To look at Robert Couturier’s extensive portfolio of international design is to note an inarguable luxurious quality in each of them, an air of both comfort and elegance. Informed primarily by his knowledge of and instinct for the architecture of a space and his client’s tastes and lifestyles, Robert firmly believes that no design choice should be made unconsciously.
Robert’s talent, experience, and respect for interiors is a constant – regardless of project size, location or client. It’s this consistency and fluidity which attracts multiple prominent clients and projects in worldwide locations. We talk inspiration and antiques with Robert for this weeks LUXList.
Discover more about our LUXList Designer’s inspiration and aesthetic! See what pieces they choose from RubyLUX.com to be on his LUXList.
Describe your design aesthetic in a few words?
Design aesthetics are dictated by a particular space and the desires of a client. There is no gratuitous design, there are, however, certain laws of equilibrium and balance that have to be obeyed and within which any style can be used!
What do you love about using antiques in your designs?
My use of antiques is instinctive. They anchor and bring history to a space, and make its narrative interesting, deeper and more relevant. On top of that, they are history and give us a place in time!
What inspires you?
Everything! From people, pets, certain shapes and certain colors mixed together to the weather, the color of the sky and the seasons. Also movies, books, discussions, shows, and museums.
What can you never have too much of?
Culture and music!!
If you could design for a fictional character who would it be and why?
I don’t like fictional characters, I like real characters, I am not keen on gratuitous designs.
With a deep understanding of the classical, internationally acclaimed interior designer ROBERT COUTURIER brings his inimitable style and wit to each and every project. Décor, Couturier believes above all else, must be appropriate to the architecture, to the clients and to the setting. The last thing he sees his interiors as are stage sets – rather, they are spaces for living people to move through and function in and in fact, they work superbly. Above all, Robert Couturier can be said to lend a sense of connoisseurship, imagination, and even experimentation to the traditional design landscape. As he likes to say himself, recalling the rich interiors in which he spent his childhood and youth, “It is to both grander and greater ends that one invents when one can start with one’s own past.”
A graduate of the Ecole Camondo in Paris with a degree in interior architecture and design, Robert relocated from his native France to New York City in 1978. In 1987 Robert opened his own company when the billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith entrusted the 32-year-old Couturier with what would amount to the single greatest private commission of modern times: the re-conception, execution, and continuous embellishment – down to the last gilded detail – of Goldsmith’s 20,000-acre kingdom on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Robert also decorated Goldsmith’s Hacienda de San Antonio in Colima, Mexico, his Boeing 757 (“a flying carpet with a motor”), his double-width Manhattan townhouse and his historic French chateau.
Robert continues executing grand-scale commissions and model residences throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Russia, building a list of top clients including Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney, Cecile David Weil, Fred Iseman, Frederic Fekkai and Vanity Fair special correspondent Amy Fine Collins. In October 2014 he released his first monograph, Robert Couturier: Designing Paradises with Rizzoli New York, showcasing a beautiful range of his multifaceted work from Old World elegance to contemporary design. In his introduction Couturier admits, “I’m completely addicted to luxury. I have no ability for anything else.”
Today with his team of architects and designers Robert Couturier, Inc. has become synonymous with continental and international style and elegance. Most recently Robert brings his distinct aesthetic in new directions, including design concepts in hospitality and even social media, where followers of his popular Instagram feed are welcomed in for an enchanting look at the world of design through Robert’s own eyes.
Robert’s vast array of projects have graced the pages of numerous publications, including Architectural Digest, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Town and Country, the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, House and Garden, The Robb Report, Elle Décor and Wall Street Journal. His name listed among Architectural Digest’s prestigious annual list of the Best Decorators And Architects In The World, Elle Decor’s A-list Top 60 Designers and British House & Garden’s Top 10 Foreign Decorators. Additionally, Robert was honored to be included in the coveted top spot of Vanity Fair’s 2015 International Best-Dressed List. Robert, a voracious lover of the decorative arts, enjoys sharing his vast knowledge on art and design, lecturing at galleries and arts and antique fairs and by participating in charitable and design-industry events around the world. He lives in both New York City and Kent, Connecticut on an estate he shares with his husband Jeffrey Morgan and their beloved dogs.