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Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athènes Project

Bringing a vision of luxury to a grand 19th century apartment

Jon Sharpe By Jon SharpeChief Creative Officer

Unreservedly chic is the calling card of Paris interior architecture firm Champeau & Wilde and this highly regarded renovation of a 19th century Parisian apartment is case in point.

Set in an area known as ‘Nouvelle Athènes’ in Paris’ 9th arrondissement—a district synonymous with Haussmanian-style buildings—the property thankfully attained astute new owners who identified the potential of its spacious, bright and detail-laden spaces.

To enable it to realise its design destiny, they instructed Champeau & Wilde to take the reigns on what would be their debut project. See just what they did so that it could soar (higher than those beautifully high ceilings).

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Entryway Hallway - LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #1: Entrance Hall

At the heart of the renovation lay two central elements—the complete restoration of the double séjour (French speak for those swoon-worthy large living room-cum-dining rooms) and the housing of the couple’s impressive collection of contemporary artworks.

The latter is immediately explored in the entrance hall with a 2006 Anselm Reyle mixed-media piece hanging proudly. The monochromatic colour palette used throughout the hall reinforces its innate dynamism.

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Living Room - LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #2: Living Room

It surely never gets old to walk through to the apartment's pièce de résistance—the grand séjour made up of two interconnecting Modernist-style salons. Both sitting rooms were taken back to basics with rewiring and restoring of the ornate mouldings taking priority.

The first living room’s anchor is its gilded 2008 Patrick Hill Sculpture mirror, which is mirrored on the end wall of the adjoining sitting room—points for glamorous symmetry. Other key pieces in the room include the Arnand Albert Rateau daybed along with the Jean Michel Frank armchair and 1960s Danish couch.

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Second Living Room - LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #3: Second Living Room

It’s assumed that one of the two salons would have originally been a music room while the other served as a classic sitting area. The restoration focused purely on making both living rooms places of comfort and artistic contemplation.

The second has, however, a slightly more intimate, low-key feel. A 1950s curved sofa—which Champeau & Wilde had recovered in dove grey mohair-cotton—wraps around the central lozenge-shaped purple table by Mattia Bonetti.

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Dining Room - LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #4: Dining Room

All eyes are on the artwork again in the dining area. While the white-lacquered, eight-seater dining table by Herve Van der Straeten and soft-yet-sculptural Robert Lemariey chandelier above it command attention, it’s the series of gloss black Gilbert & George photo work that arrests most of all.

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Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #5: Home Office

Now for a change of pace. Less of the black and white monochrome colour scheme and more of a natural monochrome one thanks to the warming tones of the office's natural woods.

This was the first space where Champeau & Wilde would subtly instruct the owners in how to use and appreciate well-applied colour. The combination of amber meets buttery caramel in the Christian Liaigre desk and chair is repeated throughout the room in the fitted bookcase and Frere Borelik overhead lamp. Small but daring expressions of colour are seen in the neon shelf objets.

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Kitchen - LuxDeco Style Guide

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View #6: Kitchen

Championing more of the shades seen in the study, the kitchen is the space that mixes the strong presence of black found in the hallway and sitting rooms with the home office’s timber tones.

The designers selected custom-made walnut panelling for the cabinets and island, and kept the original parquet flooring seen in the séjour which has been stained throughout in gunmetal grey. Recessed strip lighting in the ceiling furthers the kitchen’s warm glow, as do the grouping of Tom Dixon pendant lights. The small kitchen table and velvet-upholstered chairs are by Knoll though the island stools are Mater Design.

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Bedroom - LuxDeco Style Guide

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #7: Master Bedroom

Repurposing the former butler’s pantry, both the master bedroom and ensuite are bathed in natural light. It’s in here that you experience the first intense hit of blue, thanks to the Wolfgang Tillmans photograph. Otherwise, the black and white colour coupling is warmed up with off-white walls, notes of cream in yet more pieces by Robert Lemariey (the bedside tables), a bespoke headboard and Galerie Chahan bench, and threads of grey in the linen rug that’s based on a David Hicks geometric design.

Discover Champeau & Wilde's Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - Master Bathroom - LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde

View #8: Master Bathroom

Decidedly 1930s in influence, the Carrara marble bathroom is a celebration of strong, straight lines. The miraculously suspended cabinet with sunken sink is custom-made from solid marble which only adds to the strength of the design narrative—metaphorically and quite literally.

About Champeau & Wilde - New Nouvelle Athenes Project in Paris - LuxDeco.com

Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde


About Champeau & Wilde

With born-and-bred Parisian Laurent Champeau specialising in interior design and business partner Seattle-raised Kelli Wilde leading on the decoration aspect to their projects, it’s this finely tuned balance that has lead to Champeau & Wilde becoming well-established as a fully-integrated design powerhouse.

Masters of space and flow, colour and texture, art and accessories and custom-made furniture, the duo blend contemporary and classical references to create homes that are as energising and inspirational and they are relatable and liveable.

Header Image Credit: Champeau & Wilde