This monochromatic Parisian apartment brings new meaning to the idea that your home should be your oasis. Decked in various shades of the same custom gray hue dubbed “craie,” is gorgeously soothing, sophisticated and full of fluidity and detail. This balance of making a modern space look cozy and inviting has been on the top of our must-master list for a long time. So when we got the chance to pick the designer, Guillaume Alan’s brain about transforming this apartment into a work of art – poetry even – we jumped on it. There are some great pointers in our interview, so get ready to take notes!
About The Space
For this particular project, it was really a meeting between the uniqueness and perfection of the homeowners and of the place and me, both trying to reach excellence while sharing a common passion for Asia. Two apartments were joined together and we did a complete renovation of the space to follow the light and sun during the day. Everything has been designed with a calm and relaxing [mood in mind] according to the owners’ needs.
Purity is a way of life. I think this is exactly what this project embodies. This space can be summed up in three words: luxurious, calm and poetic. It has a feeling of great simplicity and absolute purity. It’s austere yet there is no coldness, as we know how to add softness with a discreet range of tones and monochromatic shades. The architecture, as well as the decor, gives birth to a calm, pure space where luxury and rigor coexist without being ostentatious.
His Favorite Element
I think [my favorite piece is] the Tamon ensemble. It’s a long dining table that has a monastic and very pure aspect about it and you can see that from several points of view. I was inspired by calligraphy drawings, so we started from a calligraphy piece – drawings with a fine brush that are very gentle and convey movement – and actually incorporated it by cutting it into the material. The result was that we managed to give this specific piece a nobility that is both vibrant and sophisticated though the use of the calligraphy, through the proportions of the table and through the mat satin finish.
On Monochromatic Decor
The tone in the whole space is a very light grey, we call “craie”, our very own bespoke color, which is represented in the entire apartment on different materials and textures (walls, ash wood, corian, silk curtains, wool, pattern fabric in wool and silk, linen rugs). It gives a very harmonious feeling to the space and a certain depth as each surface captures the light differently.
For example, the way the very “crunchy” curtains in silk capture the light creates a beautiful contrast in texture with the very modern Corian material of the dining table. The silk curtains are totally bespoke, handmade by a parisian seamstress who follows the same rules as Haute Couture manufacturing.
Remember 5 words:
Timeless: I am very attached to the tradition of French classicism, but I am trying to rewrite it using pure lines. When I launched my first collection, it was 18th century architecture and furniture with a 21st century style. I choose this aesthetic because I know it will never go out of style, it’s timeless.
Serenity: In a very quick world and when lives are very busy, it is so important to have havens of peace that are calming and pure. Think soft monochrome color palettes and degraded shades.
Elegance: This is fundamental to a beautiful home or apartment. I use it in all aspects of the design process: in lighting, in materials, in shapes, in colors. When decorating your home, always have elegance as your main focus.
Precision: Although in many ways simplicity is very hard to achieve, precise simplicity is what makes a stunning interior. Perfect and simple lines executed with precision. Incorporating hard-to-find pieces and working hand in hand with the most advanced craftsmen to select the wood and perfect finishes all tie back to a passion of precision.
Poetry: Just because forms are pure and structured and austere, doesn’t mean a space has to feel cold. It’s always about balance, alchemy. Try to bring softness and poetry in to arouse emotions. I think this is this stamp of our work and interiors.
So what do you think?? So good, right?! We’re literally keeping bits of Guillaume’s interview in plain view as daily decorating reminders. The idea that elegance should be a main focus in design really resonated with us. Personal style evolves and after going through more room facelifts that one wants to admit, I’ve noticed that the pieces that I keep all have a special and timeless quality to them. And while it can be really difficult to execute, curating with the precision Guillaume talks about is something we all could be more aware of when choosing a new piece for a space. It sure would save a lot of money over the years and help to create the oasis we’re all looking to come home to!
images c/o Guillaume Alan