EL Journal

FROM EXCLUSIVE PROFILES TO UP-CLOSE-AND-PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH MOVERS AND SHAKERS FROM THE DESIGN WORLD, DISCOVER THE ESENSUAL LIVING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE ONE-AND-ONLY EL JOURNAL, BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR EXCLUSIVE TEAM OF LEADING DESIGN AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISTS.
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BLUE MOOD

An antiques dealer by trade, Florence Lopez is also known for her extraordinary sense of interior design, dreaming up unique universes where wall colours, textiles, antique objects and furniture play off each other to create an energy of their own.

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In Bed With

This week esensualliving.com, for the launch of its In Bed With series, indulges in some pillow talk with globetrotting husband-and-wife designer duo Haans Nicholas Mott and Anastasia Khodkina. 

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The location: a master bedroom in the Terrasse Eiffel suite of the Hotel Marignan in Paris, a chic, minimalist space giving onto a vast terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Pierre Yovanovitch was the mastermind behind the interior design of the hotel, which opened in 2012. Tucked up in their white sheets, Haans, Anastasia and their baby son Alexey are the picture of the perfect family.

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In the Atelier with Petit h’s Pascale Mussard

If Hermès represents the beauty of Parisian perfectionism, then Petit h, the house’s fledgling métier offshoot, led by creative visionary Pascale Mussard, is all about the beauty of imperfections.

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LES BAINS
A New Chapter

How to revive a sleeping giant of the nightclubbing world – Les Bains Douches – while respecting its legacy as the after-dark playground for a Who’s Who of subversive notables in the Eighties? With the formidable Marie-Line manning the door the mythic nightspot was as a popular rallying ground for artists, intellectuals and designers, with among regular punters Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Claude Montana, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger and punk priestess Edwige Belmore. Joy Division even recorded a live album there in 1979.

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At Home with Florence Lopez

With her petite stature and rare eye for colour, materials and design, Florence Lopez is an uncaged exotic bird in the closed world of antiques. When in 1992 she left her position at Jacques Garcia’s interior design agency to open up her own by-appointment antiques space in a modernist artist’s atelier in a rooftop apartment in Saint-Germain des Prés (accessible by a higgledy-piggledy narrow flight of stairs) many took the idea as completely harebrained. But Florence, who found there was “a magic to this place,” stuck to her guns. “I’m a nonconformist and the fact that anyone who takes an appointment with me is willing to walk up those four flights of stairs is already a sign that they, too, are nonconformist, they have a lively sense of curiosity.”

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Francis Sultana Talks Homing Instincts

When it comes to the world of interiors, Francis Sultana is something of a polymath. Aged forty-four, the Maltese-born, London-based furniture and interior designer has come a long way since designing his first sofa for Annie Lennox two decades ago, being the go-to designer for an haut-monde of notable art collectors and patrons. Working across both residential and commercial projects, recent commissions include the design of the restaurant for the Pavilion of Art and Design (PAD) in London in October. In addition to his own design studio, specializing in beautifully crafted pieces evoking the elegance of the 1920s and 1930s, with influences from both the natural world and contemporary art, Sultana is also Artistic Director of David Gill Galleries, London. Bar a three-year sabbatical, he has worked there since the age of nineteen.

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It is in the gallery’s high ceilinged and light filled St. James’s space – located on the same street as Christie’s and surrounded by some of London’s leading commercial galleries – that we meet. Following an enthusiastic introduction to one of the gallery’s hot talents, Barnaby Barford, whose Tower of Babel is on display in the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries until 1st November, I’m invited to join Sultana on a sofa from his ‘Celia’ range. (Each of his collections is named after a friend, starting in 2012 with ‘Yana’, after Outset Founder and Intelligence Squared CEO, Yana Peel.) My eye settles on a pair of cushions in woven black leather and gold bullion that bring to mind a Chanel jacket. “It’s a special hand-weave done for me in Paris,” he explains. “I’m working with textiles that are being used for couture as well.”

With no formal training – he left school after taking his A-levels in Gozo at the age of sixteen – Sultana credits Gill as having been his education, along with the V&A and several of his clients. Judging by his comet-like ascent, Sultana, who cuts a suave figure in his Anderson & Sheppard suit, has clearly been an attentive life student, with a generous manner that belies his steely focus as one of the industry’s rising stars. He refers to himself as an “interior editor”, adding: “Most of the people I know have a great aesthetic, I just put things together.” 

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AN IDYLLIC SUMMER RETREAT : COWLEY MANOR

In terms of idyllic retreats of the quintessentially-British variety, Cowley Manor, a contemporary country house hotel and spa set in the heart of the Cotswolds, offers a pioneering holiday experience as both a temple to modern British design and a wellbeing haven, set within 55 acres of landscaped gardens, rolling parkland, woods and meadows. 

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A+B KASHA, The Luxury Parisian pied à terre specialist

Making a house a home is not such an easy task, especially for newly weds, as it means marrying space, furniture, art, wedding kits etc. along with meaningful and often personal memories. We thus reached out to luxury pied-à-terre specialist A+B Kasha for their take on an “ideal” checklist to help newly weds choosing a future home.

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GAIA&GINO, The Essence of Design

“Our products often take up to two years to make. It is a collaborative process with designers where we share ideas and stories,” says Gaye Cevikel, the indomitable founder of GAIA&GINO.

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CHIC COUNTRY LIVING WITH ALEXANDRE TURPAULT

When it comes to home comforts, no country dwelling would be complete sans fresh, natural linens for the bed, bath and dining rooms—the way it used to be. The go-to fibre for centuries, as one of the world’s oldest fabrics, linen’s key characteristics include breathability, durability, insulation and softness, not forgetting its anti-bacterial and moisture absorbing properties, which all aid a good night’s sleep. With its luminous, light-reflecting qualities, a great linen bed set can transform a bedroom.

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