Eric Brun-Sanglard : When feeling makes colour
This is the story of a man who has always had a taste for colour. A man whose heart and mind was always set racing by “burnt orange” (the Hermès one) and indigo blue. In both the figurative and the literal sense… A man with a crazy amount of talent, who knows how to blend colours as few are able to do, and create harmonies such that people feel good in the interiors he designs for them. An inspiring testimonial on colour!
This man is Eric Brun-Sanglard
The great colour specialist, Eric Brun-Sanglard, cannot see! It was suddenly going blind that confirmed his gift for being able to feel colours. “But how can he imagine them? How did he become aware of this special sensitivity?” All these questions can be summed up in one: “How does he manage to decorate interiors, without being able to even glimpse the colours that are the basis of his art?”
“Close your eyes to see better”
…that’s Eric Brun-Sanglard’s answer! To get beyond the preconceived ideas that sight encloses us in, this is, he believes, the only solution! Colour should be tasted blindly, like cooking. Forget your set ideas and categorical judgements… Sight limits us to a narrow world and, by losing it, Eric Brun-Sanglard has freed himself from it. So he says: “I was almost relieved when I went blind, because I was able to attain a kind of authenticity that had been hiding behind sight.”
What was his revelation? Colour provides sensations…
When he went blind from one day to the next, Eric Brun-Sanglard consulted a Chinese doctor who put plants in the palm of his hands to help him get better. He noticed that some gave him strength, while others did not. Hence his idea of transposing this way of working to the world of colours: “test” them, by touching them, and then “calibrate” them in order to create your own inner colour chart. Depending on what he felt when he came into contact with them – vibrations, hot or cold sensations – he was able to recompose a broad palette in his head. “I simply escaped from the visual world to a world of the senses”, he says. Since then, Eric Brun-Sanglard chooses colours for his customers’ interiors that bring them well-being and emotional security… While each person’s feeling about colours is as personal as his perception is, he also feels what others need.
“Look at it differently!”
That’s the watchword of this colour specialist! Eric Brun-Sanglard invites us to take a fresh look at everything around us. To experience the fact that colours are vitamins, which can sometimes have a positive impact on us. But “seeing things differently” is far more than that! “Each morning we can choose to wake up with the glass half empty or half full”, says Eric Brun-Sanglard. Coming from a man who went blind at the early age of 33, this is a powerful reminder! He adds: “My life is no longer my own: I am called on to witness, inspire and drive people to face their fears and surpass themselves”. This is why he has been travelling the world for years, sharing his experience in an honest, authentic and unabashed manner. “Everybody gets something from it, because each of us has a handicap!” he concludes. A lack of self-esteem, or a complex…
If you like colours, now’s the time to rediscover them: with your eyes closed, note the ones that do you good, and give you good vibes… And if you don’t feel good inside, it may be a question of colours!
“Rebuilding your inner house”
This is the title of Eric Brun-Sanglard’s next book, which will be published on January 23rd by Cherche-Midi. As outdoor furniture specialists, who also invest in your interior, we wanted to find out more about this.
“It is a book at the crossroads of decoration and personal development. Our house reveals so much about us… We even talk about the mirror effect of our environment! As the saying goes: show me your interior and I’ll tell you who you are… My second book, after Au-delà de ma nuit : témoignage d’un designer aveugle (Going beyond darkness: the testimony of a blind designer), looks at this link between environment and self-expression. And how you can improve your life by making your home more beautiful”.
Some secrets we picked up during this fascinating interview
What are your sources of inspiration?
My many travels, which I learn a lot from.
What’s your next getaway?
Sri Lanka and India this winter. I like to get away at this time of year!
And yet, ironically, Eric Brun-Sanglard is from Chamonix in the French Alps. But he prefers wide horizons, the sea, and the smells of heat, like those of California, which he loves so much, to the mountains, which he finds oppressive.
What’s your favourite colour in the Fermob colour chart?
I really like your Cactus, and I love your Capucine and Acapulco Blue!
What’s your favourite Fermob material?
I prefer textured metal, which I like the soft, grainy feel of, to the other, which is colder.