Five Minutes with Blandine de Navacelle

Words by
Blandine de Navacelle

25th March 2024

Blandine de Navacelle, Creative Director of Studio Lodha, takes five minutes to give us tips on how she elevates spaces with colour, texture and pattern. Join her as she also talks favourite fabric collections, antiquing hotspots and prized moments for the luxury interior design studio. 

Outside of my time as head of Studio Lodha, I... never really switch off. Art and design are in everything that I do! Even when I’m travelling or holidaying with my family I’m on the hunt for antiques or unique pieces. I’ve been known to take several empty suitcases with me on holiday that return bursting at the seams; India for wonderful fabrics and embroidery, Italy and Morocco for ceramics, Spain for rattan baskets…. I have brought back so many things!

My favourite spot in London to be immersed in art and design is… Frieze Masters with the combination of PAD. This is my favourite moment of the year; London comes alive and everyone in the worlds of art, design and fashion come together to enjoy the best of the city and celebrate all things beautiful.

Blandine de Navacelle - burgundy print
Currently, Blandine enjoys working deeper and more mature shades such as burgundies into her designs

The colours I am playing with most at the moment are... all deeper and more mature. Such as burgundies against cream and gold, or pops of a dark cerulean blue in a stairwell. I always encourage my clients to experiment with colour and contrasts. Even if it is just some bright, patterned scatter cushions or a trim on a headboard.

My favourite antiquing spots in London and/or Europe... completely depend on what I am looking for! I’m always on 1stDibs, and am also a regular at Drouot and Courcelles Antiquities in Paris. In London, I love Joss Graham but I also pick up a lot of items in Portugal - their ceramics are wonderful.

I incorporate a lot of different colours and textures into my interior designs, I do this through... upholstery, artwork, panels, joinery and even headboards. These are all great ways of including colour and texture in the home. At the moment I’ve been playing with bold textures like striped fringing on upholstered ottomans and hallway benches made of hammered bronze. I like unexpected touches like this that feel fun and contemporary yet still elegant and timeless. Texture is so important to Studio Lodha and a great way of ensuring spaces create warm, inviting and cosy atmosphere.

Blandine de Navacelle - ceramics
Working in pops of blue with ceramics

The items I look out for most when antique hunting are… antique chest of drawers (French, German and Italian pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries) and I have a passion for beautiful mirrors - I love the mottling and imperfections of time on the actual glass. I also often pick up small bits of art deco furniture, it’s a great way of bringing subtle touches of the trend into the home. However, to be honest, I rarely go antique shopping with a clear idea of an item in mind.

As a mum to three young children, I have an eye for creating spaces for the whole family. My favourite way to incorporate functionality into family spaces is by… great joinery and storage. These are both important when designing a family home! I want my kids to play and have fun, but also to be able to pack up their mess at the end of the day when my husband and I are having friends over. Working with high performance fabrics, washable covers, stain treatments on rugs… there are a lot of small tricks that you pick up from having a busy, full house.

Blandine de Navacelle - portrait
Blandine de Navacelle, Creative Director of Studio Lodha

My approach to my interior design work has been greatly inspired by… my childhood and my mother’s rules about style and architecture. Living in London for the last 10 years and working with very interesting HNWI clients has also taught me a great deal. It’s always important to me to ensure a space is functional as well as beautiful; I want our clients to feel at home, rather than in a show home. My approach is to understand our client’s codes and backgrounds and help them to shape these into a home they are proud of but also happy in.

My favourite fabric companies and collections at the moment are... Nobilis’s latest collection, it's amazing. Full of colour, intense patterns and luxurious touches. I am also a huge fan of Pierre Frey and their new collection looks as stunning, fun and elegant as usual.

It's possible to give homes a seasonal refresh without completely redecorating. I think the best ways to do this are by… creating covers for pretty much anything and everything! Sofa covers, bars stools, ottomans… it is a great way to go through the seasons without changing your entire home design. I'm always giving my house a ‘mini-makeover’ with covers. I recommend starting with a fairly neutral base, making it easier to change cushions, rugs and curtains with the seasons.

Blandine de Navacelle - Dalmatian design
Rooms can always be freshened with cushion covers

It’s tempting to work bright colour into our homes. My tips to do this whilst still ensuring a timeless design are to… use bright colours that are good quality! As the colours will pop and stand out, I recommend allocating a good part of your budget to using high-quality fabrics and materials, including paint and wallpaper to achieve a polished, finished look. Secondly, and possibly most importantly, it is all about balance, so don’t over do it, just get it right so you can live through the day and seasons with all those bright colours at home.

Blandine de Navacelle - green interiors
Balance is key when working bold patterns and colours into a space

To create a relaxing atmosphere in the home, my go-to scent at the moment is… the bespoke scent we devised at No.1 Grosvenor Square is called ‘White Tea’ and is very refreshing and light while still feeling luxurious and alluring. Scent is such an important sense; it is always important to consider in good design.

I love to go beyond the design itself and immerse people in a lifestyle, I do this by… ‘L’art de vivre’. A wonderful French concept, centred around the finer things in life; art, culture and gastronomy, for example. It is about the right thing, the right detail for every moment of the day. All those little things make the difference. This concept infuses much of our work at Studio Lodha and we work very closely with our clients to ensure that their interior design enables them to live as smoothly, easily and beautifully as possible.

The most exciting moment in my career to date has to be… designing the last private residence at No.1 Grosvenor Square has been the end of a big chapter in my career and a very proud moment. The design brought together African masks, Polish antiques, fine art and bespoke joinery. It’s a really unique home and one that I’m very proud of.

Blandine de Navacelle
Studio Lodha strive to deliver chic simplicity in all their designs

Studio Lodha's next steps as a business will be... selecting and curating the right projects that reflect our brand DNA and allow us to bring our unique Studio Lodha style to discerning clients around the world. The studio gets a lot of interest and requests from clients around the world; this is fantastic however I want to stay personally involved in each project as we grow.