We interviewed Lionel Jadot, partner & Chief Design Officer at Cohabs.
Craftsmanship is rooted in his DNA. Being a descendant of a family of crafters and having a workshop as his playground, Lionel Jadot mastered the art of making furniture at a very young age.
How did you join the Cohabs adventure?
I was presenting my latest work at “Le Grand Hornu” and my best friend introduced me to Youri, Cohabs’ Chief Executive Officer, during the opening. I directly fell in love with the Cohabs concept.
What interests you in the Cohabs project?
What struck me the most with Cohabs is their way of rethinking our housing habits and our overall lifestyle. With Cohabs, we are directly connected to the other members and we are able to share a lot right away. It’s definitely the future of living.
How would you define the style you have set up?
The main style is based on recycling and uplifting. I have been chasing this style for close to 30 years and try to live it on an everyday basis. We will directly remove all layers of paint or other fabrics on the walls to reach the true inner essence of the building. This allows me to tell a new story every time.
For instance, for Cohabs Stephanie we scratched multiple paint layers of the walls to discover an old wallpaper that was from ancient Asian influence and it directly gave me the idea to decorate the full building with an Asian vibe. We try to avoid at all cost to buy new furniture from the traditional distribution circuit and instead favor cradle to cradle and eco circuits, that’s why we often use second hand, build our own furniture or go to flea markets to find everything we need.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am lucky because my inspiration is constant: I can pick up a rock on the beach and it can inspire me [laughs]. Most of the time, I find my inspiration in reading, watching movies, travelling the world but also in meeting new people. My brain is like a gigantic library for ideas and every day I add new ideas and when I am creating the decoration for a Cohabs home I can pick ideas from this library. Sometimes it can be quite messy but I manage to navigate through it. I have no real process, the Cohabs team give me a white card so I can truly think outside the box and this is when creativity reaches its peak.
What is your guideline for Cohabs? Will the houses evolve?
The houses are evolving all the time! We’ll first try to standardize some furniture elements to limit our use of external circuits and reduce waste. For instance, we’ll try to build identical bed frames, wardrobes, and desks for all bedrooms. This will allow us to be more efficient in our building process and reduce waste due to the standardization.
Do you already have the themes of the houses that will open?
I do not think about the major theme for a new house in advance, I want to discover it while being in the house, scratching the walls, feeling the spirit of the house. This allows me to be very spontaneous in my ideas.
Your favorite Cohabs’ home yet?
I would say Cohabs Stéphanie, or the next one, Cohabs Royal.
What are your travel plans this year?
My next trip will be Naples! This city inspires me because it is a perfect mix between raw African and European lifestyles. While travelling, I enjoy the honesty of a place. I like going to peaceful places that are not explored or discovered yet. Places that are affected by gentrification or consumption don’t really attract me. I would say that I don’t need comfort to enjoy my travels!
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into interior design?
Stay curious and open-minded. Forget about the definition of refinement. Also, there is no right or wrong path as long as there is energy in what you are doing. Stay close to your values and your own style and everything will be OK.