We’re crushing on Paris’s newest vintage standout, Sunny


Coup de coeur

By Anna Carnick

Paris’s fashionable Marais neighborhood is known for its eclectic, oh-so-hip mix of boutiques, galleries, and nightlife. It makes perfect sense, then, that when Xavier Poggi decided to launch his own vintage design destination in the spring of 2018, he chose to set up shop amid the area’s charming, cobblestone streets.

Sunny is an apt name for the decidedly funky yet friendly space. The collection—a mix of furniture, lighting, and accessories from multiple eras, by both famed and lesser-known designers—is marked by a playful, chic spirit. Or, as Poggi puts it, pieces fit for a “lifestyle that’s both sunny and elegant."

And Sunny isn’t Poggi’s only recent standout design project. The design lover sat down with us to speak both about his new boutique and his freshly renovated, rustically chic home in Boulogne-Billancourt, achieved in coordination with esteemed architectural firm Lecoadic–Scotto. Together, these projects reveal not only Poggi’s passion for design but also a lovely guiding curatorial principle: Surround yourself with design that moves you, with pieces that make your heart flutter. Because when you do, the results, as evidenced here, will be as vibrant as the personality behind them.

 

AC: What motivated you to open your gallery?

XP: In 2018, after several years working as a business lead in design agencies specializing in luxury and premium brands, I decided to take the plunge and set up my own gallery presenting vintage furniture and décor along with a selection of contemporary accessories. I’ve always been passionate about style and liked to be in charge of the decoration of my family's houses and apartments.

AC: Why “Sunny?”

XP: First of all, it is the expression of an obvious fact: We all love the sun and the good mood it instantly brings! It also references the warm, welcoming environment that (I hope) marks the gallery. Finally, it is a selection of furniture and objects associated with a lifestyle that’s both sunny and elegant.

Inside the eclectic Sunny boutique Inside the eclectic Sunny boutique Image courtesy and © Sunny AC: For those less familiar, please describe what makes the Marais such a wonderful place.

XP: The Marais has several advantages that were important to me when I chose my location. It is a beautiful district from an architectural point of view, and it is lively and dynamic in terms of customers and surrounding shops. Additionally, it is busy every day of the week, which means that there is a lot of traffic. Plus the clientele—whether private individuals or professionals—is often passionate about design and therefore sensitive to my selection. And it should not be forgotten that there is a high proportion of tourists in the Marais, which brings international customers.

AC: What makes Sunny such a special gallery?

XP: The fact that Sunny is halfway between gallery and shop, offering a sharp selection of furniture and decorative objects—all expressions of a radiant, chic, contemporary aesthetic, and a cheerful and eclectic art of living (without obsessing over any one design period, style, or creator).

AC: How do you pick your pieces?

XP: I go hunting outside of Paris two to three times a month with the same goals in mind: Buy at a good price in order to offer reasonable selling prices. Assume a form of eclecticism; in other words, do not hesitate to mix style and period, known or unknown names, as long as the selected pieces match well with each other and always coincide with the chic et cool spirit of the gallery. To work as much as possible on the coup de coeur: I always buy furniture as if I were buying it for myself, because I’ve realized that it is the best way to talk with customers about it afterwards with passion and enthusiasm.

AC: What are some of the most exciting pieces presently on display at Sunny?

XP: An olive wood floor lamp made up of intertwining branches and an original raffia lampshade—a vintage piece dating from the ’50 or ’60s, unsigned but very spectacular in size, very decorative, and emblematic of the ‘Sunny style.’ Also a subtly patinated Havana leather and teak chair, certainly originating from Scandinavian but with a color and style that reminds me of Brazilian vintage furniture.

Inside Poggi's home in Boulogne-Billancourt Image courtesy and © Sunny AC: How do you hope people feel upon entering your design shop?

XP: If customers tell me they feel like they are entering a refined and colorful apartment, in which they immediately feel comfortable, then mission accomplished!

AC: What’s the best piece of design advice you give your customers?

XP: Enjoy yourself! A design purchase should satisfy a functional need of course, but it should also inspire passion or a real sense of desire. Ask yourself the question: Will you get tired of the coveted piece, or will it accompany you through future moves and new interior styles?

AC: And on to your residence: I understand Lecoadic–Scotto renovated the house and that you oversaw the interior decor. Please tell us a bit more about this special project.

XP: We moved into our new home in Boulogne-Billancourt in June 2017. It is a city house, but, in a way, secret and hidden, because to access it you have to cross several doors and corridors, the house being located in a largely wooded inner courtyard. It is a white house in a ’60s style; the space feels fluid and contemporary in a way though, thanks to the simplicity of the plans and some carefully chosen designer pieces. There’s also a rusticity, thanks in particular to an antique solid wood staircase, which is the backbone of the house, [among other] choices made to preserve or recreate certain old materials.

We are lucky enough to live 200 meters as the crow flies from Paris, so we combine the advantages of a quiet life in the very near suburbs with the family—we are on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne and the local shopkeepers are just a stone's throw away—with the professional needs and leisure opportunities associated with Parisian life.

AC: Do you have any prized design possessions on display in the house?

XP: Yes, and these are often pieces that I have had for several years: a Serge Mouille three-arm wall lamp, a George Nelson bench, a Pierre Paulin desk, a Bumling table lamp by Anders Pehrson… often gifts from my wife by the way!

AC: What’s your favorite room in your home?

XP: The entire ground floor, comprising the living room, dining area, and kitchen. It is vast, welcoming, warm, refined, and eclectic. In short, a condensed version of the general style of the house in one room only! 

Thank you, Xavier!

 

  • Text by

    • Anna Carnick

      Anna Carnick

      Anna is Pamono’s Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in several arts and culture publications, and she's edited over 20 books. Anna loves celebrating great artists, and seriously enjoys a good picnic.

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