Text: Aran Cravey
Image: Yoon Viak Studio
Beyond the basic plate/bowl/cup trio of everyday tableware, I’m a mere Simpleton when it comes to the subject of ceramics. The finer points of teapots and terrines are lost on my “form-follows-function” sensibilities, but even my plebeian sophistication took a double ooh là là upon seeing the treasures at Astier de Villatte.
The Parisian born design studio appeared on the scene in 1996 at the Paris interior design fair, ‘Maison et Objet’. It was there that creators Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte first showed their elegantly crafted, 18th century inspired furniture. However, it was the milky white glazed, black terra cotta ceramics made primarily as decorative accessories for their tabletops that brought the duo worldwide popularity. Mixing old world, French country charm with modern day durability and sophistication, Astier de Villatte has become the design darling among style savvy jet-setters, inspiring a cult following with their candles and home fragrances.
What has set Astier de Villatte apart from other Parisian antique home designers is their fresh approach to tradition. One look at their website and it becomes clear that this isn’t your grand-mère’s china. Photographer Sophie Delaporte’s deliciously rich photographs for the site showcase the company’s designs by setting them in the midst of a mysterious surreal landscape. Both the photographs and furnishings combine the technical beauty of the past with the contemporary edge and playfulness of today. A visit to the boutique on rue St. Honoré has a similar feel of intrigue and magic; a sort of enchanted, hip marché aux puces.
Astier de Villatte’s modern blend of past and present is the essence of Parisian style, that nameless chic found in the effortless fold of a scarf or toss of the hair that only Parisians possess. Fortunately, those of us born outside the “City of Light” need not live in chic-less squalor. With furnishings and designs by Astier de Villatte, even expats like myself can enjoy a bowl of cereal with a certain “je ne sais quoi”.
Astier de Villatte
173 rue Saint-Honoré, 1st
Ph. 01 42 60 74 13
Hours Monday to Saturday, 11am -7.30pm
Metro: Palais Royal, Pyramides, Tuileries (1)