It’s not often that simplicity really wows. It’s a hard thing to do. Unlike any opulent and intricate styles, simplicity (by definition) is understated, quiet and straightforward. So it’s wowing potential is usually reserved for stark contrasts, colossal dimensions or defying silhouettes.
The minute you lay eyes on French interior designer and architect Guillaume Alan’s work, however, everything changes. The definition of simplicity changes and so do attitudes toward it. Suddenly simplicity (or at least French simplicity) becomes impossibly desirable for its utterly chic aesthetic and effortless style. Colour palettes are monochromatic, upholstery is tailor-like and the attitude is far from try-hard.
Just imagine the interior design equivalent of Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt or model Ines de la Fressange – two individuals who epitomise France’s inherent ability to make just about everything cooler. Which explains why renowned fashion houses like YSL, Dior, Chanel and Tom Ford have all taken advantage of Guillaume’s creative genius.
Last year, the designer – who started his career by opening his first studio in Paris’ Saint-German-des-Prés at the young age of 24 – made his first international bid in the form of a two-storey showroom in London’s reputable Mayfair area. With his work becoming more accessible to the international contingent, Guillaume was on hand to offer his style advice for those francophiles looking to achieve an effortlessly stylish Parisian look.
Make Timeless Choices
“When I designed and launched my very first collection, I tried to rewrite the tradition of French classicism and renew it using pure lines – offering 18th century interiors and furniture with a 21st century style. I choose this aesthetic because I know it will never go out of style – it’s timeless. Interior designers, architects and furniture designers are still fascinated by the grandeur of traditional French design even now.”
Cultivate A Feeling of Serenity
“Parisian style is simple and composed. Through my work, I create havens of peace which are calming and pure thanks to the soft monochrome colour palettes and gradient shades which I use. In a very quick world and when lives are very busy, this is so important so I follow my own intuition.”
Understand The Importance of Elegance
“Elegance is fundamental to a chic Parisian look and I like to think that it’s the true stamp of my work. I use it in all aspects of the design process – in lighting, in materials, in shapes. When decorating your home, always have elegance as your main focus – it’s what characterises the look of Paris’ beautiful homes.”
“My signature motif is perfect and simple lines, executed with such precision. Although, in many ways, simplicity is one of the hardest things to achieve, precise simplicity is what makes something truly chic. I am also very attached to precision craftsmanship – this elevates the quality of a piece.”
Think of Your Style As Poetry
“I think of my projects as expressing a minimalist sense of poetry because they’re evocative and arouse emotion in the way that poetry does. I like to keep forms pure and structured but I also add softness by paying attention to rhythm, balance and structure.”