An interview with JeanCharles Tomas
I came across the work by JeanCharles a few months ago and immediately fell in love with his work. His eye for material and color and his approach to keep the integrity of a room’s history, while creating a modern interior, convinced me from the start.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to get to know JeanCharles and was able to ask him some questions.
JeanCharles has his roots in Southern France and, in my opinion, this definitely reflects in the charm and luxurious flair a real French designer has. JeanCharles studied design in Paris and has worked all over the world before starting his own design studio in 2016.
I was able to talk to JeanCharles about his way of working and his debut project as JeanCharles Tomas, at 180m2 Residence in Saint-Sulpice near Paris.
Dear JeanCharles thanks for the time in answering a few of my questions. I greatly appreciate your aesthetic and it is a pleasure to get glimpse into the way your work. You started your career as an interior designer in New York and ever since worked all around the world with different people. What made you choose to start your own interior design studio?
I wanted to be able to express myself fully. People for and with whom I worked gave me the keys and I felt like I needed to do something with this. I’ve always been independent the way I work, so the step to open my own Studio came naturally.
Can you tell me a little bit about your debut Project in Saint-Sulpice, about the Building and the clients wishes?
The Home I worked with, was built around the end of the 19th century in a Haussmann Style. The client wanted something in between a classic and contemporary style; the cachet of a Parisian apartment with the comfort of a modern one. The brief was to keep the interior very neutral and soft. I like neutral palettes and “camaieu” ( the French term for monochromatic) in general. With time you may get tired of a red sofa or yellow walls and it’s harder to change these than some accessories. The challenge was to work with a black and white color scheme and add some subtle color touches with fabrics, cushions and patinated brass to warm it up a bit.
What was the biggest challenge of this project?
To have a blank page. My clients trusted me 100% and gave me zero direction. I had to come up with something that would match their expectations.
Did you make any renovations?
Yes, that’s actually my favorite part as a detail-oriented person. Through my training and experience, and being extremely curious by nature, I was naturally pushed to observe all the highly qualified artisans crafting and making the magic happen. The dialogue with the craftsmen helps me during the design process and allows me to understand every single detail. I believe that it’s in small details that you can tell the most meaningful things.
What’s your favorite thing about the space?
The natural light in the apartment is incredible to me, it has more importance than the space itself. In this case, it’s not an element that you can change or add more of. Light, whether natural or artificial, will set the mood of a space so you may design the most beautiful interior if you have the wrong light the project will be meaningless.
So I guess light played an important roll in this interior project?
Yes, actually the Lindsey Adelman branching chandelier was the first thing I bought for the project… It complements the molded ceilings perfectly.
What was your personal goal or directive for the space?
To preserve the atmosphere of the typical Parisian apartment during the time it was built and restore the space without losing the classic details (moldings, parquet floor, fireplaces…)
The clients wanted something in between classic and contemporary; the cachet of a Parisian apartment with the comfort of a modern one.
How would you describe your style?
I think style can’t be defined in a few words, it’s something that is constantly evolving according to your everyday life… your travels, your encounters. And all that helps me build my imagination. The paradox of designing, in a sense, is that the more knowledge you acquire the more scared you get to break new grounds. I would like to find the balance between being a child again, where your only limit is your imagination and the amount of Lego you got and being a wise grown up with endless knowledge. So I guess my style would be to create what feels right instead of following trends.
Can you tell me what’s next for JeanCharles Tomas?
I’ve finished a townhouse near Paris for an artist, and I’m right now focusing on traveling, getting inspired, meeting people I’ve worked with in the past everywhere I’ve been. I like to work alone but I find my strength and inspiration by meeting, talking and sharing with people.
One last question, Is there a space or a client you would love to design for, that you have not yet done?
My dream would be to design a house in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. To me, that’s truly paradise on earth. A small peninsula between Nice and Monaco, surrounded by mediterranean sea in a green setting. Besides that, coming back to New York, where it all started. I’ve learned so much there that I would like to be able to design something in this city.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. I am very excited to see what there is to come and what amazing spaces you will design next!
Check out our next blogpost to see even more Pictures of the beautiful work by JeanCharles Tomas.