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Instagram Stories: The Aesthete

With a love of history, beauty, and humor, interior designer Robert Couturier shares a lesson in the sheer joy of living

Interior designer Robert Couturier at his home. Portrait by Chris New. 
Interior designer Robert Couturier at his home. Portrait by Chris New

Robert Couturier runs in rarefied circles—one in which exquisite interiors, classical statuary, and Shih Tzus play a significant part. But make no mistake: the architect and designer, known for his multimillion-dollar projects and passion for the French decorative arts, is the opposite of a snob.  Full of wit and wide-eyed wonder, his Instagram feed invites us to feast on the beauty of his surroundings, from an ornate sitting room to an idyllic lake in rural Connecticut and an indoor pool for the ages. Prepare yourself for an immersive afternoon escape.

Instagram Stories: The Aesthete
Instagram Stories: The Aesthete

THE RETREAT

“My house in Kent [, Connecticut,] is the expression of what my childhood home should have been. It is my private paradise. My life in the country is relatively asocial and very quiet; I live for Jeffrey and our dogs, and we spend a lot of time walking through the gardens, looking at books, or simply doing nothing—the opposite of my life in New York, where I am excessively active, social, excited, and nervous. It isn’t particularly practical or modern. It is what I want and the way I feel comfortable living; it is not there to please anyone else [except] Jeffrey and me.”

THE CANINE COMPANIONS

“The older one is Henriette, age 15. Then Hercule, age eight, Dora, who is three, and Clara, 18 months. They are the center of our lives, and all we do is around them; they are not ornaments but extensions of our hearts. Darling creatures for whom life must be perfect and who ought never to suffer the indignities of this world.”

Instagram Stories: The Aesthete

THE INSPIRATIONS

“My first memory of a beautiful interior was our living room in Paris. The otherworldliness it expressed is something I would never want to repeat and actually could never repeat. [But] I absolutely love ultra-contemporary architecture—borderline futuristic and quite devoid of ornament. One has to accept the disconnections between heart and mind; I firmly believe in the acceptance of both while recognizing some apparent and deep contradictions.”

Instagram Stories: The Aesthete

THE INSTAGRAM STRATEGY

“Whether or not we like it, Instagram has become a mirror of our lives. It is a remarkable way of managing your own image as positively as possible. It’s very much spur of the moment; I choose images when I am happy, and it has become a relaxing habit. I will continue posting the beautiful things I see and some of the peaceful moments I have lived through.”

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