key challenge is whether or not you can succeed with both themes. Royal Roulotte works with mixed themes and we enjoy mixing pieces like a copper Tom Dixon pendant with a Belgian raw oak table, for example. 

What is your advice for decorating on a budget?

We advise our clients that elements such as light fixtures and rugs must be good quality and should not be ignored.  For other elements, such as armchairs and coffee tables, we look for beautiful pieces at French retail shops such as AM-PM and Redoute Interiors among others.

 Royal Roulotte kitchen with 1950's dining chairs, designer light fittings and louis philippe mirror

A strong theme of black, white and raw timber make this dining room eclectic and unique. The chairs are from the 1950's, quality suspended light fittings and an antique Louis Philippe mirror. Image via Royal Roulotte

What is your advice for decoration with young children?

We have two little girls, but we are never constrained by that, our house lives with the children and it's very good in that way.

Patterned floor tiles in corridor with colourful cushions stacked on old suitcases

Patterned floor tiles are contrasted by teal blue storage containers re purposed as hallway seating and decorated with patterned pillows. Image via The Socialite Family
...our house lives with the children and it's very good in that way.
Royal Roulotte childrens bedroom decorating ideas
Image via Royal Roulotte

What are your favorite domestic luxuries?

An open fireplace, and a reading corner for relaxing are my favourite domestic luxuries.

Royal Roulotte Open fireplace with Louis Philippe mirror

A decorative stone fireplace is the main focus of this eclectic living space. Geometric black and white cushions bring a modern and edgy feel, and a large gilded Louis Philippe mirror adds antiquity. Image via Royal Roulotte

Royal Roulotte reading nook

A cosy reading nook is a lovely place to curl up and relax. Image via Royal Roulotte

What are the three most important spaces in the home?

1/ The kitchen: in the morning for sharing breakfast with the children, and on the weekends to enjoy an aperitif with friends.

Royal Roulotte kitchen French bohemian chic interior design

Image via Royal Roulotte

2/ The living room: for watching films and reading books.

Royal Roulotte living room eclectic interior design

Image via Royal Roulotte

3/ The bathroom: for relaxing and taking care of yourself.

Royal Roulotte bathroom claw foot bath and salvaged shutter

Image via Royal Roulotte

I cannot live without my ...

I cannot live without my notebook (or should I say notebooks…) I often have many on the go at once so they’re not always easy to find, which annoys Nicolas!!

Royal Roulotte black leather notebook

Image via Royal Roulotte

I cannot live without my notebook (or should I say notebooks…)

Royal Roulotte interior design sketches

Image via Royal Roulotte

What are your tips for decorating apartments and small spaces?

The only advice that I will give for decorating is to feel well within yourself at home, and that your home is brought to life with old books and cosy blankets.

Royal Roulotte living room Tom Dixon light black and white living space

Image via Royal Roulotte

What is your advice for choosing antiques and how to use them?

I love large Louis Philippe mirrors. I use them above tables and mantelpieces. I always have one on my shopping list and I also love meubles de métier - furniture that was used in boutiques and workshops. 

Royal Roulotte kitchen with vintage bar

Image via Royal Roulotte

I love large Louis Philippe mirrors. I use them above tables and mantelpieces.

Who is the designer who most influenced you and why?

I don’t really have one in particular – I am very curious about many different designers. I cannot single one out.

David Hockney A Bigger Splash Diving board 1967

A Bigger Splash, 1967 David Hockney. Image via Studyblue

In art, I love David Hockney, Frida Kahlo, Post-impressionist painter Henri Rousseau (also known as Le douanier rousseau – The customs officer) and the designer Nathalie Lété.

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird Frida Kahlo 1940.

 Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940 Frida Kahlo. Image via New York Post

Nathalie L'ete Paris

Nathalie L'Ete - Creator, Paris. Image via nathalie-lete.com

How do you start a project? 

First of all we have in depth discussions with the client. We then work on the overall ambiance of the space using sample boards to explore colours and finishes. We work on every detail down to the last door handle and switch.

Royal Roulotte moodboard

Image via Royal Roulotte

We work on every detail down to the last door handle and switch.

How do you use colour in your projects?

Colour is paramount in our projects, we like colours to be very contrasted and very dense.

Royal Roulotte teal blue interior black Eames chairs

Image via Royal Roulotte

...we like colours to be very contrasted and very dense.

Royal Roulotte bold floral wallpaper black and white

Image via Royal Roulotte

What is your favourite design book?

My favourite design book was recommended to me by one of my teachers while I was studying design - Eloge de l'ombre (In praise of shadows) by Japanese novelist Junichirô Tanizaki – The colour of light is essential in interiors and we always prefer soft light and use lamps to add warmth.

In Praise of Shadows Book by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki 1933. Image via Fnac

What are you reading at the moment?

At the moment I am reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - a book about the joy of being creative.

Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert. Image via Amazon

Just for fun - If you could dine with someone dead or alive who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with with Charlotte Gainsbourg because I admire her so much and architect Charlotte Perriand to tell me stories about her life.

Charlotte Gainsbourg 

Charlotte Gainsbourg - image via Alchetron

Le Corbusier Charlotte Perriand

Charlotte Perriand with Le Corbusier. Image via Canalblog

Favourite Paris addresses

I love walking around La Marais, the 4th arrondissement is my favourite.

La Marais, Paris 4th arrondissement

La Marais, 4th arrondissement Paris. Image via Homeaway

I love taking the children on the fly boats on the river Seine to discover other parts of Paris and going to Musee d’Orsay for an exhibition.

Musee D'Orsay Paris

Musee D'Orsay, Paris. Image via Thousand wonders

We love having cocktails at So Resto, Rue Montmartre in the 2nd arrondissement and Le Paradis in the 10th arrondissement where you can eat very well.

I get around in my car because we live in the countryside, in a Parisian region and I always have a car full of things to transport!

Monte Marte Sacre Coeur Paris

Sacré-cœur, Montmartre, Image via Top ten travel

My favourite monument in Paris is Montmartre (it must be because of my bohemian side, surely)!

Royal Roulotte Paris Interior design firm

Thank you to Alexandra for sharing your wisdom and Parisian designer flare with us. 

Feast your eyes on more Royal Roulotte goodness with their stunning Pinterest boards, Instagram account and website.  

Royal Roulotte Pinterest Interior decoration ideas

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