A few frigid weeks ago, Bogdana and myself had the pleasure of stepping into the home and head of Violette. I say home and head because she completely gutted and redesigned this brownstone herself. Down to some of the furniture! And it shows. It doesn’t feel like you’re walking into another house put together by an interior designer, it feels like a home. No surprise then that Violette and Steven’s graciousness and charming demeanors matched the interior of their home perfectly.
I had to head off to Los Angeles last week, so Linne had the good fortune of jumping on the phone with Violette to conduct this interview. And had a similar gushing sentiment about Violette upon hanging up the phone…
You are currently pregnant and have talked about your struggles getting dressed with the bump. What did you finally decide was the best way for you to get dressed with the bump? Are their certain designers and styles you’re now gravitating towards?
My style is very much high-rise jeans and a tee-shirt. And obviously, high-rise denim is not an option when you’re pregnant. I asked my friends and I googled where to get cool maternity clothes – I found nothing. It’s really poor out there. I want to feel stylish! I went to one maternity shop and I was shocked how terrible it was. Even the jeans, they’re all super skinny – I don’t wear skinny jeans. And they’re all very low-rise, of course. The first time I went with my boyfriend to the store, I came out so depressed…I was like what am I going to do?
But I have a sweater dress that I’ve had since I was eighteen from Zara. I love it and I always wear it. When I was younger, I always thought to myself, when I’m pregnant I’ll still be able to wear this dress. So, I got home from the store and put it on and was like, ok, this is perfect. I feel feminine, I don’t feel huge, I can deal with this style. So then I went on a hunt for sweater dresses that are tight. I found a few at Hatch. The ones I loved the most are Zara, and it’s great because I don’t want to spend much money for only ten months of my life. And also I found one at Goop that is my favorite dress. With a sweater dress, you can find them from any brands. They have to stretch and be super close to your body, because otherwise, it’s very easy to look like a block. Basically, I wear those Alexander Wang boyish boots with the very tight dress. And then what I do now is I wear leggings with a very oversized shirt. I take some from my boyfriend and I put a cashmere sweater on top of it. It feels a bit more like my style.
What piece of clothing (or pieces) are you most excited to wear again after you give birth?
My jeans, oh my god! I cannot wait. But, some girls have their tummies go back to normal so fast and some don’t…so, I don’t know how soon I’m going to be able to do it.
But, one thing I’m going to do to help my body go back to normal faster is to wear those very tight body things that hold everything in and helps the body to go back in place. It’s like those things that actresses can wear on the red carpet, but it’s specific for postpartum. It might be stronger than like Spanx. I think it’s a bit different because it’s for pregnant people, but it’s the same concept. It really helps!
Well and there is just such unrealistic pressure on women for their bodies to “bounce back” so quickly…
I’m still so shocked how people are obsessed with the way you look when you’re pregnant. It’s actually something that really pisses me off. When I meet someone when I’m not pregnant, no one says, oh you look so good or you’re so small or so big, you look great today, you look tired today…which I think is the rudest thing. Once I got pregnant, every single person I see comments on the way I look. It’s always, oh, you’re so big for this stage or you’re so small, oh you gained too much weight. I’m like, can we not talk about the way I look? I’m busy doing something else that is much more important than the way I look.
It’s like your body becomes an object.
It is, totally. People love to treat it that way and comment. My bump appeared pretty early, so at the beginning, it was really big for my stage. But now, my bump is very small because I’m so tall. People are always telling me, oh my god you’re not big enough, you look like you’re six months max. It’s like ok great, I don’t need your commentary. It’s very annoying. It makes you very self-aware.
You completely gutted and the redesigned this Brooklyn brownstone. What were some of your biggest sources of inspiration when designing your home? What did you want to accomplish in the design?
I found all my inspiration on Pinterest. I spent days going through everything. I didn’t look for a specific style I liked, I just wanted to love each individual piece. I didn’t focus on having a theme, like mid-century or something. I wanted a mix of everything. I didn’t buy anything until I had the whole room with all the things I had in mind visually because I still wanted everything to fit together. I found all the pieces I loved for the room and then I’d put it all together. There were moments where I was like, I love this piece, but it’s not going to work. I’d see how it’d all look together and I’d be like, ok, that is too much, I’m not going to buy that one.
Your taste is consistent at the end of the day, so it’ll work…
Can you talk a bit about the design of your bathroom? What did you want to incorporate and emulate when designing this sanctuary of a room? As a makeup artist, are there certain things you absolutely needed?
I don’t like kitchens and bathrooms to look like kitchens and bathrooms. When you wake up in the morning and need to get dressed or eat breakfast–we all live very busy lives, so let’s try to make some moments during the day that we’re going to enjoy no matter what, like getting dressed, washing your face, putting your makeup on, taking a shower. No matter what, you’re going to do these things and I believe they should feel like good experiences. So, a very good way to do that is to make your bathroom a space you feel amazing in. Being in a bathroom with no window, terrible lighting, cold tiles everywhere, that doesn’t make me want to stay in this bathroom–I want to get out of it very quickly. So, when I had the chance to design this house, I was lucky enough to design the bathroom exactly how I wanted it to be. First of all, I wanted windows. So, we have three windows in the bathroom. I want natural lighting because I’m a makeup artist. During these moments, it feels amazing to be able to feel the sun and to feel like you’re not confined. I wanted space to feel like that room was another living area. We have a big shower, the bathtub, the makeup station, which is a little boudoir on its own. I could stay there for hours playing with makeup. It’s really a beauty sanctuary and a wellness sanctuary.
Besides for the faucets and the bathtub, nothing is really designed for a normal bathroom. I kept the wood floor, we used a vintage cabinet that we transformed. We transformed the room to work for us, so that it didn’t look like a bathroom.
What are the next creative projects on your horizon?
I have my new collection with Estée Lauder coming out in April. Same time as my baby, so it’s kind of funny. That collection is really a celebration of new tones for every skin tone, so everyone can have access to this and play with it. The other project is that I’m working on a new YouTube channel concept and I’m shooting all the videos for it right now. I can’t wait to launch. It’s different and it’s very educational–it’s a lot of work, but I’m very excited.