As a decorator, Agnes Comar has strong ideas: contemporary taste’ is, she suggests, all about authentic materials and a dash of spirituality’. I am,’ she explains, very urban and sophisticated, but for me the most beautiful things are natural textures. Although I sometimes feel drawn to use some strong colour, especially in city projects, the effect I really love involves the combination of the various neutral colours that come about from the use of old stone and tiles, linens, raw silks and other simple materials.’ Realizing that a decorator’s own house or apartment will always be perceived as a sort of showcase of what they can do, Agnes has a constant urge to move on to new places and create new looks, or otherwise to keep playing with her interiors. As a result, she works out that, over the years she has taken on a new house or apartment about once every four years. Her previous homes have been in various parts of the city, sometimes very close to the centre, sometimes further out in the leafy suburbs. DINING TABLE FOR NARROW ROOM For a while she became chatelaine of the grand house in which Louise de Vilmorin had lived in the Fifties. Ultimately though, its very formal period rooms, filled with the remains of a favourite blue chintz chosen by Andre Malraux, began to pall and the lure of inner-city life reasserted itself. Agnes’s present apartment is to be found just off the Boulevard St Germain. Lying at the bustling heart of the smart Left Bank, it admirably fulfils her longing for chic urban living. But at the same time it offers the charms, so rare in central Paris, of a small private garden, the pleasures of good eighteenth-century architectural details and the all important feel of authentic materials, such as floors of old stone tiles and mellow parquet.