A PARISIAN PIED-A-TERRE

When not in Beirut, Le­banese in­te­rior de­signer Claude Mis­sir spends time with fam­ily in this very per­sonal, modernist haven in the heart of the French cap­i­tal.

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

Says Le­banese in­te­rior de­signer Claude Mis­sir: “The pur­pose is not to change the soul of the space I am work­ing on. I merely at­tempt to pre­serve and en­hance the out­stand­ing spirit of time­less ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors.”

Mis­sir stayed true to this com­mit­ment in his Parisian pied-a-terre lo­cated on the ul­tra-chic Av­enue Mon­taigne, in the 8th ar­rondisse­ment. Nes­tled in a beau­ti­ful Hauss­mann-style build­ing, the 145 sq m apart­ment has ev­ery­thing one could dream of in Paris. Charm and his­tory per­vade the in­te­rior spa­ces, while cul­ture and lux­ury are im­me­di­ately ac­ces­si­ble out­side, with the Champs-El­y­sees within easy reach.

Mis­sir spends much of his time in Beirut, where he founded his epony­mous stu­dio in 1998, but also en­joys be­ing in Paris with his wife and chil­dren, es­pe­cially dur­ing week­ends and hol­i­days, as well as for some busi­ness trips.

As the in­te­rior de­signer re­calls, it was far from easy to find the per­fect place. “We searched and viewed over 100 premises all around town,” he says. What made him fall in love with this par­tic­u­lar one? “The sun ori­en­ta­tion; the way nat­u­ral light prop­a­gates across the en­tire space, and the fact that the apart­ment is lo­cated in a cor­ner, on the fourth floor, which is a rar­ity in this par­tic­u­lar ar­rondisse­ment.”

In ad­di­tion to the lu­mi­nos­ity, the size of the space and its pro­por­tions also con­vinced him that it was truly ideal. “Com­pared to our other homes, this apart­ment brings out an air of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween all members of the fam­ily,” Mis­sir ex­plains. “Here, we are in closer prox­im­ity to one another, con­stantly min­gling with one another, and we love that.”

The in­te­rior de­signer also de­scribes the home as a space of free­dom. “It is a plea­sur­able home – a pearl in the city,” he adds.

An ad­mirer of French modernist de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects of the 1930s, Mis­sir nat­u­rally chose to re­flect his pas­sion through­out his Parisian home. His vi­sion of el­e­gant sim­plic­ity and so­phis­ti­cated min­i­mal­ism – com­bined with the fu­sion of mod­ern and vin­tage fur­nish­ings in neu­tral tones and con­tem­po­rary art­works in vivid colours – is mas­terly ex­e­cuted.

BOLD FORMS DOM­I­NATE THE LIV­ING AREA, AN­CHOR­ING THE LOOK OF THE EN­TIRE APART­MENT

In an el­e­gant back­drop that honours the spirit of the Belle Epoque era and the his­toric soul of the apart­ment, the her­ring­bone oak par­quet floor­ing, white gyp­sum mould­ing and pan­elling, and black and brass frames em­body Mis­sir’s will to nur­ture a sense of peace. These care­fully cu­rated ma­te­ri­als col­lec­tively create a per­fectly bal­anced at­mos­phere. “It is es­sen­tial to trans­form a house into a home at ev­ery level,” Mis­sir says.

Pieces of fur­ni­ture by Pierre Jean­neret, Martin Szekely, Pierre Guariche, Pierre Paulin, Robert Math­ieu, Joschua Brunn and Ron Arad com­ple­ment art­works by Agostino Bon­a­lumi, En­rico Castel­lani, Glenn Ligon, Ray­mond Pet­ti­bon, Andy Warhol, Cas­san­dra MacLeod, Gil­bert & Ge­orge, Richard Prince and Paul McCarthy.

“The his­tory of styles in­spires me; I like to re­write them my way, with a twist of min­i­mal­ism and fancy,” Mis­sir says. “I love the no­tion of mix­ing pieces. I did not buy these par­tic­u­lar pieces for this par­tic­u­lar apart­ment; I have col­lected them from many dif­fer­ent places and over a long du­ra­tion of time.”

The soft colour pal­ette of the fur­ni­ture and over­all space form an in­vi­ta­tion to fo­cus on the art pieces that add touches of sur­prise and hu­mour, such as the Richard Prince one in the liv­ing room that says “My par­ents wouldn’t take me to Dis­ney­land. They told me Mickey Mouse got eaten by a cat”. “Deep in­side, we are big kids and al­ways will be,” smiles Mis­sir.

When it comes to his favourite tones, black and white top the list. He ex­plains: “They are neu­tral so I don’t get tired of them, es­pe­cially when I am con­stantly see­ing and us­ing many colours, pat­terns and tex­tures. Here, I feel happy

– and grate­ful.”

ABOVE De­spite the room's in­ter­est­ing ac­ces­sories, the fo­cus re­mains on the iconic ar­chi­tec­ture of the home.

LEFT The quaint din­ing nook looks out into the vi­brant streets of Paris.

ABOVE The art pieces are care­fully cu­rated so as to main­tain the chic modernist feel of the home.

BOTTOM Plain stain­less steel pan­els in the kitchen add to the sense of so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

THIS PAGE The mar­ble-clad bath­room is ac­cented by large mir­ror pan­els on the wall and cabi­net doors. OP­PO­SITE With its mono­chrome pal­ette of black and white, the master bed­room of­fers an at­mos­phere of calm and seren­ity.

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