Across the channel, to one of the design capitals of the world, and inside the unreservedly chic home of a key figure in the French art scene – this is where interior architecture and decoration firm, Champeau & Wilde takes you with its highly regarded renovation of a 19th century Parisian apartment. Set in an area known as ‘Nouvelle Athènes’, or New Athens in Paris’ 9th arrondissement – a district synonymous with Haussmanian-style buildings – the new owners identified the potential of this spacious, bright and detail-laden property. 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)…
View #1: Entrance Hall
At the heart of the renovation lay two central elements – the complete restoration of the double séjour and the housing of the couple’s impressive collection of contemporary artworks. In the entrance hall, the latter is immediately explored with the 2006 Anselm Reyle mixed-media piece hung proudly. The monochromatic colour palette used throughout the hall reinforces its innate dynamism.
View #2: Living Room
It surely never gets old to walk through to the apartments 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 in fact mirrored on the end wall of the adjoining sitting room – points for glamorous symmetry. Other key pieces in the room include various pieces of upholstery, such as the Arnand Albert Rateau daybed along with the Jean Michel Frank armchair and 1960s Danish couch.
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 with the main 1950s curved sofa which Champeau & Wilde had recovered in dove grey mohair-cotton wrapping around the central lozenge-shaped purple table by Mattia Bonetti located at its Paris representative, Galerie Creo.
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.
View #5: Home Office
Now for a change of pace. Less of the monochrome colour scheme and more of the warming tones that come from natural wood. This was the first space where Champeau & Wilde would gradually re-introduce the owners to 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, such as in the fitted bookcase and Frere Borelik overhead lamp. But other expressions of colour are also seen in the neon shelf objets and the grey-green Guyton/Walker print.
View #6: Kitchen
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.
View #7: Master Bedroom
The former butler’s pantry, both 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), bespoke headboard and Galerie Chahan bench, and threads of grey in the linen rug by Belgium that’s based on a David Hicks geometric design.
View #8: Master Bathroom
Decidedly 1930s in influence, the Carrara marble bathroom is a celebration of strong, straight lines. The miraculously suspended cabinet with a 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
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.