The founder and director of Light On White discusses the changing cityscape of Miami, finding inspiration in nature and why choosing bespoke is a true luxury.
Born in France, raised between Paris and London, and with a business based in Miami, Alizee Brion is someone with well-travelled tastes. Fuelled by the forces of culture, art and nature, she is also someone who can connect form, space, light, colour and texture into something that’s as esthetically interesting as it is dynamic, be that a breathtaking residence overlooking the bay or a luxury yacht interior. Her company, Light On White, is an architecture and design studio that specializes in luxury residential projects. She launched it in London, in 2016. “Natural light is the most important part of any space because it’s what changes it, dramatically and dynamically. It can make or break a space,” Brion says, talking about where the name for the studio came from. “There’s also that second layer in that the white is the paper or blank page of any project, and the light is the idea you bring to that blank page.”
While the business itself only launched three years ago, it’s seen her secure clients all over the world, from the sun-drenched south of France and Italy to London, New York and beyond. A year after its launch, Brion decided to move the studio’s base to Miami. “Miami is experiencing a major cultural evolution,” she shares. “It’s evolving so much not just in the sheer number of new developments, but also in terms of people’s tastes and openness to design. I also love that it’s an urban environment that’s so interwoven in nature, with the proximity to the ocean and the lush tropical landscape.”
As a brand, Light On White also thrives on Brion’s background in both interiors and architecture, and being able to effortlessly fuse the two. “More often than not, the interior comes after the architecture as another layer that gets added to a project,” she explains. “I think there’s inherently a disconnect with that approach because a lot of the things we need to make interiors beautiful need to be considered at the time of the architecture. That’s what I’m trying to encourage. I think the two should speak with each other.”
It’s this attention to detail that’s seen Light On White separate itself from the crowd. As a designer, she makes a conscious effort to stay away from trends like Pantone’s Color of the Year in favour of making her work more timeless. She urges her clients to go personal when making a house a home, and advises them to “buy for quality, not just to fill a void. It’s better to have nothing in a room than something you’re not in love with.”
She also enjoys integrating bespoke pieces into her projects where she can. “Making bespoke pieces is a really important part of our work. True luxury is having something custom-made for you by someone who’s talented, rather than having to look for something that fits,” she says. “We have so many people we work with who can make pretty much anything, so why not take advantage of it if the client and budget allow? We worked with a French rap artist who has his own line of streetwear clothing. He has this collection of sneakers, so we created this custom closet for him with glass shelves and multicoloured LED lights that change colour depending on his mood.” As well as being a designer inspired by the possibility of bespoke design, Brion is an individual particularly in tune with the impact of travel.
“THE DESIGN WORLD IS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL INDUSTRIES IN THE WORLD”
“Travel and nature are my biggest and constant sources of inspiration,” she says. “I love to travel to remote places and learn from other cultures and environments. Recently, my husband and I visited the Namib desert. The colours and sheer scale of the landscape are just breathtaking, and I came back obsessed with the colour palette of warm blush tones and golden hues that characterized the sunrises and sunsets of the sand dunes.”
It’s this sort of trip that is currently inspiring Objet, a signature line of furniture designed by Brion herself.
“The furniture line came into existence over dinner with my husband, who’s currently designing jewelry. We were marvelling at how easily things can translate from one medium to another. It was borne out of that idea, and the forms and shapes we like and think are original.” The collection, which will be made up of five to 10 pieces, is set for release in the near future.
“The design world is one of the most influential industries in the world,” she continues. “Whether you follow it or not, you are always in one way or another impacted by the spaces that surround you. Style is intuitive and, in my experience, has a lot to do with confidence. It’s as much defined by the small decisions as the big ones. The way you arrange a set of cushions, or the bold combination of materials.”