“AN INTERIOR IS THE NATURAL PROJECTION OF THE SOUL” Coco Chanel
Les Moline, the sister duo from Belgium incorporating style and class are making themselves known in the world of interior design. La Belgique, berceau d’art et de culture. Which translated is: Belgium, a cradle of art and culture. Both sisters boast decades of fashion, design and luxury credentials at the very highest level. They are smart, chic, confident and with a tremendous amount of work ethic, are striving to make a name for themselves in the sector of design and decoration. They certainly are on the right path of doing so. Their passion for everything beautiful comes so naturally to them. Their taste for quality and luxury goes along with their way of life, their zest for traveling and their vast love for the world with its endless hidden treasures. As life is a journey of discovery, so is design. Being around Les Moline was a true pleasure and being inspired by them was absolutely extraordinary. Stay tuned to what Les Moline has to offer in the near future. Be still and listen, the earth is singing…
Maïté: I was born and raised in Belgium since an early age I always liked travelling with my parents. Travelling gives you a lot of inspiration, you see different landscape, colors, traditions, cultures, people. I found it fascinating. Through all our travels, my sister and I developed a great sense of observation. Today In our work, I realised that we are extremely sensitive to details shapes and colours. When I finished University I lived and worked abroad mainly in Europe and the Middle East. I feel very comfortable dealing with different countries and societies. I also remember when we were kids we were helping our mum decorating our house. She involved us in the process of finding the perfect colours for each room, fabrics for furniture and curtains for our bedrooms. We also had artistic activities from piano & solfege lessons/classic dance classes and drawing/painting classes at Academy Des Beaux Art during our holidays period. I always been extremely close to my family and especially my sister. We have two different characters, but we are very complementary, work wise it is great as we complete each other and everybody has a talent that one or the other does better.
Florence: I was born in Belgium in Liège. I have always been passionate about drawing, which, influenced me to sign-up at the Fine Arts Academy and participate in many art contests. From a very young age on I began doing ballet and attending a Music Academy to learn music theory and play the piano. I went to Brussels to study Fashion Design and initiated my career in Paris where I worked for luxury brands such as; Jean Louis Scherrer and Emmanuel Ungaro where I had the opportunity to travel a lot and experience extraordinary things.
Maïté: I worked in New York and Paris in the marketing of luxury goods and my job took me a lot to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. After a while, I wanted to establish myself somewhere close enough for me to go back to Belgium to see my family. I choose London. When I moved to London, I did an internship at Sothebys in The Modern and Impressionist department then worked for Chanel. Recently I went back to school to study interior design and now I’m developing my new company with my sister. Everything seems to be linked. From working for Chanel where the brand creativity is incredible, the quality of their fabrics, their tweed and colors are unique in order to create perfect clothes. Working in art where each painting has his own specific mix of colours and technique. In interior design, you also have to be sensitive to quality, fabrics, colors, shape, technique to make furnitures.
Maïté: Since always my sister and I wanted to work together, that was our dream, but we never knew how to do it until my sister got this amazing interior design project in HK. I started to look at her work and found myself very interested in what she was doing. After a long reflexion, I left my work and went back to school at Inchbald school of design in London. I really liked it and told myself that I finally found what I’m passionate about and when you realise this you become extremely driven. After school, I did an internship at MBDS (Martin Brudnizki Design Studio) where I have met great people and learned a lot. They are running many projects at the same time who are on different stages. It really gave me the opportunity to understand what the different phases are. Again this experience reinforced my desire to work in this field. A couple of weeks later my sister and I were working on our first project. It was a big turn in my career path. I am very happy about that.
Florence: I decided to direct my career towards Interior Decoration purely by the hazard of life; a friend contacted me about a job opening that regarded managing the construction and decoration of a hotel. The position was based in Hong-Kong and the project was taking place in a magnificent hotel in Macau. It was a unique opportunity that I could not miss. I jumped on a plane and flew in person to attend the interview. From then on, I flew there and back during an entire year, something I wouldn’t define as relaxing but most definitely enriching and worthwhile. I literally learnt everything I know on the field. That experience was a true revelation for me, and from there I knew I was born to do that. Interior Design became my new obsession. Today, I can remain in a place for hours contemplating with admiration all of the shapes, materials and furniture. The color and layout are the two most important elements to me; these have the power of changing the atmosphere of a place completely, which can consequently modify entirely the experience one has within that environment. These facts fascinate me! As it all started coming into place for me, the idea of partnering up with my sister became evident. Although we may be different we have always been closely bonded. This fusion meant simply uniting the last pieces of the puzzle and from there the adventure began!
Maïté: For me inspiration is everywhere, whatever you do and whoever you meet , everything around you can give you inspiration in terms of colors, shapes, trends etc. Instagram and 1stdibs are also great sources of inspiration. I also follow the major sales at Christies and Sothebys auction houses.
Florence: Everything inspires me; people, nature, art, behaviors, history, artists and non-artists… I find inspiration everywhere and not necessarily where we purposely search for it. I believe inspiration comes naturally and can depend on the setting. We can of course seek guidance in those we feel closest to. Those with whom we share ideologies with or those you admire for having achieved goals you have set for yourself. Personally I find inspiration everywhere and many times I find it thanks to those closest to me such as; my fiancé, my family and friends. They condition me to become more creative and receptive to what surrounds me. I am very fond of modern and new technologies as well but I admit, those who find inspiration having a blank piece of paper and a simple pencil as their only support, fascinate me!
Maïté: I love modern art and specially the cubism period. the Moma in Nyc has an amazing collection of Impressionist and Modern painting. In terms of interior designer, I admire Martin Brudzinski for his commercial projects and Alberto Pinto for his residential projects.
Maïté: Our style is very eclectic, we don’t want to be associated in one style. Our last project was for a luxury brand and now we are working on a new concept of young and edgy coffee shops in London. This is what I love in this job. It is not repetitive! We are constantly searching for ideas, thinking on how to improve the space, what will be the best layout, fabrics,colors etc. A good client contact is also important for us. It is very important to understand what he needs or wants to be able to create his perfect environment.
Maïté: Our project was in Paris at Le Bon Marche department store. We designed a corner for a new shoe brand called Malone Souliers. This was my favourite project. It was a real challenge for us. Our client gave us the project two months before the deadline. I realised how my sister and I are a strong and efficient as a team as we worked with very short deadlines and lots of pressure! We worked day and night for two months. It was a success! The corner is beautiful, all the furnitures were delivered on time and fitted perfectly. I recommend you to go have a look if you go to Paris soon. All the furnitures are bespoke, drawn by us: the huge pink leather banquette, the shoe display,rug, mirrors. As a final touch, we hanged their bestseller shoes on the wall under the brand description. We chose a beautiful bright colour combination to catch the eyes of the customers and it worked! Apparently they love sitting on our bright leather pink sofa ahahaha ! Inshalla it will help sales to increase! You can see some pictures @LesMoline on Instagram
Maïté: Married, happy and with children and that Les Moline is well known in the design sector. I want our work to be recognized in our sector and having projects in the 4 corners of the world. What is fascinating in our job is the diversity of the projects in regards to the locations, the cultures, the way of life, the traditions and the weather. You are constantly stimulated by new things and creativity is constantly developed. Every project is a new start, right from the bottom and it must be planned and developed.
Florence: In 10 years I would like to be both a mother and a businesswoman. I wish to have my own projects based throughout the entire globe and manage them abroad but also be able to work from home. Flexibility is incredibly important to me in order to find inspiration but also to rest in a selected cocoon.
Maïté: I love fashion but I tend to privilege pieces that I can keep for more than a season. I love looking a the cut, the way clothes fall. Some designers are amazing! When I worked for Chanel I was amazed how a jacket can look different on woman. There are many brands that I love, high street and luxury. The most important is a good cut and nice fabrics. I can’t wear a dress just because it looks good and still be uncomfortable. For the evening I generally like an Alaia dress. I love the way it falls, his flared dresses are very elegant. A pair of high heels either from Guiseppe Zanotti for a more classic look or a pair of Malone Souliers, more sexy. I love the way they mix colours on their shoes. They are both very comfortable which is priceless. I don’t put much make up around my eyes but I can’t go out without my bright red Chanel lipstick. This red is magic, it is very luminous. I also love Ashi Studio, a Lebanese designer which doesn’t have a boutique in Europe. Day time, I like to be casual and comfortable as I walk a lot in London. I like to mix high street brands and luxury brands. Usually I put a jeans and a pair of confi sneakers. I love wearing all kind of sneakers during the day but my sister and I tend to have a little obsession for the Miami sneakers from Jimmy Choo. ahahha we have bought them in so many colours. But I believe once you find something which suits you and are comfortable in you should stick to it. I also love Dior for their feminine cut and the materials they use are fantastic. I am fascinated by all the hard work behind a dress.
Florence: My favorite brands are considered classics; Dior, Céline or Loro Piana. In terms of color my preferred brands are Missoni and Valentino. In general, what I am most fond of are the materials used and their impeccable cut. I pay attention to the fabric and for as fashionable as it might be, I would never wear an attire that feels uncomfortable.
I also admire and love Lorenz Baumer who has his prestigious boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris.
Maïté: Yes I travel regularly to the Middle East and I am very familiar with Dubai and AbuDhabi. We used to spend lot of time there, it’s like a second home for me. We have lot’s of friends from the GCC and foreigners over there. It’s a very interesting part of the world with a great mix of cultures and societies. Dubai is a very fascinating place, in a constant evolution. Every time I go back, there is new area to discover. Recently I have been in a new area that I liked very much with no high buildings and lots of restaurants called: city walk
I would love to have residential projects in the Middle East. There is a lot to do over there. You can be very creative as it’s a sunny country, modern city with great building design. It’s a mix of Orient et Occident.
Florence: I often go to the Middle East and love it, mainly because my local friends welcomed and integrated me quickly and warmly. Discovering new cultures has been incredibly enriching and has helped me become more open-minded.
Follow Les Moline on Instagram: @Lesmoline
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Les Moline Interview by Myriam Von Knobelsdorff: Health and Well-being editor for QMIN Magazine & Health Coach.