Renowned French furniture house Pierre Frey has a passion for both classic and modern pieces and the family’s apartment in the opulent Palais Royal district in Paris is a beautiful reflection of this.
“This neighbourhood has always meant a lot to me,” says Pierre Frey, communication director of the reputable textile and furnishings empire of the same name. “I’ve lived in the area since I was 20 years old and this is actually the same building which my grandfather used to store his fabrics in when he was first starting out. My brother Vincent and his family live just downstairs, so it really feels like home. This apartment has a similar feel to my New York home. They are both very loft-like with big windows and an open floor plan. This neighbourhood is also like New York in that it’s very busy, and not strictly residential.”
The three-bedroom apartment was completely gutted and is now a total transformation of what it was previously. It comes with an enormous living space and has a spacious open-plan living layout, fitted with customised home accessories and decor from lamp designers such as Marine Breynaert, Charles Paris and Hubert Le Gall who designed the gorgeous mirror in the dining room.
The family home has a timeless appeal, but also comes with unique contemporary fixtures as well as beautiful fabric textures, colour and graphic prints that enhance the soft grey tones of the space. Prestigious brands such as Declercq were used for the fine textile trimmings, while linens and pillows were selected from Yves Delorme. Each furniture piece was carefully chosen by Pierre from his favourite Pierre Frey collections.
One of the most original features of the home’s design is the striking gold-finished, pipe-inspired lights seen in the kitchen, dining room and bedroom. “The architect, Marika Dru, and I loved an installation that we saw last year in an art gallery in Paris,” explains Pierre. “It was a pipe coming from the ceiling for a kitchen sink. She was inspired by it and I loved the idea.”
The home was purchased in 2011 by chance, Pierre says. “My brother Vincent lives in the apartment just below this one, and he noticed a leak one morning and ran upstairs to alert the tenant. He discovered that the owner was preparing to sell it after living much of her life there. She had actually known my grandfather! We knew this was an opportunity we had to take and realised that we could renovate in time to use it as a place to entertain our guests during Paris Déco Off.”
Within seven months the interior design fit out of the home was complete and, according to Pierre, it wasn’t a difficult task. “There is very little challenge when you love the products you use and the work you are doing. I wanted a completely different atmosphere and identity in each room, so everything was designed at the same time.”
Pierre’s favourite room in the apartment is the little boudoir at the back, just off the bedroom. “It’s the perfect TV or reading room and we used a lot of colour to make it rich and cosy,” he says. A warm, sophisticated ambience is also achieved with photographs by Ambroise Tezenas, abstract paintings by Dean Tavoularis and ceramics from Studio Buffile. For the walls, paint from Parisian designer Sarah Lavoine’s collection was used, the bathroom furniture is from Devon & Devon, the parquet flooring was designed by Feau Boiseries and all of the tube fixtures were made by MKD Design.
The balance of traditional and contemporary furniture is effortlessly achieved and every detail, from the fabric selection to the unique lighting fixtures, was also selected by Pierre. “The decor really epitomises the spirit of the company,” he says, “I selected fabrics and wallpapers from our latest collections and chose modern artwork, lighting fixtures and accessories to complement each room.”
None of the 2012 decor trends were incorporated into this interior, since Pierre doesn’t believe that there has been a dominant over-riding trend in interior design in the last year, or indeed for the last 20 years. “This home reflects a mix of inspirations, from classic to modern, art deco, minimalist and baroque,” he says.