In most circumstances, stumbling across a space that’s been left to deteriorate for 60 years is just another dead end in the slog of house hunting. Yet for one couple, the discovery of a worse for wear Paris apartment was rather enticing. Why? The property not only overlooks the Jardin des Tuileries, one of Europe’s most beautiful public gardens, but the Eiffel Tower is visible from the apartment, too.
To refresh the dilapidated 2,700-square-foot apartment, the buyers promptly hired Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet after taking ownership. “We really had to renovate everything, along with reworking the floor plan,” says Humbert. Since the homeowners like to cook, the kitchen was moved from the back of the apartment, where it felt hidden away, to the center. Now the kitchen sits just beyond the vestibule, with an alpine-green Carrara marble serving as a reception area for guests. A ten seat dining table was custom-made for the dining room and a massive De Sede sofa serves as the centerpiece of the living room, making their passion for hosting all the more pleasurable.
The home shelters not just its owners, but their exceptional art collection, too. Works by Christopher Wool, George Condo, Kelley Walker, and Stefan Brüggemann serve as the foundation for the interior design. With such impressive pieces, Humbert & Poyet had to deliberately integrate sculptures and paintings with the rest of the decor to ensure that the home feels like a warm living environment, not an impersonal museum.
The Parisian duo mainly relied on pieces custom-made by Humbert & Poyet for the furnishings, adding items from their own collection, vintage items, and pieces by other designers including Emmanuelle Simon, BassamFellows, Pierre Paulin, and Kelly Wearstler.“We could have filled the apartment with just our furniture. We didn’t want it to be a Humbert & Poyet showroom, but rather a home.”
Tactility is at the center of Humbert & Poyet’s aesthetic—hardly any other team manages to combine a variety of materials and surfaces so effortlessly. In this Paris apartment, their color palette is restrained as usual, but the designers play within this limited palette with lustrous shades of sand, cream, brown, and gray. Every element invites touch: the leather Tatzelwurm sofa by De Sede, the cool Carrara slab of the kitchen island, the bronze closet 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 in which buyers simply moved into a finished home—the designers and clients even travelled to Carrara together to select marble for the space. “We share a great love for stones. Every single one has to be exceptional.”
The parquet floor has a similarly inviting texture. One might assume it’s old Versailles parquet, but the designers merely imitated the patinated effect. “We really couldn’t salvage anything here, so we gave the floor a new lease on life with an antique look.” And that’s not cheating—it’s an illustration of Humbert and Poyet’s signature attention to detail.