Shivers and emotions in the den of the crime novel writer Maxime Chattam, a modern residence filled with objects ... sometimes strange. Côté Maison interviewed him to find out more.
It's on the Chantilly side that Maxime Chattam's house, which he calls "American", is located in the middle of a huge park, a paradise for his four dogs and cats, not to mention the squirrels! To concoct his thrillers, the favorite author of suspense lovers needs calm, nature and music.
Maxime Chattam and his wife, the presenter Faustine Bollaert, are both passionate about decoration. Family and warm, their interior is filled with unusual objects they like to hang in flea markets. This is their way of giving a soul to their modern residence ... while waiting to realize their dream: invest in a manor and make it their sanctuary! Private tour for Côté Maison.
Your favorite room where you like to be and spend time?
Maxime Chattam: My desk ! This is one of the few rooms that I have done and invested quickly because I had a precise idea of what I wanted. They are two rooms side by side which have been joined, part of which is on the lower floor. I managed to create a large library office that looks like a cabinet of curiosities late nineteenth, dominated by wood and filled with strange objects: old iron lamps, an Egyptian mummy, a stuffed werewolf, a piece of wreck of the Titanic, ...
I continue to hunt to complete my collection of objects and besides, I look for a long time two Egyptian statues, 2 meters high that I would put at the entrance of my office! The set creates a special atmosphere conducive to concentration. Here, I cut myself off from the world and immediately put myself in the novelist mode. Depending on the writing period, I spend 8 to 10 hours sometimes, five days a week. Notable progress for my family: I do not spend my weekends anymore! As it is isolated from the rest of the house, I do not disturb anyone because I often put music very hard to write.
Your furniture: rather modern, ultra design, family, pitcher?
Maxime Chattam: A little mixture of all this. The set is warm with lots of wood, throws, cushions, old Chesterfield and lots of decorations. The house is also filled with old books! There is a side "Maisons du Monde" with different atmospheres depending on the room. Our passion is lighting: we like to create touches of lights everywhere.
The most unusual or unexpected that can be discovered at home?
Maxime Chattam: A 2.5-meter-high Buddha from Thailand that sits in the lobby as a welcome. He creates the first surprise effect. The other unusual object is a realistic wooden skull, placed under a large glass cube with a small lighting. We love to scatter small strange details like this Vanity that suits us well.
A vanity that throws a wink!
An object or piece of furniture that you could not separate?
Maxime Chattam: I have a pen or more precisely a writing instrument to which I am particularly attached. It was made from a piece of the wreck of Titanic (that is to say treated steel where there is rust). I collect a lot of objects on the subject because this story marked me personally.
A very special pen made from a piece of Titanic wreck!
Your favorite color in your home?
Maxime Chattam: There is not a dominant color. We love the slate gray, the mole ... but according to the seasons and the pieces, there can be touches of color, everywhere. At Christmas for example, we put lots of red cushions in the living room.
Your last purchase - useful or futile! - for the House ?
Maxime Chattam: A very pretty linen cushion with a skull printed on it! We love to enhance our interior with these little touches of strangeness!
The kitchen, rather open or closed?
Maxime Chattam: It is a large closed room with a central island and a large table that allows to receive our friends to the good franquette and take most of our meals. In the end, very little is used of the dining room. On the floor, white tiles. Brown wood between oak and beech for formwork and bar. The kitchen is also full of small objects and decorative frames that we have been able to hunt. With bay windows, we believe in nature and in summer, we take advantage of the adjoining terrace. It is very relaxing and bucolic.
A dish unexpectedly on the go for your friends? Your specialty?
Maxime Chattam: My wife and I are very greedy but paradoxically, we cook with very simple dishes. Faustine prepares the best pesto pasta in the world! As for me, I am very basic, I could cook a rib of beef on the barbecue, scented with porcini mushrooms and summer truffles. Simple and efficient !
And the TV, which room?
Maxime Chattam: In every room! These are "practical TVs" and therefore of discrete size for the living rooms: the kitchen, the living room, the gym, ect. We barely notice them. On the other hand, I have a gigantic screen for the cinema room in the basement. Because it's after my desk, my second favorite piece. I will relax and rest at noon. The cinema is a real passion.
Do you live with music or rather in silence?
Maxime Chattam: When I'm alone, the music is all right because I need it. With the exception of reggae, of which I am not a fan, I like everything: I listen to a lot of film music but also classical, rock, metal, jazz, contemporary pop ... There are hundreds of CDs everywhere. But when we are together, we are very talkative. So, no more need for music.
Rather candle or rather perfume of atmosphere?
Maxime Chattam: Both ! We like to light candles especially in the evening, and very often also the famous Lampe Berger. My favorite perfume is amber and I love Indian incense sticks that I burn in my office. This mystical side contributes to the atmosphere. As for Faustine, she prefers floral fragrances. At this moment, we are rather lily of the valley.
Curtains, doors, shutters? What does it inspire you?
Maxime Chattam: The curtains dress the walls and are essential. I admit to being sensitive to textures. This is the reserved area of my wife.
What is on your bedside table?
Maxime Chattam: Stacks and piles of books and magazines crumbling regularly. Right now, I'm reading Stephen King's Joyland, a biography about Winston Churchill, The Schneck Dove's Repair, and the new Guillaume Musso. I love books and they are everywhere, even if most are stored in the desk-library with a stool. I do not classify them but by dint of rereading and looking for them, I know where everyone has his place. There are also photo frames on our bedside tables, like everywhere in the house, photos of family and friends ...
In which writer's house would you like to live?
Maxime Chattam: The summer residence of Stephen King! It is an old manor house located in Maine.
Rather orderly or messy?
Maxime Chattam: Overall, the house is rather tidy despite a heavy accumulation of objects. It's a house where we live. I'm not crazy, especially when you have a toddler.
Are you green plants, flowers, balcony, terrace, garden?
Maxime Chattam: I am a lover of nature, I like to feel the wind, to touch the trees but I am absolutely not gardening, for lack of time too. The house is surrounded by a large park with different atmospheres, roses, a small Japanese garden ...
Your addresses or favorite brands for the home?
- Flea markets.
- Houses of the world ;
- A decor shop next to us in Chantilly, "The present instinct".
Maxime Chattam's news:"The Patience of the Devil", Albin Michel (in bookstore June 5, 2014).
Maxime Chattam's news