When Christian Ghion receives in his pink salon malabar, we could believe in a contemporary Californian interior. Yet with the view of the rooftops of Paris, the illusion lasts only a moment. Interview around a lawyer's soup, his specialty, in the light of candles and under the gaze of a band of grinning dolls.
Between Janus 2014 "Heritage and Innovation" and "Design Chips" which he was the guest of honor of 15 years last October, Christian Ghion has had a year 2014 particularly intense. He has just designed a kitchen for Arthur Bonnet, a collaboration that adds to those he leads for the National Furniture, Alessi, Forestier, Christofle, Ligne Roset, Nespresso, Corian (Milan 2014), the gallery "Waiting for Barbarians "or the design of knives for the Forge de Laguiole and Nontron.
Recall that before creating his studio in 1977, he met on his way personalities that were determinant in his career: Patrick Nadeau, Andrée Putman, through the publisher Teruo Kurosaki to Philippe Starck. Of his creations and prototypes, he kept very few things at home. Christian Ghion likes mixtures but did not wish to make his interior a showcase. He claims "it was better before" and would dream of a minimalist apartment with a workshop to tinker with. Nostalgic, Christian Ghion? In any case, in search of harmony. Confidences.
Your favorite room where you like to be and spend time?
Christian Ghion: The living room which is both dining room and office. There are two sofas and television. In fact, everything revolves around this room which is the unifying place. The rest of the apartment consists of the entrance, the kitchen and two bedrooms. This apartment has been designed from old good rooms and attics. So, it feels like more in a Californian house than in Paris.
At Christian Ghion
Your furniture: rather modern, ultra design, family, pitcher?
Christian Ghion: It's a mix of modern, classic and design things, so rather contemporary but not ultra design. There are some pieces to me and some other designers but it's all but a showroom. My pieces represent roughly 15% to 20% of the furniture. I kept some prototypes that were not edited: two coffee tables, two armchairs and vases.
The most unusual or unexpected that can be discovered at home?
Christian Ghion: I collect skulls in all forms (plastic, bone ...) and also everything that is figurines and fluff, especially small dolls in rag, dwarf and grimacing. It is essentially NARA, a Japanese artist who imagined them. I have about ten; sitting on an armchair, they make a little Adams family!
At Christian Ghion
An object or piece of furniture that you could not separate?
Christian Ghion: My Technics turntable that I bought thirty years ago and that I am delighted to have kept. A year ago, I decided to bring it out again. Despite minor noises, I think it has a real charm. We can better choose a track on a track and I like this culture that I would call an alternative.
Your favorite color in your home?
Christian Ghion: Pink ! This apartment is often repainted because it amuses us. Currently, it is in gray, the entry in pale pink and the wall of the living room, in pink malabar. I change the color of this wall which is easy to paint, at least once every two years. In just four hours of work, I change my universe.
Your last purchase - useful or futile! - for the House ?
Christian Ghion: The teapot of Jean-Marie Massaud designed for Christofle from the collection "Silver time." His collection is a small wonder. I am 100% coffee but my wife only drinks tea, it is for her that I bought it.
Christofle teapot designed by Jean-Marie Massaud
The kitchen, rather open or closed?
Christian Ghion: It is a closed kitchen but if I had a new apartment, I would like it to be an integral part of the show. In general, we have breakfast and dine at the lounge. While it was designed twenty years ago, this kitchen remains at once contemporary, but with a classic-modern base. Its codes are different from those currently in vogue: no white lacquer, no chalk line. The storage units are painted wood and tiled benches. I painted it in yellow and the tiling, based on small tiles 5 x 5 cm forms a patchwork of random colors: blue, yellow, beige, white.
A dish unexpectedly on the go for your friends? Your specialty?
Christian Ghion: It is rather my wife who has cooking skills. My specialty is the express soup. All my soups are prepared on the same principle. My favorite is the avocado that you can eat cold or hot. Simply cook three to four avocados with water and a cubed broth, blend in the blender and add a lemon wedge. I like the soup to be frothy. And I do the same thing with all kinds of vegetables: cauliflower, onions, leeks, etc.
And the TV, which room?
Christian Ghion: There are two. A big screen in the living room and a small tv in the room. I admit that looking at her in the bedroom is comfortable and practical even if the idea bothers me intellectually.
Do you live with music or rather in silence?
Christian Ghion: In music all the time. I have a real excitement to listen to French variety, especially that of the 80s. It makes me happy. I listen to Christophe almost loop.
Rather candle or rather perfume of atmosphere?
Christian Ghion: Both, because one does not go without the other and their combination is magical. I love the lighting of the candle for its delicate light but I prefer a perfume of atmosphere with scented candles. In general, I like everything that revolves around musk in the form of a vaporizer, and I also burn a lot of incense. This fragrance disturbs me.
Curtains, doors, shutters? What does it inspire you?
Christian Ghion: At home, no curtains, no doors, no shutters. As soon as I can eliminate a door I do it. The shutters and curtains, we do not need it, because we are on the 6th floor and we take full advantage of the light and a magnificent view of the rooftops of Paris.
What is on your bedside table?
Christian Ghion: The photo of my maternal grandmother. It is the woman who raised me and for whom I had an incredible veneration. I consider that on a night table, it takes the bare minimum. Apart from this portrait, there is only a small lamp and an alarm clock.
And what place for books?
Christian Ghion: I live with a papuan woman who dreamed of being a bookseller. She is passionate about art, photography, cooking. Result? In twenty years, our apartment is overwhelmed by books. It's everywhere. We had to build about ten libraries. It ends up being very invasive.
At Christian Ghion
A deco trick or storage?
Christian Ghion: I insist but I want to encourage people to light up with candles. It is a lighting that brings a touch of sophistication delicious and refined. For storage, my only tip: put in the trash!
Do you dream of one more room? If so, for what purpose?
Christian Ghion: Ah yes ! (Cry of the heart). I would even like to have two. In the first, I would dream to have a workshop with tools, a workbench to tinker. The second would devolve on my wife and her library. That would be wonderful.
At Christian Ghion
Rather orderly or messy?
Christian Ghion: I am an orderly mess. I have a schizophrenic attitude because I can not stand the brothel but I can not get out of it, while I dream of things perfectly tidy. My interior is an organized brothel; I end up knowing where all things are. And fortunately, there are garbage cans! When I open a closet, it's a little complicated. Nothing to do with the beautiful dressings ranged we see in magazines. When I was a young man, I had a stereo and a mattress on the floor and I was very happy like that. Today, I dream of an apartment without anything, to feel free.
Are you green plants, flowers, balcony, terrace, garden?
Christian Ghion: I hate the idea of having green plants and flowers in an apartment. It's cluttering, it's superficial and you have to deal with it. But I would like to have a terrace. And if I had a house, I would probably be delighted to have a garden.
Your addresses or favorite brands for the home (shopping, decoration, florist, etc.)?
- The Tsé-Tsé shop: 12, rue de Sévigné - 75004 Paris
- Sébastien Gaudard's new address: the Tuileries pastry-tea room located at 1, rue des Pyramides 75001. He revisits all the great pastry classics with an incomparable twist. My favorite cake is the brown tray that looks like a small boat.
- Sylvie Gilbert: 35, rue François Miron - 75004 Paris. She makes purified and extremely contemporary jewelry but perennial.
Christian Ghion's news:
He has just made a first collaboration with Arthur Bonnet, the kitchen brand. For the line "Signatures", he imagined "Alice", a cuisine both ritual and contemporary, a certain idea of French chic.
Cuisine Alice, line "Signatures" by Arthur Bonnet, by Christian Ghion