Drawings by Xavier Spatafora add character to the home
Drawings by Xavier Spatafora add character to the home

Real interior: A French tryst


Sophistication and style mesh with hints of subtlety in this Saint-Germain-des-Prés apartment, masterminded by one of the world’s leading interior architects

Renowned designer Gérard Faivre has put his magic touch on an apartment located in the picturesque Paris district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The area has been a haunt for intellectuals, actors and musicians since the 17th century and exudes a historic air of culture and beauty.

This 130m² two-bedroom apartment occupies the third floor of an 18th century building, complete with an elevator and unobstructed views of the Saint-Sulpice church. It is in the centre of Paris’ cultural hub,

An earthy accent is introduced with a lattice bookshelf crafted from sycamore wood conjured up by the interior designer himself.
where famous cafés and restaurants dot the streets alongside designer boutiques.

With inspired nods to the 1940s, Gérard reworked the apartment to ultimately combine luxe interiors with modern comforts. A monochrome colour scheme was deliberately selected to showcase the materials within the apartment including Carrara marble, Thala stone, hints of leather and brass along with furniture crafted by design icons such as Giò Ponti, Franco Albini and Méret Oppenheim.

Drawings penned by Xavier Spatafora pay tribute to French writer and designer Jean Cocteau. Adorning the walls of the entrance, the artist’s work is also present on a stark white wall in the second bedroom. The black-and-white flooring of the entrance was recreated to the stylistic codes of the 17th century, consisting of a mixture of aged beige stone and black cabochon stone by Palatino.

In contrast with the airy nature of the entrance, the dining room’s moody palette is lit by floor-to-ceiling windows framed by pale grey curtains from Ateliers Caffins. Hints of gold are introduced to the space in the form of brass light switches along with a side table by Méret Oppenheim. An ethanol fireplace acts as the centrepiece of the room, decorated by an original mirror and Leleu and Baccarat candle holders sourced from French antique store Trouvaille Antic.

The flooring of the entrance is continued in the kitchen, almost mirroring the ceramic wall between the counter and cabinets that contrast against the black colour scheme of the Boffi Paris kitchen. For an extra Parisian touch, the ever-important Enomatic wine fridge conserves bottles of wine that can conveniently be served by the glass — how very French, indeed.

The first bedroom of the apartment is a cocoon of light and natural textures. The white leather bedhead designed by Roberto Lazzeroni for Poltrona Frau blends with the neutral space. Two crystal lamps sourced from antique store Giraud Art Déco add a touch of glamour to an otherwise organic and natural room.

Continuing the earthy feel of the first bedroom, the second features an in-built bookcase and fireplace along with black vinyl wallpaper from Elitis. The moody theme is present in the black leather bedhead and dark purple vases that adorn the fireplace.

Reflecting the neutral and airy colour palette of the first bedroom, the flooring of bathroom one features white Carrara marble combined with black Italian Marquina marble. Towels and a bathrobe stamped with Gérard’s logo offer a personal touch from the designer.

A cast-iron bathtub with polished aluminium feet is the statement piece of the second bathroom. Matching the colour palette of its bedroom, the dark marble floor gleams as the sunlight from the window shines through.

Both dressing rooms are a thoughtful highlight of the structure. Sliding doors in woven Japanese paper were specifically created for Gérard, who also designed the black wardrobes brimming with shelves and hanging space.

It is evident each piece in this residence has been carefully curated to reflect the delicate design aesthetic present throughout the apartment — a capsule of modern Parisian style combined with an essence of the ’40s.

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Photography by Francis Amiand