The designers behind the French and the French have begun to build a house from scratch

When Matt and Heather French decided to build their own house, neither of them knew it would end in a double career change. “We got stronger during the process, which is quite unusual, so I knew we were doing something,” says Heather. Once the project was completed, Matt (a trained electrical contractor) and Heather (a natural health professional) founded French & French. Real estate property

They are deeply influenced by the adobe aesthetic of their hometown, Santa Fe, which manifests itself in colorful and popular-inspired interiors, and recently launched a lighting line, which they sell in their own store. “We would never have guessed that this is what we would be doing,” says Matt, “but we love it.”

Looking ahead, Matt hopes to dive deeper into the production Side: “I have a lot to learn and I love the challenge and enthusiasm of finding something,” he says. “I love rolling up my sleeves,” while Heather manages design projects, including a hotel on the horizon.

Get to know French and French

It was a favorite design: the era of modernism of the 1930s in Santa Fe. There was so much value and glamor. I imagine people like Mabel Dodge Luhan entertaining Georgia O’Keefe, DH Lawrence, Ansel Adams and inspired. The color saturation and combinations were so brave and bold, right next to the brown adobe architecture, white clay walls, Acoma ceramics and Navajo carpets. Pure soul! -Heather

What you like best to collect: folk art (Heather), records, belt buckles, pocket knives (Matt).

  • Favorite room of all time: the room of Millicent Rogers (Heather), the pantry of Michelle Nussbaumer (Matt).
  • Favorite artist or work of art: Mose T (Heather), Walter Anderson’s hut with murals on each surface (Matt).
  • First crush on the design: Josef Frank (Heather).
  • Current design: Beata Heuman (Heather).

The best design advice: once we heard Bunny Williams speak and something he said was really recorded: “You can lose a long-term customer because of a lamp shade.” It was in reference to project management and the monitoring of every detail. -Matt