In conversation with Parisian creator Marta Cygan
Do you think your fashion style influences your interior design decor?
Yes. My fashion style is influenced by art, architecture and my travels and it’s the same with my interiors, both styles are quite eclectic but I find my taste is getting more and more specific and coherent with time. I like to bring my life experiences into my home decor.
How do you approach the design of a new space?
It’s always an exciting challenge. Every place has a different atmosphere so I usually approach it quite spontaneously to create a welcoming home. I firstly think about the kitchen or dining areas where I share food with friends and family and I think about how I want that space to feel (an open-plan kitchen is always my preference). I then move to those areas where I can relax, for example, a lovely corner by the window filled with morning light. And I think about what pieces of furniture will work best in the space, next up is always creating a welcoming home office environment (as I work from home).
How does the French aesthetic influence your interiors and are there any specific French designers that you gravitate towards?
I love architecture and I feel so fortunate to live in Paris as there are so many beautiful and inspiring houses on my doorstep. I particularly love going to Jean Arp’s Atelier to see his sculptures, the Le Corbusier studio apartment and the Eileen Gray Villa, E-1027. In the South of France, the town of Roquebrune Cap Martin inspires me and really gave me a new perspective on home decor. I’ve learnt a lot from all of them.
Similarly, when I visited the Neutra VLD House in Silverlake, LA for the first time, it gave me a new interest in Californian Modernism and I try to bring this aesthetic into my interior design more now. I also visited Vallauris in the south of France a few years ago, which is where Picasso created his ceramics. I love his art and recently bought a vintage pair of Bougeoir from Marius Guige from Vallauris 1960. I want to collect more of his pieces in the future.
Where do you feel most at home?
When I’m happy and surrounded by the people I love. It’s a tough question for me as I can easily adapt and I’m always exploring new places. I lived in LA for 5 years but was always going back and forth to Paris. I loved it for the opposite reasons I love Paris, but Paris will always be my home, I feel like I belong in Europe.
How do the styles of your Paris and LA home differ?
LA is much more spacious and I was lucky enough to have outside space with beautiful views. I spend a lot of my time outside and having a home where the indoor and outdoor spaces are so connected felt like such a luxury! It was my favourite thing about my LA home, that ability to live outside as much as inside. It’s a very open plan space with views and lights from the city, the interior is therefore quite minimal to balance this out. I have a vase which I take everywhere with me, any space feels like home when it’s on display with a big bunch of flowers. I kept it in LA for 5 years and now it’s with me in Paris. In contrast, I feel like homes in Paris are filled with more history and character and therefore the pieces I choose tend to be more thought through, with real meaning and significance.
What is your approach to mixing different design genres?
I love mixing old and new but would always be careful with how I put the pieces together. I think every space has its balance, some spaces need more historic pieces, others can be more modern. I love mixing a vintage wooden table with a more modern chair as I don’t like it when everything feels too modern. I want my home to be filled with stories and souvenirs from my travels, everything has its place and is there for a reason.
Where do you like to shop for vintage furniture?
If you are in Paris I would recommend vintage shopping in Puces de Vanves and Puces de Saint Ouen. I also like Les Puces de Nice in the South of France, which has some great pieces though it is quite expensive. Be prepared to speak French (or bring someone who can) so you can negotiate!
What is your favourite vintage find?
My favourite piece of furniture is a very square wooden chair which has a similar feel to Donald Judd’s furniture. My brother gave it to me, he works in Antiques. I have also found many great pieces on Vinterior and can’t wait for you to see my selection.
Favourite city or place to go for inspiration?
Rue Bonaparte in Paris with all the galleries, or Fondation Maeght in the South of France, it’s a magical place with the most spectacular art collection. I also love La Gallerie Patrick Seguin in Paris, it’s really inspiring for interior design ideas. I’ve recently discovered the Seventh House Gallery in LA dedicated to 20th-century deco, post-modern and contemporary design.