“He wanted light and colour and freshness,” India Mahdavi says. “I think that’s why he chose me.”
Founding her design studio in 2003, India Mahdavi's extensive portfolio is populated with hotels from Mexico to Monte Carlo, private cinemas and residences in New York and Paris. She is also responsible for the pink gallery restaurant in Sketch, which is said to be the most instagrammed interior in all of London, helping form the trend for millennial pink.
Recently Mahdavi was approached by a friend, a philanthropist based in the U.S, to help redesign his 80’s-built holiday house in the South of France, a 5-bedroom villa that sat among pencil cypresses and umbrella pines overlooking the sea. Simplifying things as much as possible and opening up new interior views became Mahdavi’s brief. Capturing the unique vibration of light, Mahdavi renewed the aesthetic of the South using varied materials, textures and graphic elements. Good vibrations are found everywhere inside the villa, starting with the floors in a lattice pattern that run from the double-height entry hall across the spacious living room, into the dining room and through the arched doorways to the bedrooms beyond. In the main bathroom, broad pyjama stripes of Moroccan Zellige tile in green and white play off slatted blinds and coloured glass doors. In the garden a magic mushroom by artist Carsten Holler. The owner - a furniture lover allowed Mahdavi to cherry-pick from his storage holdings which yielded modernist pieces be Jose Zanine Caldas, Hans Wegner, Tito Agnoli and T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, filling in the gaps with her own designs including the sociably rounded rattan tables and seating that reinforces the nostalgic theme of the tile floors and thickened walls. A graphic mural by Caroline Denevaud defines the bar area, with a pendant overhanging by Ingo Maurer.
Unifying the house, as Mahdavi puts it, is a chromatic range distilled straight from nature-earth, grass, sea, sky, sun – and commissions from artisans who, she notes, “speak about the south in a different way” than she does. The outcome? Her client, of course, was ecstatic.
Photography — Vincent Leroux for AD
Design — India Mahdavi
Location — South of France