Design & Decoration S01 ep2: Jacques Garcia, Garcia Interior, [Paris]
Interview with Jacques Garcia
The strength of the American designers is that as they don't have their own style, they freely mix different styles with a very personal touch. My quest is a bit different, I try to give a modern feel to something that is often considered old fashioned. Today young people find the 18th century style very much out of date. Maybe it is because they remember the interiors of their parents who displayed it in a old fashioned way.
KM: When did you realise you would become an interior designer?
(Garcia – in French)
To be frank I never wanted to be an interior designer, I always wanted to be an
artist. But without the help of the right networks and family, I realised it was
nearly impossible to succeed.
At the time I was passionate about architecture, the modern creations of the
time - this was in 1965, 66.
I studied at a school that would allow me, not only to become a well known
decorator but someone who will be fulfilled by drawing, and by artistic
At the same time, I was passionate about architecture, contemporary
creations, and I was also passionate about art history and especially the
history of France which for 200 years or 300 years has ruled the artistic world
(pause) until the United States intervened.
We replaced the Italians from 1650 to 1900 and we set the trends.
I wanted to place myself outside of the trends, against fashion. I wanted to be
somebody that works on the soul and the spirit of what we have achieved for
generations, through extraordinary creators from the 16th, 17th and 18th
centuries, even 19th century! I will include the 20th century with the difference
that we are not any more a dominant country.
The strength of the American designers is that as they don't have their own
style, they freely mix different styles with a very personal touch.
My quest is a bit different. I try to give a modern feel to something that is often
considered old fashioned. Today young people find the 18th century style very
much out of date.
Maybe it is because they remember the interiors of their parents who displayed
it in an old fashioned way.
There are ways to put it together differently, and that is what I am trying to do.
To present this period style in a contemporary way, blending styles, adding a
new concept of light and an understanding of organisation to create a classic
KM: What is a room supposed to do?
It can be varied. It depends on what type of client you are dealing with. For
example when I did the house for the Sultan of Brunei in Paris, being the
richest man on earth, it had to be a house that emanates power.
The lounge area where he will take his guests will reinforce his sense of power
If you are working for an artist, a singer or a comedian, I need to understand
their style so that their house reflects their personality.
For a private home, I try to bring out the best of my client's personality.
I am not going to create a space for a client that has no interest in art, an
It would be ridiculous.
And in the same way, I am not going to make of an art lover's house a
decorator's house, it would also be ridiculous.
The identity of the people who are going to live in the house is the only
If it is a public space it is very different. I don't preoccupy myself with the client
at all. I have to determine what I feel about the place. I become the client and
I will impress my own mark on this place.
If it is a fashion place, I may do a 50s fashion decor, as I did for the Café
Avenue, in the Avenue Montaigne in Paris. If it is a decor for a chocolate shop
from 1850, for example the shop of Laduret [pronounced LADOORAY], I will
do of course a decor that is very cocotte, very much like a 19th century
chocolate shop and if it is a project for young people, on the Champs Elysees,
I will make a trendy place, modern, that perhaps a lady who comes to the
chocolate shop Laduret, next door, might not like at all, but all these places
have one thing in common, my mark, my spirit, which is my signature in all
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jacques Garcia, Garcia Interior, Paris