The young decorator Laura Gonzalez gave us a few minutes to tell us about her work. She returns in particular to her metamorphosis work for the Bus Palladium or Régine.
Laura Gonzalez, tell us about your background.
I first studied architecture at the Beaux Art. I am not only a decorator but a state architect. I created my company 4 years ago during my last year of studies where I had to work at school and ensure my meetings between noon and two. I started with a shop for a friend and it rained! Little by little and word of mouth, I made other shops and then apartments but it was really the Bus Palladium that launched me. At 24, it was a dream with many challenges. With my team we spent 10 days working day and night to make a project and again it worked!
You are one of the decorators we are talking about the most at the moment, how do you explain this?
First I mean it's great. In fact, this media coverage really allows me to access other commands that would be more difficult without that. Then I think people talk a lot about me because I represent youth and then I have a particular style that is quite feminine. But above all, I think it's the work that pays. Finally, the fact that I work a lot for public places with known names probably helps me. Maybe if I only made apartments, people would talk less about me. But beware, I'm not trying to be recognized in the street, otherwise I would have done another job!
How do you work to revamp a place like the Bus Palladium or the Régine for example?
The Bus Palladium was a challenge and pure creation because it was necessary to give an atmosphere to a place that no longer really had any. At Régine's, it was a little different because we had to work around the glamor of the place. The idea is to take back the elements of the past to give them new life. At Le Bus, this resulted in a family home reminiscent of the big rock family, while at Régine we gave an exotic chic theme to infuse the place with glamor.
What are your inspirations?
These are mainly films because I think there is no better decor than that of a film. They are created from A to Z, it's a real design. With my team, we do a lot of cinematographic research, but I also travel a lot. In fact, in our work, there are about 10 days of pure research. I am always on the internet, especially on blogs, and I create a bank of images that I classify by styles or by pieces. I think it's essential to renew yourself.
What are your favorite achievements?
It is difficult because it is difficult to step back after a project. And then when it is a public place it is never easy because people appropriate the space and transform it a little. In general, I am more attached to new projects. At the moment, a brasserie is being prepared in a 19th century English style, but also a bar in the Opéra Garnier. We also rethink Delaville with the theme of a brothel with all the sensual and intimate aspect that it implies.
You have collaborated with the Dutch Flower Office around the Anthurium, could you tell us more?
I have always loved flowers and plants, I put a lot in my decor but also at home. It's a universe that touches me, so this collaboration immediately spoke to me. Besides, she looks a lot like my work. In fact, the idea was to give a somewhat vintage look to a vintage object, transforming the old-fashioned into timeless. So I first tamed the plant to crop it in an atmosphere with trendy boards. I put it in a context by removing its "tropical nerdy" look to give it a more fashionable touch.
How is your interior?
There are flowers everywhere! For example, I have wallpapers with large roses, with smaller roses… There are 14 different wallpapers in my 55 m2 apartment, I even have some on the ceiling. The set is very girly, besides my boyfriend is a bit fed up. I dream of having a country house where to go with all my friends so for the moment this apartment takes up a little the idea of a country house with antiques, books…
What advice would you give to aspiring decorators?
I see a lot of trainees and I always tell them to study architecture in order to understand the space and to be able to draw it before decorating it, especially for places intended for the public. It is a difficult job and technical knowledge is important. You should not hesitate to travel to get inspired but you must also feed on magazines and the internet. Internships help a lot to better understand the job. At the end of the school, we realize that the customers expect a lot. You have to pay attention to all the details. We receive 200 phone calls per day and 80% of the work is in fact monitoring and after construction. We are a bit of a transition between the companies and the client.