A sweeping duplex in a building by the legendary Baron Haussmann was overhauled by Christophe Tollemer. In designing this cozy yet luxurious cocoon, the architect enjoyed remarkable creative freedom.
The challenge was to root the apartment in a past it never really knew, to impart a look of yesteryear. That comes through in the perfectly preserved crown molding and nineteenth century-inspired tiles in the master bath and kitchen. Although the apartment plays with many boundaries, it never loses its Haussmannian feel.
With its contemporary takes on design codes of the past, the apartment brings to mind French high fashion and the splendor of the city of light. It’s all about taking tradition to the next level, reinvesting it with natural finesse.
The white, grey and black color scheme is of an understated elegance that is restful for the eye. It also pays tribute to classical notions of beauty, in which contrasts spring from absolutes rather than fad.
Royal blue accents against the engraving-like backdrop create a dreamy sitting area, watched over by two sentinel bookcases.
Poetry also shines through at the entrance, where a sprinkling of porcelain flowers and dragonflies take wing on the wall. The gracious interior, worthy of an Enlightenment salon, draws from the best of many eras.
Childhood is rarely interpreted so delicately. The candid treatment that lights up the children’s room subtracts nothing from the splendid décor. Rather, it enhances it. The hummingbird wallpaper, blush pink curtains echoed in the upholstery, and children’s footsteps frozen in time on the carpet all reflect an elusive innocence and simplicity.