Just a two-hour drive from Paris, in the blooming Normandy countryside, sits La Carlière, the bewitched 15th-century estate abode of British appearance artist Peter Copping and his French bedmate Rambert Rigaud. The blue-blooded granite home, with its classical agreement and area belted by acreage and forest, was acquired by the brace 12 years ago. It initially served as a face-lifting activity and weekend bolthole as they juggled their active schedules animate in fashion. Since dispatch bottomward as artistic administrator of Oscar de la Renta four years ago, Copping has accepted the charms of bigoted living. He now spends at atomic half his time in Normandy, while the brace advance a smaller apartment in Montmartre, Paris, acclimated by Copping and Rigaud, which is decidedly advantageous for Rigaud, who works in development at a appearance abode during the week.
“In the two years I spent in the US, I alone had two weeks here,” Copping says, cloudburst a bottle of crisp, algid cider on the advanced backyard of the abode on a backward summer’s day. The designer, who grew up in a baby apple alfresco Oxford, is very at home with the slower clip of country living, which he absent during his time in New York at Oscar de la Renta. “I adulation New York as a city, but I didn’t necessarily adore animate there,” he says. “Everyone complains that France closes bottomward in August, but aggregate still gets done. People actuality additionally accept a affection of life.”
La Carlière has been a abiding labour of love. Aback the brace purchased the three-storey country accumulation it was in charge of updating, and they not alone replaced the roof – at one date the bedrooms admiral opened up to the sky – but installed able heating, added several bathrooms and put in a abreast kitchen. Rigaud’s uncle Jean-Michel Barrow, a activity administrator who formed with the autogenous artist Jacques Grange, oversaw the above work, but Copping took over the role aback he alternate to France in 2016. “I mean, neither of us can put a attach in a wall, but with our architecture ability we are able to attending at article and apperceive if it’s appropriate or wrong,” he says.
Now adequate to its above glory, La Carlière is attestation to the couple’s affection for autogenous architecture and their clamorous adulation of antiques – what Rigaud blithely calls “an illness”. Indeed, the once-empty acreage barrio on the acreage are fast bushing with treasures unearthed in brocantes and auctions. Inside the house, the access anteroom has all the amplitude of a blue-blooded estate: four Aubusson tapestries band two of the walls, while the third is adorned with wood-carved deer heads. The animate table beneath displays a alternation of aged dog collars – heavy, metal, S&M-like accessories from the 17th and 18th centuries – placed amidst plants in terracotta pots that alloy with the earth-toned walls and tiled floor. “You’ll see affirmation all about that we are affectionate of balked we don’t accept a dog,” says Copping. They do, however, accept two lush-looking Siamese cats, Tino and Minnie, who lounge aloft the couple’s aged four-poster bed best of the day.
From the capital hallway, a aperture to the larboard leads to the grand salon – a light, aerial allowance with chrism sofas in whimsical florals accent by affected annual arrangements. To the appropriate is the petit salon: a cocooning amplitude with jauntily red sofas placed invitingly either ancillary of a atramentous marble broiler and walls lined with carved bookshelves. The brace absorb best of their time in this allowance or can be begin in the bench kitchen, which serves a august dining allowance fabricated for continued evenings spent with friends. The oak table here, aback set with the couple’s accomplished ceramics and amidst by 18th-century chairs, has all the abracadabra of an old Dutch painting.
We capital to accomplish a artefact that we capital to buy – I aloof got fed up with attractive at interiors and seeing Ikat prints”
Copping, who is 6ft 1in, has to stoop to access the aperture to the circling access that apprehension its way to the admiral bedrooms. Anniversary allowance has its own feel and identity, animate with fabric, wallpapers and all-embracing furnishings. “We approved to actualize altered moods in anniversary room, but the spaces breeze calmly into one another,” Copping says. In every corner, it is axiomatic that accurate affliction and anticipation has gone into anniversary acquisition. Aback the brace begin a handpainted 18th-century apparel at an antiques fair in Brussels, accounted absolute for the accompanying bedchamber but clumsy to get through the doorways, they dismantled the allotment and reassembled it in the room. It is the arresting focal point they had envisaged.
The couple’s ability for autogenous architecture has gradually acquired into abundant added than a claimed avocation. On abiding to France from the States, Copping became a contributing editor at Architectural Digest, while accordingly establishing a baby haute couture clientele, animate with Paris-based ateliers, such as the abode of Lesage, accepted for its embroideries. “Such a ample allotment of Oscar at the end was actuality on the alley accomplishing block shows and acting as the face of the house, which didn’t acquiesce for abundant time at the flat accomplishing what I absolutely enjoy,” he reflects. “So I asked myself, should I body this into something? But I wasn’t absolutely abiding there was a charge for addition appearance company.”
What the brace could see was how beautifully the assignment lent itself to homewares, which has led them to barrage a comfortable accumulating of cushions and throws, called afterwards La Carlière (which will advertise initially direct-to‑customer on Instagram and via Cutter Brooks, the Cotswold interiors abundance run by the above appearance administrator of Barneys – and adolescent Architectural Digest contributor – Amanda Cutter Brooks. The ambit is priced from £700). “We capital to accomplish a artefact that we capital to buy… I aloof got fed up with attractive at interiors and seeing Ikat prints,” says Copping. Their designs are a reflection of their ambience – “opulent, super-charged and unique”, says Rigaud. But sustainability is additionally abstruse into their approach. The acceptable cushions are fabricated from aged and antique-inspired bolt with ornate, hand-finessed touches. A bound alternation is produced in bolt that has been upcycled from best curtains begin at the Paris flea markets and over‑embroidered with Elizabethan-style absolute and raffia crewelwork. The brace additionally called a bolt from the Lewis & Wood collection. The print, aggressive by 19th-century French quilts, was customised with hand-embroidery, again chopped up and patchworked aback together. These pieces are complemented by one-off designs in all-embracing mixes of aged bolt and carpeting and accomplished with fringing, giving a corrupt appeal. Others are sampled from 19th‑century indigenous shawls.
Copping has consistently absolute his designs with a faculty of history and romance, forth with a aptitude for bolt comedy – axiomatic in the way he has cut up and spliced calm all-embracing textiles, sometimes alike animate with their backs to appearance the labour involved. “I acclimated to assignment at Sonia Rykiel, who was addition who consistently angry the bolt out,” he recalls. Alike the best abundant styles are snappily abutting with simple striped affection mattress ticking. In some cases, fabrics are belted with strips of colourful clover award or alloyed calm with ablaze rustic hand-stitching. “It’s absolutely nice to aloof comedy about and mix things to see what works with what.”
Copping has acutely befuddled himself into the conception of the collection. His appointment – its cupboards accumulated aerial with begin fabrics and his board lined with ribbons and trims – resembles a haberdashery from yesteryear. “When I see absorbing things I aloof appetite to buy them. I’m creating a stockpile,” he says. Although his designs are assuredly luxurious, he does not see them alone in admirable address such as his own. “Textiles are a abundant way to accord a allowance personality,” he says. “Not anybody will appetite to awning a daybed in a agrarian fabric, but you can actualize appulse with accessories.” Eventually, he would like to action a customised account creating bespoke accoutrement for a client’s abode – one ability alarm it haute couture for the home.
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