Though she now calls Connecticut home, designer Francine Gardner credits her childhood in France for her globally-inspired, cultivated aesthetic. Since founding Intérieurs more than 20 years ago, a constant drive to travel keeps her interiors soulful, elegant and harmonious. Inspired by her interest in world cultures, the Intérieurs‘ showroom and design studio combine design periods and aesthetics to present luxurious, soulful product collections and inspiring living environments.
Capture Gardner‘s artful spirit with pieces from her collection, available only at Sotheby’s Home.
How did you discover your passion for design?
My original field was finance, but having been exposed from childhood to entertaining, landscaping and design, I quickly lost interest in the finance industry and decided to combine my acumen in finance with my feel for design.
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
An antique marble Buddha from Burma.
Is design an art or a science?
For me, design is really an art aided and abetted by technology. I rely on my wonderful and technologically literate assistant for the modern, technical side of design
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
I love tone-on-tone, be it neutrals or bright colors. I do not gravitate to contrasting colors and prefer a settled approach to colors.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
When the client is happy!
Share your biggest design secret.
I always listen to my inner voice and trust my instincts.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Contrived design, were everything in a room is perfect but does not have any soul.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
Comfort is a must, be it for a contemporary space or a more traditional interior. The layout has to be defined in order for the space to be functional. In the end, the style of the house has to be the defining factor.
Can you pick your five favorite items you are consigning, and tell a little bit about what makes them special?
Industrial Cabinet: I was the first to bring these industrial pieces; I always went for the rough and the precious.
Tekna fixtures: Handcrafted in Belgium, they combine a dark bronze finish with the simplicity of the forms; for indoor or outdoor, they can be integrated in any design.
Bamboo Dining Table: The quality is extraordinary as it is entirely handcrafted. I love the zen feel of the table, which was inspired by my trips to Asia.
Jose Esteves Chandelier: A classic; the perfect combination of the soft and the functional.
Generre Chair: It is vibrant, functional and a must-have.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
I do not have a formula, and I can start with a sketch of an idea to a piece of furniture or just a color.