In her 40 years as an interior designer, Claude Cartier has never been one to follow the rules. Fond of pushing boundaries and producing the unexpected, her eponymous studio has garnered a reputation for eclecticism. With Inside Gallery, her three-bedroom apartment/showroom in Lyon, she takes that to glorious new extremes.
The space changes every six months to ensure its vision is fresh, with Claude choosing to work each time not only with her regular collaborator, interior designer Fabien Louvier, but also a different handful of experts that she carefully selects for each project.
For this incarnation, she turned to furniture brand Tacchini, textile specialist Métaphores Paris and local art gallery Manifesta. The project’s joyous colour scheme also created the perfect opportunity to present Claude’s recent collection of rugs designed for CC-Tapis – fittingly called ‘So Much Fun’.
‘I have always liked bringing a contemporary touch to bourgeois apartments,’ explains Claude. Here, that subversive spirit has translated into a jubilant exploration of contrasts. Stripes and checks exist side by side, sheer fabrics are softly draped behind heavy velvets and jacquards, while arches and curves counteract moments of sharp geometry.
‘I wanted to create an alternation between strong and colourful scenes and more sober atmospheres,’ adds Claude.
‘Wow’ moments like the bold sunflower-yellow stripes that grace the ceiling in the main bedroom and the bathroom’s bright walls are counteracted by calmer details: Italian terracotta tiles in the dining area or the warm chocolate shades of the hallway.
Claude’s references are similarly diverse, with art being key to her decorative decisions on this project. Its curation was overseen by Manifesta gallery’s founder Céline Melon Sibille, and includes the work of Nigerian painter Eniwaye Oluwaseyi and a self-portrait by South African artist Zanele Muholi. The pieces were chosen, she explains, to resonate with the apartment’s design, its spirit.
It may have been conceived to mark the 40th anniversary of Claude Cartier Décoration – the vibe is unmistakably celebratory – but this is also a project dedicated to the power of collaboration. Talented minds and voices have come together to produce something more than the sum of its parts.
The intention with the installations at Inside Gallery, says Claude, is to create ‘a world apart’ fuelled by curiosity. It’s a world we would be happy to inhabit. claude-cartier.com