The Fashion World, V.I.P Interviews

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

I met the architect and Interior designer: Raphaël Bouchemousse. Raphaël is a French interior designer living in Paris. He founded ID-wad: his interior design & architecture company back in 2007. Today, ID-wad is represented a bit all over the world. I met Raphael again later to talk about luxury and design! Read the Interview here.

Article and pictures by Julie Johansen


The founder of ID-WAD designs: Raphaël Bouchemousse has worked on some major luxury projects all over the world:

The ID-WAD´s interior design of a luxury shoe store in Abidjan

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

I asked him: What was your biggest dream when you were a child?

I wanted to travel and discover the world. I loved volcanoes, reptiles and archeology: All the things that lead you on adventures. I was very inspired by Indiana Jones.  Afterwards I wanted to be an architect.

How come you wanted to become an architect?

Because of the creativity I find within that field. You can make people dream. That´s what beautiful in architecture in general: It makes you dream.

ID-WAD´s design, Hotel Particulier in Paris

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

ID-WAD´s design, Duval finance group project

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

What has been your way to success?

I was born in Limoges, where I also studied at the local art school after my regular school time. Then I moved to Paris in 1997 and started studying at the AFA School to improve my drawing skills… and finely I entered Camondo from where I graduated in 2003.

I started working when I was quite young: 19 years old. I worked on a small commission in graphic design. And as 21 years old I gained my first professional experience in an architectural firm. As 22 years old I created my own company though I was still studying…. 5 years later (in 2007) I created my architect company called “ID-WAD: We Are Different” and that is where I work today.

I see a lot of architects trying to put their footprints and brand on everything they do… Where we are focusing on understanding, interpreting and translating what people we work for like. And people like that.

Since I developed ID-WAD in 2007 we have had 210 projects internationally.

I think the keywords for creating success are:

–       Ambition

–       Honesty: towards the clients, Intellectually and in your work

–       To love cultural challenges

–       And to have a team of people from different cultures.

 ID-WAD´s design, Luxury apartment

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

ID-WAD´s design, Another Luxury apartment

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

On your way to success what have been your highest peak?

When we worked on the biggest shopping center in Russia: Volgograd! But in general I always get the feeling of excitation and adrenaline whenever I start a new project. It is like a drogue to me. I simply just love to take all the small ideas and translate them into something concrete: first to myself and then to the client.

ID-WAD´s design, Luxury apartments in Moscow

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

Which difficulties have you had to overcome on your way?

When you owe a company and have to manage a team of 25 people, it is no longer just about architecture, it is also about managing your team. If for some reason a client don´t pay me it can be difficult to pay the team as I am supposed to. So that can be very tough humanly. Otherwise it´s good.

What is your biggest dream today?

To continue to succeed and end up having a super creative company that expands to 10-15 countries.

ID-WAD´s design, Sofitel Hotel in Algeria

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

Where do you find inspiration to design?

I read a lot of luxury magazines and books. I travel a lot: “the world has no limits”. I also find a lot of pleasure in the nature and at exhibitions etc.

ID-WAD´s design, House in Biot, Provence in France

Interview with interior designer Raphaël Bouchemousse

Which are the elements you need to think in / add when you are creating a luxurious interieur design?”
A luxurious interior is like a taylored-made costume: it needs to fit as a second skin to the owner. The real challenge is how to manage to create the costume that will be the perfect interface between the space and the people inside the space.

Are there some codes to design something that is perceived as luxe?

Of course we can say that there are some codes in witch you can recognise luxe, the most obvious beeing gold witch is universal. But depending on the culture and the history the luxe can be recognised in color, motiv, decor… depending on the region of the globe you are working.

What is it in Paris?

In Paris… A Hausmannian Interior with nice decor, molding and gold. This is what, according to me, would be universally recognised as luxury by everyone.

ID WAD´s design, Skalia

ID WAD designWhat is luxury to you?

Time: It is something you cannot buy or invent. And one day the time will run out for all of us – so it is a luxury to have time and to profit the maximum while we still have it!

Luxury is something exceptional: something magnificent: like music or art. But to me luxury is neither about money nor gold!

I was thinking: Luxury is an interesting phenomenon! While talking to people within the luxury / fashion world I realize that most of them gives me the same answer when I ask them about what luxury is to them: “Time” they say! Somehow a pattern is showing itself: Luxury is the rare! Luxury is what we don´t have much of! For those who have loads of LV or Chanel bags luxury is probably something else… while those who have all the material things seems to talk about luxury as: time or being with the family!

How do you perceive the world of luxury? I asked

I see the world of luxury as artificial: Where things are already great in themselves but still we want to add things that are not necessary to them.

 Also I think there is a difference between real luxury and the false. A real luxurious life is a life of pleasure and health. Whereas the false is people who want to live the luxurious life without having the capacity.

I consider luxury as horizontal: People living a luxurious life somehow recognize each other on their way of acting, on their values and on their level of culture…

Where is your favorite luxurious place in Paris?

I like Palais Royal: It´s a small place surrounded by culture, architecture and great places to dine, run and reflect. There I can somehow recharge my batteries. 

Otherwise I am a huge fan of nature in general and places I haven´t seen before.

 What would a day in extreme luxury be like to you?

I would go to an amazing, comfortable and beautiful hotel close to the sea… and wake up in a comfortable bed with a magnificent sun… and then I would stay and enjoy it all day long! 

What do you do in your spare time?

I see my friends and enjoy the beautiful places and things.

If you could give an advise for people who want to work as an architect within the world of luxury, what would it be?

Follow your passions and never listen to those who tell you otherwise – life is too short!

Interview with interior designer Raphaël BouchemousseRight now he is working on a huge luxurious shopping center in China that has a prospect of 184 new potential clients once the project is done. So you can look forward to see ID-WAD´s design everywhere.

ID-WAD´s design          From Raphaël Bouchemousse

“Life should be a symphony” – Raphaël Bouchemousse.