In most cases, stumbling upon a space left to deteriorate for 60 years is just another dead end in the drudgery of finding a home. However, for a couple, the discovery of a Parisian apartment in poor condition was rather enticing. Why? The property not only overlooks the Jardin des Tuileries, one of the most beautiful public gardens in Europe, but the Eiffel Tower is also visible from the apartment.
To refresh the dilapidated 250 m² apartment, the buyers quickly hired Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet after taking possession. “We really had to renovate everything, in addition to reworking the floor plan,” says Humbert. Since the owners like to cook, the kitchen was moved from the back of the apartment, where it felt hidden, to the center. Now the kitchen sits just beyond the vestibule, with alpine green Carrara marble serving as the reception area for guests. A ten-seater dining table has been custom-made for the dining room and an enormous De Sede sofa serves as the centerpiece of the living room, making their passion for hospitality all the more enjoyable.
The house not only houses its owners, but also their outstanding art collection. Works by Christopher Wool, George Condo, Kelley Walker and Stefan Brüggemann serve as the basis for the interior design. With such impressive pieces, Humbert & Poyet had to deliberately incorporate sculptures and paintings into the rest of the décor to make the house feel like a warm living environment and not an impersonal museum.
The Parisian duo relied primarily on bespoke pieces by Humbert & Poyet for the furnishings, adding elements from their own collection, vintage elements and pieces from other designers including Emmanuelle Simon, BassamFellows, Pierre Paulin and Kelly Wearstler. filled the apartment with just our furniture. We didn’t want it to be a Humbert & Poyet showroom, but rather a house.
Tactility is central to Humbert & Poyet’s aesthetic – hardly any other team manages to combine a variety of materials and surfaces so easily. In this Parisian apartment, their color palette is restrained as usual, but the designers play within this limited palette with bright shades of sand, cream, brown and gray. Each element invites touch: the Tatzelwurm leather sofa by De Sede, the cool Carrara slab of the kitchen island, the bronze cupboard door handles and the walnut wall panels. “The owner of the house was very involved in the design process,” says Humbert. This was not a project where buyers simply moved into a finished home – designers and clients even traveled to Carrara together to select marble for the space. “We share a great love for stones. Everyone must be exceptional.
Parquet has an equally inviting texture. You might think it’s old Versailles parquet, but the designers have only imitated the weathered effect. “We really couldn’t salvage anything here, so we gave the floor new life with an antique look.” And that’s not cheating, it’s an illustration of Humbert and Poyet’s attention to detail.