Once upon a time… the Dutch Philosopher Erasmus said: “your library is your paradise”. And this is the primordial essence of the newest Assouline Group’s enterprise, a project that looks to turn libraries into truly private paradises. First, they created remarkable books that are almost pieces of art themselves. Now, they have launched Assouline Interiors, an ode to luxury style and culture.
Designed by Prosper and Martine Assouline, from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, every nuance of this collection reflects Assouline’s signature style through custom furniture, lighting, carpeting, and beautifully framed prints.
CovetED Magazine invites you to discover the world of Assouline Interiors, a world in which stylish modern furnishings, and worldly objects and artwork are surrounded by sophisticated books.
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CovetED Magazine: Before we start talking about the new Assouline Group’s project, focused on the interior design market, let’s talk a little bit about how it all began: with the books. So how did you get into book publishing?
Prosper Assouline: All of the books we publish and design, we make them as luxurious and exclusive as possible. And because we design all the books, they have the same style. Indeed, we believe that this is a market niche and we just happened to get the opportunity and turned it to reality. At the beginning, our idea wasn’t to make a business out of publishing. I just wanted to make only one book about my favorite hotel in the world, La Colombe D’Or. I took the pictures and my wife and partner Martine wrote the text. This first book got good feedback from the press and market, so we decided to make one or two per year. Now we produce 50 books each year, and it’s our main business.
CE: Recently, Assouline introduced its luxurious new library and office furnishings collection for interior design. Tell us all about this new project. How did this idea start and what can we expect from this project?
PA: Over two decades, we have extended our vision to create all that can be desired in a chic library, from our beautiful books and special editions, to unique accessories and objects of art, and now a complete turnkey collection of handsome furniture bearing our signature style. This new project from Assouline’s Group began because we really believe that beauty can transform lives, and that a book artfully crafted and highly considered in its visual content can open eyes and minds. After all, the Assouline lifestyle furnishings collection is the embodiment of the French expression savoir vivre, or knowing how to live richly.
CE: Where does the inspiration come from to create all of the amazing Assouline furniture?
PA: I believe that the inspiration comes from the signature style of the brand that juxtaposes classical elements with Art Deco nuances and modern influences. The Assouline Interiors Collection is the ultimate enrichment for any home, a complete collection of furniture and accessories. And I’m pretty sure that after being fueled with passion for books, it seems self-evident to create exclusive and luxurious furniture for libraries. That is our understanding of beauty and well-being.
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CE: If you had to choose only one piece from the Assouline Interiors Collection, what piece would it be and why?
PA: If I had to pick just one piece among many that I love in this first collection, I have no doubt it would be the “Writing Desk”, from the High Society Collection. Because I like to know I have a desk that allows me to be inside my work, almost as if to enter into it. This is a perfect piece to have in a library, in an apartment, and even in an office. I like this piece a lot.
CE: There are already showrooms in some of the most important cities in the world. What are the next steps for Assouline Interiors?
PA: Indeed we already have an exclusive showroom for this collection in New York, a 700-square-foot furniture showroom and a 265-square-foot bookshop. In addition, we have Maison Assouline, a beautifully restored landmark building with a stately presence in the St. James’s neighborhood of London. We are in Paris as well, at the exclusive Le Bon Marché department store. The next move for us will be to expand our horizons and expose our exclusive furniture at Maison & Objet in September this year.
CE: Last but not least, as we know, you have a strong and remarkable partnership with Martine Assouline on both professional and personal levels. Could you conceive running Assouline Interiors without her?
PA: No, absolutely not. Sometimes I feel like I repeat myself about this subject, but its ok, because this is something very important to say and it never will be too much to say this: if she were not here, I wouldn’t do this. Without her, the company wouldn’t work. I can’t do anything without her and, more importantly, I don’t want to.
More interviews will be published soon. CovetED Magazine will keep you updated!