Above Image: Designer Laura Gonzalez in her new boutique gallery on the rue de Lille. Photo by Stephan Julliard, courtesy of Schumacher.
In 1906, while lodging at a house on the rue de Lille in Paris, the American painter Edward Hopper made a study of its winding staircase. The small sketch reveals a muted interior faintly lightened by the gleam of burnished wood and brass, yet it captures a sense of the quotidian intimacy that so often defines the spaces we inhabit. Today, this same quiet street is home to a flourishing collection of design destinations, like Galerie MAY and Atelier Tortil, dedicated to conjuring beauty from the everyday. A recent addition is Laura Gonzalez, Elle Decoration’s 2022 International Interior Designer of the Year, who in March opened her gallery at No. 3, in partnership with iconic U.S. textile brand Schumacher.
Clockwise from upper left: A detail of the Lilypad chandelier, composed of pink glass petals mounted on a brass structure. The Paris gallery, anchored by the spectacular Rainbow table with Raku top by French artisan Fabienne L’Hostis. A salon vignette featuring the Fuji sofa wrapped in Schumacher cream Palermo Mohair Velvet, with cushions in Schumacher Marguerite Embroidery and Biarritz Ruche.
“The gallery is first and foremost a display of our creativity. I wanted to bring the collection to life rather than present it on white walls. This space represents me—it’s warm and full of charm,” Gonzalez says. Known for her eclectic pairings of pattern, texture, and color, the designer has created an enchanting retreat laid out along domestic lines, from salon to chambre. Key to its appeal is the playful combination of pieces of her own design—many crafted by skilled French artisans like David Roma and Fabienne L’Hostis—with a veritable swatch book of Schumacher hits, including tented walls in coral Tarnby Stripe and crewelwork cushions throughout in Marguerite Embroidery. Whimsical touches abound, like a crab-shaped bar cabinet and shell-encrusted vases.
Gonzalez, a longtime admirer of Schumacher’s fabrics and wall coverings (the brand’s own Paris showroom just opened on nearby rue Jacob), describes the gallery as an “immersive experience” intended to enthuse and inspire. If her opening installation chose the theme of spring, Paris Design Week—which was held in September—led to a seductive new incarnation: “The Thousand and One Ideas for Ornaments,” inspired by the Arabic folk tales One Thousand and One Nights, and the iconic Majorelle Garden in Marrakech. Guests can sink into chairs swathed in russet ikat and paisley silk velvet and bask in the glow of an amber-colored Murano glass chandelier.
For Gonzalez, every design project “is a cultural journey.” While she’s known for her transformation of storied Parisian eateries such as Lapérouse and La Coupole, she’s no stranger to new perspectives, having completed international commissions for Louboutin in Barcelona and a glittering portfolio of Cartier boutiques from Stockholm to Shanghai. The latest of these is the Fifth Avenue Cartier Mansion in New York, a Neo-Renaissance landmark extensively revamped with a blend of opulence and wit. Now, original architectural features like ornamental plasterwork highlight a luminous contemporary space fabricated in stone, fabric, glass, and chrome.
Next up for Gonzalez is a Wall Street outlet of the French department store Printemps, which will invite audiences to experience retail through the lens of art and culture. She notes, “I want each visitor to feel as enthusiastic as I do when I am inspired.”