The Lyon agency Damien Carreres has just created a colorful interior for the restaurant Le Miraflores in Lyon. On this occasion, the editorial staff of Muuuz met with the agency's founder, Damien Carreres.
Muuuz: Since 2004, you have been evolving in the world of interior architecture. How would you describe your approach?
Damien Carreres: At the agency, we are developing a fairly global approach to our business. We always carry out tailor-made projects, whether private residential projects such as houses, apartments and chalets, or public projects such as shops, hotels or restaurants. The approach is always the same: we seek to best meet the expectations of sponsors to meet a lifestyle or a commercial objective. It is about understanding how the future owners or customers will live in the place. We favor a contextual rather than a conceptual approach. Once we understand who the place is for, our idea becomes clear. The ergonomics, the architectural volume, the decoration follow naturally.
How would you define your creative process?
Before each project, we seek to understand what the sponsors - a couple, a family or a brand - want. We make it a point of honor not to fall into the pitfall of ephemeral trends to design timeless places. For the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Miraflores, for example, we first sought to understand the journey of the Peruvian star chef Carlos Camino, and the essence of his know-how. The place includes two entities, the contemporary brasserie YKA and the gourmet restaurant Miraflores. The brasserie is a dynamic space characterized by a blue backlit lacquered bar. Taste delicious cocktails and traditional Peruvian ceviches. The gastronomic table, meanwhile, offers a taste and olfactory journey to Peru. The chef's history and the flavors of his cuisine are evoked down to the smallest details of the decoration. Sails are suspended from the ceiling to echo the fishing, an activity is very important in Peru. We thus articulate the design of a place and its decoration around the values of the sponsors. Our vision of tailor-made lies in this relationship that we establish with each of our customers. For private projects, we question the way of life of the sponsors: how will the house be lived in time? How do family or couple members organize themselves at home on a daily basis? We support the owners from the spatial reorganization to the decoration, through the choice of materials, in order to transform the space into a much more pleasant place to live. Our approach is deeply human.
Where do you work ?
Today, we work everywhere in France, but also abroad. We imagined the interior of a house in Barcelona in Spain and the space of a charming hotel - yoga and kitesurf stay - in Dakhla in the south of Morocco.
You also develop collections of objects and provide artistic direction for certain places. How do you choose your collaborations?
We have published a collection of objects called "Bôme" for Matières Grises, a studio that designs and manufactures outdoor furniture. The collection, designed around modularity and customization, includes a wooden or aluminum bar on which you can hang storage such as boxes, planters or shelves. This collaboration was born from an idea, which had been developed during the creation of the Fruisy restaurant, but which had remained at the planning stage at the time.
On the artistic direction side, we play a major role in the conception of the identity of certain places. For restaurants, we produced the logo, the cards and the outfits of the waiters. For the restaurant L'Interlude, for example, we diverted the traditional Jouy canvas and produced a very original wallpaper on which are represented figures and emblematic objects of the city of Lyon. Nothing is left to chance.
Tell us about your association with David Beltramelli in 2016?
I have always enjoyed sharing. David Beltramelli started at the agency as an intern, then as an employee. Our association then came naturally. The team is also made up of three talented personalities, two interior designers, Juliette Dif and Laury Petit Jean, as well as the decorator Margot Carreres, a former stylist. Together, we work to best meet the expectations of our customers by each taking a personal look at them.
Could you tell us a word about your last two achievements, the Châteaux de Combloux and the Lyon apartment?
In Combloux, we have decorated three neighboring chalets for different owners. For each 700 square meter chalet, we have planned a renovation favoring the rustic over the contemporary, because the sponsors wanted to feel in the mountains. The chalets have been renovated for the sake of authenticity, but with a few contemporary touches. For example, column-beams are visible, but the backlight and fixtures are contemporary. In these three chalets, the rooms have also been designed on a human scale. At the agency, we take the bias of the human, so our achievements are always proportionate to the human size.
In Lyon, we transformed an apartment in the 6th arrondissement into a family cocoon for two sixties. The apartment has been completely thought out in the image of this beautiful couple of travelers passionate about design. The space of the apartment was organized according to the lifestyle and the wishes of the sponsors. It is flexible for a life of two or more, because the owners wanted to be able to accommodate their grandchildren. The wooden alcove in the kitchen, similar to a boat hull, gives a friendly dimension to the room, while the office with its glass wall overlooking the living room is a room that is both confidential and open to the living room. Here, the spaces are as warm as they are intimate.
In many of your “Public Places” projects such as Le Miraflores or the Saint-Etienne Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, you work on the association of bright colors. Why ?
The colors are not trivial. They allow you to create perspectives, energize a place or reveal spaces. In many projects, color brings a lot in decoration. In public places, it is used for a visual signature, because it serves to surprise and challenge potential customers. Visual impact is important. In private projects, colors are present, but used sparingly.
What would be your dream project?
I would like to make a very high-end kebab, with a real work of reflection on the space, its identity and its dynamics.
To learn more, visit Damien Carreres agency website.
Photographs: 1) Team portrait © Sabine Serrad
2) Miraflores © Sabine Serrad
3) Associated portrait © Sabine Serrad
4) Combloux chalet © Erick Saillet
5) YKA © Sabine Serrad
6) YKA © Sabine Serrad
7) Miraflores © Sabine Serrad
8) Miraflores © Sabine Serrad
9) Miraflores © Sabine Serrad
10) Combloux chalet © Erick Saillet
11) Apartment Lyon 6th arrondissement © Sabine Serrad
12) Aesthetic clinic © Sabine Serrad