interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: boo and bruno louis of ekobo

by anne

today’s sneak peek belongs to boo and bruno louis of ekobo/ecology & design. based in france, the company designs and manufactures contemporary, sustainable home accessories from bamboo- working exclusively with fair-trade artisan villages in vietnam to handcraft their products. bruno (the [french] founder) and boo (the [american] product/graphic designer) live in the historic center of montpellier, france on the 3rd and last floor of a “hôtel particulier” (or mansion) built in the 18th century with their two little girls. it’s hard to believe the stunning home you see below was a transformation from what was there when they moved in, so be sure to click to see more additional full-sized images here. and, as always, you can check out all the sneak peeks here. [thanks to boo and bruno for transporting us to france today!] -anne

[image above: “I have a deep love for dark grey so we chose to cover one wall with it in our bedroom. The side table on the right is a chinese chest and on the left is a Nepalese box. The painting is a Hollander. Against the white wall is Bruno’s childhood dresser which was handmade in Indonesia in the late-60s. The figurines are also Indonesian.”]

Our salon / dining area is an open format on the opposite side of the kitchen. I had the pillows on the couch made with left-over leather I had — each side is a different color so I flip them around, as well as the art for a change. In the hallway are Binth prints. Above the couch is one of several paintings we have by Gino Hollander. The lacquered poofs (MELLO and Mini MELLO) are also Ekobo.

We found the tall cabinet at a sidewalk sale. It was once a wardrobe from the 70s, but now it holds all my art trinkets. My desk is a former dining table hand-me down and the chair is SKRUVSTA from Ikea. One of my most favorite possessions of all-time is a wash-board menu from a restaurant my parent’s owned in Pinetop, Arizona in the early 70’s — back when dessert cost .50 cents.

The one thing we liked from the previous tenant was the idea of the bench with the long dining table. I fill it with lots of pillows that I interchange – it’s a cozy nook. The painting above it is one of my favorites. It is by Swiss painter (living in Santa Barbara), Jean Nerfin.

In France, nothing but the kitchen sink is standard for a rental. You bring your kitchen and you leave with your kitchen. It was a huge obstacle and expense to have to build a functional kitchen for a place that we didn’t own. The first thing we tackled was covering up the water-heater. Bruno built a case floor to ceiling with an integrated broom closet; such a luxury to hide the mop! We cut and straightened the diagonal counter-top to allow for our appliances, then made the big trip to Ikea for cabinets, counter-tops and shelving. We struggled with the back splash for the new elongated countertop. We didn’t want to hassle with tile so we ending up gluing sheets of imprinted brushed aluminum. It worked well with our appliances and was cheap and easy to apply. Our kitchen deco is a mix of my Grandmother’s vintage pieces (salt and paper shakers and spotted bowls), our own products (lacquered bamboo fruit bowl, vase, knife holder) and wares from Habitat (floral tray, white wine glasses, dish towels). The black cups and saucers and other ceramics are from Vietnam.

My other favorite painting is of our three-year old, Maya, painted by my sister, Colleen Weber. We found the chair Maya’s on sitting out by a garbage bin in Paris. Major find!!

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  • How cool! I used to live in Montpellier and these pictures remind me so much of the beautiful old apartments friends of mine lived in – bright walls and floors and all that fantastic natural light. None were decorated as stylishly as Bruno & Boo’s though. My own crazy apartment was the only place I’ve ever seen with a bathroom-slash-kitchen…

  • The link in this article to Boo’s sister, the painter, doesn’t work – please fix it because I love her painting and want to see more of her work. Thanks so much.


  • Just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. I’m wondering if you have any more details on the ‘bench seat’ in the dining room – I just love it!

  • As a professional interior designer, I try to lead clients on the path of simplicity is beautiful. Here Boo and Bruno have more than proved you can do just that by space, budget, and CLASS.

    BRAVO!!!!! Babe

  • Can you please tell me about the bags hanging by the wall? Are they for recycling or fruits and veggies? I love the way they look. Where are they from? Really great looking place!

  • Tell me more about the imressed, brushed aluminum that you used for the backsplash. Where do you get it, what sizes does it come in, what prep is needed before glueing it? Love the way you worked together!

  • Your home’s transformation is stunning! The simplicity is a perfectly balanced composition.
    I am honored to have my work hang among masters. This is a great gift. Thank You!
    Much Love to you, Bruno and the girls.
    Xx, Pea

  • Hello again!

    Joy : I believe I picked these hanging bags up at the now folded Hold Everything in SF — at least 5 years ago. They hold onions and the like, but would be fine for anything on the lighter side. They also can hang underneath one another…

    Cindi : We bought the brushed alu at a big hardware store like Home Depot. I believe it is an industrial material used in/around fire places, maybe?? It was in the same section as grills that cover vents, etc. It comes 2′ x 3′ +/- sheets, in various patterns. We used a metal-friendly putty we applied to the sheet, then stuck on drywall – took quite a thick coat to adhere well. Overall, a very simple project.

    Thanks again for all the nice comments. ~Boo

  • i love the low coffee table with the white couch was this coffee table a vintage find? where did you get it?

  • You’re home is beautiful! I need to fill my home with Ekobo, where can I buy it in London? the painting of Maya is great, I have been honored to have a small portrait painted by Colleen Weber, she is a beautiful artist, and a great friend! Love to you and the family. xxxx

  • i want that same shade of dark grey for my bedroom, if only it was a bigger space. there’s something very serene and tranquil about that color but i’m afraid if i used a dark color in my tiny bedroom it would make it seem dungeon-y. the rest of your space is also FA-BU!

  • hi elizabeth. thanks for your comments. you know, our room is pretty small. we’ve only used the grey on one wall and bright white for the other three + ceiling and an off-white comforter. it’s true we have nice light, but i wouldn’t let the grey scare you…

  • i love your white bedspread, its fantastic how it folds over the pillows old school style. i have been looking for something like this all over. where did you find it?

  • i love your bedroom! your white bedspread is fantastically old school – i have been looking for one like it everywhere. can you tell me where you got it?

  • ..This one is really put together quite nicely. Nice retro\modern\50’s interpretation. I could mistake this for a Conran designed room.

  • oh my GOSH….I AM SOOOO IN LOVE with your product.I live in Sydney where can I buy it?Amazing work,it truelly melts me on so many levels…THANK-YOU so very much.x

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