Interior insider: Jocelyne Sibuet, luxury hotelier

Jocelyne Sibuet is France’s ultimate interior designer. Dubbed the French Martha Stewart, Sibuet is co-founder of (the super chic) Sibuet Hotels & Spa Group and author of A French Country Home: Style and Entertaining. She searches far and wide to kit out her hotels, chalets, restaurants and spas in the French Alps, Paris, Lyon and in the South of France. Here, she talks inspiration, favorite hotels and decorating mistakes with Annie Deakin.

Interior design is just like… writing: once you have found
the guiding principle, a décor is telling a story.

My design philosophy is… you have to take risks when decorating to create a particular ambience.

I like to start from… a style I do not yet know which forces me to improve myself and renew my researches.  

The most unusual interior I have created is… maybe the next signature suites I am creating at the moment for the Hotel Mont-Blanc in Megève. They have a vintage spirit that is unusual for me and different from the other hotels. It is based on Cocteau’s very artistic style. 

I would advise a beginner interior designer to… respect rules on simple subjects: material unity and colour unity. It seems basic but it is crucial. For me, interior must be personal but it must have consistency, whatever the chosen style.

The most common decorating mistake is… a place where you feel you are a visitor or do not feel good.

Some interior designers have… a very strong style and do not necessarily renew according to their projects. Recently I loved an exhibition at Artcurial Paris.

For inspiration, I look to… the French magazine AS for its elitism and ELLE Décoration for its association with both modernity and tradition.

Interiors that are too contemporary are often… style exercises. 

For me, the most successful interiors have… a real personality, are warm and comfortable. I dislike places that are too cold and where you feel like you’re a visitor.

As for colours, I like… basic tones associated with strong shades, like a deep mauve with green.

I very much like the spirit of… the 18th century, and also the 40’s or 60’s. However I do not like the 30’s. Style is ever changing.

My biggest design challenges are… creating a full hotel decoration in six months. This is often the case in our construction sites.

One of my favourite hotels is… the Carlyle Hotel in New York because it has a soul. It is an extremely elegant, mythical hotel with history and a personality.

I do not necessarily want high luxury; I want… an authentic and exceptional experience from a hotel. It could be a hotel without electricity on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For me, the Kia Ora Sauvage or the Siwa Oasis in Egypt are the height of a rare and authentic luxury.

The key difference between decorating a home or hotel is… the practical side. Our hotel guests are not always careful users and it’s crucial to keep the place in good condition.

A must-go city for buying furniture and art is… Paris. I particularly recommend the Maisons & Objets fair that takes place twice a year, and also the Milan Furniture Fair in April.

For old furniture, I shop at… the big professional markets in Avignon and Montpelier in the South of France.

My dream project would be… to decorate a very exotic hotel on a desert island or in a country with an exceptional craft industry.

www.sibuethotels-spa.com

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for the mydecomarketplace, an online shopping experience where you can search hundreds of home furnishings and accessories all in one place.

 

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SEO Manager

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a white-ha...

Recruitment Genius: Operations and Administration Support Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Support Specialist

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor