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Interview with Eleonor Houplain
Posted on 07/11/2022

Interview with Eleonor Houplain

For several years, Square's International has been working in partnership with the talented and very friendly Eléonor Houplain, the elite of interior designers. Eléonor offers a tailor-made interior design service with a unique style. 
Reconfiguration of spaces, home staging, decoration, architecture... Through our interview, discover her talent and her indispensable advice. 

          1. On your social networks, we have seen your very pure, raw and monochrome style. What do we find in each of your projects?

[haha] Yes, I work a lot with masonry. It's really something that's in almost all of my projects. The masonry is everything that is done in the mass, that is to say the shelves that have this very raw and pure side that are done in the structure. 

          2. How do you define your decorating style? What materials, materials, colors do you prefer to work with?

Masonry! I like that it's not limewash, which is rarely done in Paris because it gets too dirty, it has a very antiseptic and matte look. I really like raw materials, it allows things to remain more pure and authentic. For example, solid wood gives authenticity in these creations or cement tiles that are treated with pigments. 
I can work with a lot of colors. In fact, it depends on the project because each project has its own identity. 
There is an architectural element that is the basis of everything!  Whether it's a house or an apartment from the 50's or a Haussmannian, I won't go against its architecture. That doesn't mean that I'm going to do a "Marie Antoinette" decoration because I'm working in a Haussmannian, I'm just going to respect the architecture of the place. 
In the end, there is always a basis to work from! The original constraints of the place will serve as a force to bring out its potential and enhance it. For example, for my project to completely renovate a house in Puglia, Italy, I didn't overdo the colors or anything, instead I preferred to work with the materials of the region. 

          3. Between your professional projects, your personal projects and your family life, can you describe a typical day?

To be honest, two of my children are grown up so it's much easier. Today, the youngest is going back to 6th grade and takes the subway, he is much more independent. The two older ones are already completely autonomous. 
For the time being, this year it's going to be pretty light, although I still need to be there for their homework, to do the shopping and to take care of them on weekends. 
But if we go back a little bit, well you are rushed, organized and yet disorganized (haha).  
It's a matter of habit, I had a bit of a disjointed life, I was working all the time but it didn't stop me from living. There are dinners, brunches, different outings to do with friends and family. There are always solutions, it's not a problem. It doesn't stop me from linking my personal and professional life. 

          4. How do you keep things fresh for each of your projects? What advice would you give to always stay on top of things? 

I am the opposite of someone who follows trends. I make places my own and give them an identity based on the basic materials, the environment, the context... While respecting who they really are. So I never work according to trends, on the contrary my ultimate goal is to succeed in creating a soul in a place.
Initially I come from fashion, I have a family that was in creation and design. It's very intuitive, you don't know why you want it or why you are tired of it. It's a feeling thing! 

          5. We saw that you discovered the world of flea markets with your mother and that she advised you to make collections. Do you still have collections today ?

It was to give me a taste for flea markets and to awaken me to this culture that my mother advised me to make a collection of objects. It was a way to feed me intellectually. I loved yellow objects, so I had a huge collection of them for years, mostly related to dishes. Then one day I got rid of it, I sold it. It was a way to open my eyes, my mind. 
Besides, I did the same with my children. My daughter has a passion for fabrics, embroidery, finesse. The fact of hunting in flea markets makes it possible to find objects with an extraordinary know-how and work which almost does not exist any more. It has crossed the centuries and it is still standing! Unlike today where everything is prefabricated, in one shot. We buy, we move, we dismantle and we throw away: it is called the culture of the supermarket. 

          6. What is your favorite piece of home decor and why?

There's something I put everywhere, and all my girlfriends put today too. Old sheets! Old sheets, because they're beautiful, very cool in the summer, woven in metisse, cotton or linen. Sometimes there are also numbers or initials embroidered on it, spectacular embroidery. It dresses up a bed in seconds. 
It has substance! You can use it as curtains when you need to hide something, as tablecloths or even as partitions. With few means to make a beautiful decoration, timeless and chic there are not a thousand solutions, we make masonry, we put a square basin, we choose a beautiful tapware, beautiful colors and here we go! The goal is not to overdo it.

          7. What is your favorite room to decorate?

I love bathrooms. It's fun for me to do because it's so complete.  When a project is finished, in the bathroom it's just a matter of buying the towels. 
For the other rooms, unless I've been asked to design the custom furniture, I don't know what people will do with it afterwards. Finally, if they want to put a fuchsia pink bed in the bedroom, I have nothing to say, whereas the bathroom is completely finished. 

          8. Do you have typical customers ? 

I have a lot of individuals, mostly entrepreneurs and also a whole line of artists in parallel. Above all, it's a meeting!  I go to see them for the first time, it is really necessary that the trust is established. If the trust is not there, it does not happen. In general, we start with a project that lasts six months or a year, so communication must be fluid. 

          9. If we are about to move, when do you advise us to start thinking about the decoration ?

For the decoration, the time doesn't matter since it only concerns the furniture. For the architecture, I would say as soon as you buy. 
When you decide to do work, there is a lot of work to do beforehand. The ideal is to start at the time of the purchase when you know that there are three months to take your time on the choice of materials. 
For my part, I like to take time to have a complete understanding of my clients' wishes. After that, I can prepare a project in one month (haha).

          10. According to you, what will be the decoration trends that will mark the year 2023?

There was this big trend of organic shapes like the round, we are still in it. I also think that we will remain in natural materials, fibrous, everything that is wood with a raw side, the work of ceramics and a lot of gray. 
In summary, in 2023 there will be the mineral and organic trend, the graphic trend with pop colors that will echo the design of the 80s and 90s.
Instinctively, one thing I haven't seen yet: cracked ceramics. I think there will be some, we don't see much of that. Because it's going to go very well with all the materials that are a bit raw and natural. 

          11. Finally, what are your favorite places to find decorative gems?

I have several!  On Instagram, @g69madrid. The owners are Géraldine and Cyril Poumerol Boudarel. It's an amazing home decor store with a perfect selection, it's located in Madrid, Spain but they ship worldwide. 
Next, Dealeuse, at 7 rue de Vintimille in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. This store has a selection of vintage products and a selection of diverted products, sometimes contemporary.
The last address is for less affordable but beautiful collectibles. Carpenters workshop gallery at 54 rue de la Verrerie in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.