At home with Sarah Lavoine
Sarah Lavoine is the shooting star of the Paris fashion and decor scene. The 44-year-old works as an interior designer, has recently developed her own cashmere sweater collection, designs shoes for the label Sézane and is a mom of three. She lives in Paris with her husband, chanson singer Marc Lavoine, and children Yasmine (18), Roman (9) and Milo (6).
And when you look at her, you have to ask yourself: how does she do it?
Casual blonde hair, perfectly styled, not stressed at all, Sarah Lavoine loudly proclaims in her unmistakably rough voice:
“I have no time in the morning to spend long hours in the bathroom.”
She looks like the big sister of her adult daughter Yasmine. One you would like to have as your best friend.
Luna author Doris Barbier-Neumeister visited her and they talked about French chic, her sources of inspiration and life as a working mom.
Luna: Fashion, beauty and now decoration too. Why does everyone love the Parisian’s style? Truth or myth?
It is probably this very successful but difficult to define mix of casual chic and elegance. We Parisians have our role models, our icons. I learned from my mother. She had a very special, very feminine sense of style and understood it with intuition and perfection, mixing styles and eras. She has always told me: Chic can not be too formal, too thoughtful, everything has to look very natural without much preparation.
What we Parisians certainly master perfectly? Breaking all the rules! High-heeled shoes, yes, but combined with a men’s jacket and jeans. And that also goes for the interior: A cool, minimalist loft should be twisted with an original vintage piece, or with a colorful Berber carpet. All this should really be tackled instinctively, so be courageous! Who dares Wins. What matters is the feel-good factor.
A few interior design tips for children’s rooms?
Clean up, clean up, clean up. What is not needed disappears in boxes, chests, dressers, baskets. Accessible to the children.
Every 6 months you should clean up together with the kids … things accumulate easily and quickly.
I banished plastic. Why? Because plastic objects are usually ugly and ugliness often brings chaos.
You are a Working Mum and work around the clock. How do you manage to reconcile everything?
I’m not a beauty junkie. I do not have thousands of products with me but only use basics. Nevertheless, I feel like a true Parisian. Luckily I have some beauty professionals coming to my house. As far as my hair is concerned, I trust Delphine Courteille.
I avoid shampoos with silicone in principle, because they make the hair heavy. Macadamia oil is good for my hair tips. In the morning, I have to go fast anyway: mascara, eyeliner and a tinted day cream, voila.
What should not be missing in your own home? And what can you easily do without?
The most important thing to be able to really feel at home: It has to be cozy, chic and warm, in other words: a cocoon with colors! A home is an overall concept – everything has to fit together. The view from the window, the light, the mood, fabrics with a nice feel ….
And of course smells and scents. That’s why there are scented candles everywhere in my home, especially in the bathroom. It does not matter what furniture you own, the overall picture, the feeling counts! One of my basic principles is: Away with everything superfluous and superficial!
Do you have a few simple decorating tips and tricks for us? A few basics à la Sarah Lavoine, without having to tear down all the walls at my house right now.
Sometimes it is enough to change only one or two pieces of furniture and a room looks completely different. A new floor or simply a beautiful vintage trunk case as a chest of drawers can give the whole thing a completely new touch.
What are your personal sources of inspiration?
My travels, I’m always on the move. Morocco and Asia have been particularly special to me. You can always find a few ethnic elements in my interior design projects. I am particularly inspired by the colorful architecture of Luis Barragan. But also my children, my husband, my whole family inspires me.
Last, but not least, a few fashion tips please!
That may sound awful now, but at home I love walking around in tracksuits. There are some really some great ones made from elegant flannel or cotton, such as Journal Standard Luxe, James Perse or Sundry.
My favorite season is certainly the summer, because you just look healthier and the clothes are ultra-light. My basics: perfectly cut denim or cotton shorts, Eres swimsuits, V-neck cotton T-shirts, beautiful sunglasses, such as Michel Klein by Gipsy Caravan, flat Greek sandals, white tennis shoes. That’s my uniform.
Her new book is available in English now.