darc caught up with award-winning interior designer Dorothee Meilichzon to find out who and what inspires her and how lighting is integral to her designs.
DREAMS OF DESIGN
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a designer. It was as soon as I discovered Raymond Loewys’ work. Also, Philippe Starck was big at the time and his approach was really new. I grew up in Paris surrounded by many entrepreneurs in my family, so it’s no wonder I decided to start my own business in 2009.
Industrial Design at Strate College is quite a different discipline to that of interior architecture and as I hadn’t ever worked for an interior architectural firm, I had to learn everything myself. I worked as a graphic designer, product designer and a bit of retail design for design agencies, for about five or six years before starting my own company.
INSPIRATION IN HISTORY
I had quite a classical education and as such am always very interested in classic architecture and ornamentations. The history of a building can be a big inspiration. My studio is multidisciplinary for sure; I love to learn so am always looking for new things to discover.
This is how I would best describe my ‘signature style’, it’s a bit timeless and graphic, with a mix of different styles and time periods. My studio’s philosophy is to be guest / consumer orientated – we are working in places where we want people to feel good and get together. Nothing complicated, just good vibes and this is why our interiors need to fit with the building and its own story.
BEST OF THE BEST
I was really happy to have been chosen as Best Designer in 2015 at Maison et Objet and then included in the Wallpaper* 20 Best Interior Designers – it was a huge honour and completely unexpected! I hope, moving forward, I will continue to reinvent myself and my designs – getting better all the time!
LIGHTS & MIRRORS
These two things are very important to me as they create the atmosphere. I have to say, I am fighting a bit against LED lamps, as from the ones I’ve seen I don’t like the light scattering of them. Material wise, brass, aluminium, glass and china are things I like – materials that will embellish the light. We design our own lights most of the time now, but also work with small lighting companies that I love.
STAND OUT DESIGN
For me, this would be the Prescription Cocktail Club, where we had this cute wall light made of petals of porcelain – light played really well with those. Also, in NYC at the Experimental cocktail club we had some suspension lights from a Swedish designer that were a tribute to the Chinese heritage of the neighbourhood. I stained the silk used for the lights myself and it’s a nice memory to have. Each project we work on has its own unique lighting requirements.
In the world of interior design, when it comes to trends, I hope to see a continued growth in the use of aluminium. I have had enough of brass lighting now – it is time for a change. In the early 2000’s everything in interior design revolved around chairs… now, lighting is the new chair!