x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

'I am my most exacting client'

A home in the life of the Paris-based designer Eugeni Quitllet.

I grew up on the Balearic island of Ibiza and was so happy there. I never felt the need to move as a child or teenager as I felt that the whole world was coming to me. Having so much exposure to the international personalities who visited or made the island their home taught me to view life in a very open and sensory way.

My mother's home was a real Ibiza house where I learnt to live in an empty space just full of light and music and a few good pieces to decorate it; it truly was fantastic, simplistic architecture. When I was young I also lived for a little while on the neighbouring island of Formentera, above a little wooden bar built on the rocks by the beach - just 15 square metres in size. The energy of that wild location was constantly around the building and life seemed so free - Today, I travel a lot but I still haven't found anything quite like that.

Today I have made my home in Paris with my partner Maud Bury. She is an interior architect so between us it's not easy to decide who has the best ideas for our home. We were extremely lucky as it not easy to find a house in the city with big open spaces and a garden; it's the sort of house that is both airy and open, yet with enough little places to give us our own space if we need it. I also have a little house in a very secret little place on Ibiza that I visit whenever I can.

We have made some very big changes. All of the rooms were remodelled - the walls, floors, roof and the garden. It has taken three years and it is still not finished - one more floor to go but, to be honest, I don't think a good house is ever really done. The plans were extremely detailed and, unfortunately, I am my most exacting client.

I don't like the idea of "decoration". I'm more like a collector of beautiful pieces of differing styles. Some are the pieces I design myself, other were presents or just nice pieces from other designers that I admire. I choose what I like and then see how things work together. Of course there are two of us with different ideas but we are good at finding a balance, I think.

We use our garden like one more room in the house. In summer the door to it is always open and we let the plants grow into the house, so the exterior gets all mixed up with the interior - we often get birds flying in too. I like to take objects that have been designed for indoors to the outside space to see how the weather interacts with them and how well they resist sun and rain.

I'm not a collector in the sense of collecting a particular type of object but I like collecting pieces that are the best of their type. I do have a lot of different chairs at home but they are mainly my designs and I like to see what friends think about them and how they use them.

My treasures are my drawings, my work and my life. I love to have the first prototypes of my designs that come out of the mould; all of that is very important to me.

I love the kitchen in our Paris home, which is in the centre of the living room; it all happens there whether it is a playground, a discussion centre or a meeting point. We work, cook and dance around the kitchen - it really is the place to be.

The Chiringuito bar on Formentera where I used to be woken by the sun passing through the slats of wood that made up the walls of the room, and by the sound of waves and the fishermen sailing by.

Your home should be a true reflection of who you are and if there is something about it you do not like you should be able to change it easily until you feel good again. For me, being at home means a quiet space in the midst of a crazy city that really allows me time to think.

My dream would be a mix of places so I would have my feet in the sea of Ibiza, my soul in Paris and my head in New York.