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Isabelle Stanislas- Designing Spaces, Drawing Emotions

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The beginning of the book has a beautiful introduction written by Thomas Erber. Well thought out and romantically authored, he gives the reader insight on how Isabelle got where she is now. I relate to Isabelle’s upbringing. She comes from a strict family who did not support her career in the arts. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that an arts career leads to an unstable future. That said - there comes a point in your life when you must stop and decide whether to write your own destiny or have it written for you. In the end we all must ask ourselves: "do we want to go through life only existing or do we want to finally thrive in whatever creative environment we are supposed to be in?

“In any exceptional life story, there is always a moment during a person's life when they decide to go against what is expected.”

I have always been drawn to Isabelle’s body of work, which is why I was so excited to share it with the team. Isabelle has collaborated with some of the biggest names in design - Zadig and Voltaire, Hermes, Cartier, and Celine - aside from her creation of concepts for luxury boutiques and residences around the world.

Her book encompasses a perfectly curated project list of 12 different properties ranging from chateaus in France, villas in Portugal, and residences in London. Each project starts with a minimalistic graphic representation of a floor plan followed by a collection of desirable interior photographs. Isabelle’s reference to historical sources and introduction of contemporary pieces and details is refreshing and inspiring. Her interiors evoke a sense of drama that is showcased through her sense of materiality, photography, art curation, landscape and architecture. Isabelle’s staples are raw sophisticated monochromatic palettes and monolithic blocks that manipulate space.

There are beautiful details throughout the book- you can tell there’s a lot of thought that went into each space. Reflections of art pieces in mirrors, unanticipated bookcases in corners, drapery that fall quietly behind shelves, modern marble sculptures that have unpredictable placements and materials used in the most unexpected way. Working with great European bones also doesn't hurt. Isabelle's interiors are engorged with historical details and references. This allows her to add simple but effective pieces such as solid square lacquered tables. When surrounded by original crown mouldings, and decorative ceilings, the simple design of the tables are automatically elevated.

An interior is nothing without great photography to tell its story. As Isabelle designs spaces, one can say she draws emotions from photography. Thoughtfully curated compositions allow details to shine through as natural light takes over to create a moody and dramatic shot. I can easily say each page is exceptionally inspiring.

“Interior design can be described as a state of transformation and what better metaphor could there be for life which is itself a permanent state of transformation. Our evolving designs follow our complex paths in life, and they mirror what lies dormant in our minds. As designers we are constantly reinventing ourselves and therefore, we always have the desire of 'inextinguishable reinvention'."