There’s no other time of day so delicate and deliberate as those first few hours, and so charged with the hope that one transformative tweak might change your life (or, at least, your workflow). As a counterpoint to the usual prescriptive take on mornings — and because we’re public and unapologetic snoops — we’re asking people about their real-life rituals, whether quiet or frenetic, sugar-free and yogic or caffeinated and productive. Or, in Peter’s case, all of the above.
On meeting Peter Simonsson and his wife and business partner Henriette, you’re struck by their healthful, impossibly glowing auras but also by how easygoing they both seem. The directors of The White Briefs split their time between their farmhouse studio in the south of Sweden and a light-filled apartment in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. When we visited Peter on a bright Paris morning last summer (windows to the balcony thrown open) he made us feel perfectly at ease, as if the rest of the world were at ease, too. We’ll take it.
Are you an early riser or a late sleeper? What’s the first thing you do when you get up?
This was a tricky question! I guess I’m really a later sleeper who gets up too early. The first things I do are stretching, a warm shower, and then emails in between cups of coffee.
Breakfast or no breakfast, coffee or tea? If yes, what do you have?
Breakfast and coffee. I’ll have everything from clean green drinks to croissants with jam, depending on my mood and on the weather!
What are your thoughts on morning yoga, running, or meditation?
All three can be great and revitalizing. I prefer yoga, running, and a few push-ups now and then.
Is your ideal morning work-focussed or leisurely/personal?
I am totally productive in the morning. I love my work so it’s both personal and professional at the same time, but for me the true leisure time is after 6pm.
Have your mornings changed since moving to Paris? Do you switch things up depending on whether you’re at home or travelling, in the city or in the country?
I guess mornings in Paris are a bit more time consuming — the logistics of crossing the city steals time, so I’d need to buy a Vespa or something to be more efficient. But I just realized that we have the same issue in the country, in Sweden — we need a car for everything. In the city though there’s always easy access to great food, and it’s easy to meet with people.
Do you have a favourite corner of your home or studio?
Easy: in front of the fireplace, both in Paris and in our studio farm in the south of Sweden. I also love the corner outside our home in Paris. There’s this passionate man named François — he comes every weekend to sell fresh oysters from Normandy in these beautiful, spartan wooden boxes. It’s so exotic for me, and a true favourite on the weekend.
What’s your favourite way to spend a morning in the city?
A petite déjeuener with friends, at a small restaurant called Frenchie at rue du Nil — an easy, perfect breakfast morning.
What are you reading right now?
L’etranger by Albert Camus, for the second time. Very appropriate today!