Hello Gorgeous: Eve Mercier, Interior Designer
After stints as an art expert for Christie’s in London and Paris, a journalist for the French The Arts Newspaper and almost a decade working as a designer in both fashion and interiors, Paris-born Hong Kong resident Eve Mercier founded HK’s Insight School of Interior Design in 2013.
Offering students a range of courses in, yep, you got it, Insight is known for its international staff of hands-on experts and range of ‘real-life’ projects for the likes of Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai Tang and H&M. Eve believes design’s primary goal is to “create beauty and happiness” – here she introduces a few places in Paris that do just that.
You live and work in Hong Kong, yet Paris is home – what do you love about the city?
Beauty, beauty, beauty! And the multiple historical layers of the city with its hundreds of decorative styles.
I also like the sense of seduction which is noticeable in both men and women; everybody is paying attention to what they wear, how they move what they say, but in quite a relaxed and intellectual way.
Your favourite hotel in Paris?
Actually I would love to design one as I can’t find one that is ticking all the boxes. My favourite hotel lobby is L’Hotel – it is at the same time dramatic and intimate. It’s straight from a film set with its oval atrium, but I feel the rooms are a little bit too stuffy for my own taste.
Name a secret, or lesser-known place you always like to visit?
I like the gardens of the Musée Rodin. The building itself is a beautifully proportioned 18th-century mansion and it has a huge garden in the middle of Paris with a café. The countryside in Paris. I love it.
Most memorable meal?
It was actually a rhubarb sorbet from Berthillon in Île Saint-Louis just at the back of Notre-Dame Cathedral. It was during our last Insight School Paris Design Trip; it was 7pm, still very warm, and I still remember savouring the sweet flavour of the rhubarb while sitting on a bench by the Seine’s cobblestone banks. Berthillon makes the best ice creams and sorbets in Paris: you have to try the dark chocolate sorbet too.
Where do you recommend for homewares/interior's shopping?
Galerie Sentou. New classics
India Mahdavi. Love her colourful, happy range of furniture and accessories.
Caravane. Modern with a Moroccan twist.
Merci. In an old warehouse with a café. Trendy.
AM.PM are great shops for shabby-chic on a budget.
You invite students on design trips to Paris, what do you show them?
We take participants to collectors’ homes, craftsman ateliers, designer’s studios and exhibition premieres. Connecting with in-the-know, influential Parisians is our way of showing what the real Paris is all about – it’s a unique experience.
What's your dream design project?
I think a lot of public space design is completely overlooked and very often looks uninspiring, and sometimes even depressing. I would love to design the interior of a hospital or a school and have a positive impact on a space where people spend a lot of time.
We designed Insight School interiors with light-filled rooms and warm and happy materials giving it a slightly homely feel. Our students always tell us that they feel so positive in the space.
Insight School of Interior Design, 24/F Federal Centre, 77 Sheung On St, Chai Wan, +852 2114 2021. insightschoolhk.com
For more insider tips and insights for the City of Lights, nab a copy of the LUXE Paris guide…
A spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Bangkok brought Liz to Asia in 2003, where 15 years and three countries later, she's in Hong Kong heading up LUXE editorial.
- Liz LOVES... Chilli (on everything), getting lost in cities, hiking, people-watching at airports
- Liz LOATHES... Suburbia, MSG
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