ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Design -

Em­manuel de Bayser is co- owner of The Cor­ner Berlin, an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned de­sign store. Since open­ing in 2006, it has part­nered with ma­jor art gal­leries, auc­tion houses, artists and col­lec­tors. De Bayser’s own apart­ment, which he has dec­o­rated in a sim­i­lar style to his store, is lo­cated in a late 19th-cen­tury build­ing in the same square. Ex­pan­sive white walls off­set his col­lec­tion of mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture and de­sign (thecorner­ber­

How does a re­tailer’s eye help when it comes to dec­o­rat­ing a home?

The store has a sig­na­ture look and this is car­ried over into my apart­ment. Whether it’s a book, a shoe or fur­ni­ture, I want ev­ery piece to stand out, so the back­ground has to re­main calm and neu­tral. That said, the shop is per­ma­nently chang­ing – each sea­son brings new colours and prints – whereas my apart­ment is de­lib­er­ately more time­less. I don’t be­lieve in dec­o­rat­ing an apart­ment in just two months: a home should grow or­gan­i­cally over the years. This apart­ment was con­ceived as a space in which I can re­lax; the ap­proach is dif­fer­ent from the shop in that re­spect be­cause it re­quires a dif­fer­ent pace. What is your favourite piece? I love the curvy, com­fort­able form of my 1940s Jean Royère sofa and chairs (above). There’s a beau­ti­ful con­trast be­tween the high ceil­ings of the apart­ment and the low curves of the seat­ing. I call the sofa ‘the po­lar bear’, be­cause it’s cov­ered in furry fab­ric. It’s very tac­tile. For me, this sen­su­al­ity is re­ally im­por­tant. The first thing cus­tomers do in my store is stroke the beau­ti­ful fab­rics they see: it’s in­stinc­tive and sooth­ing.

How do you make a space filled with gallery pieces look homely?

The pieces I col­lect are very modern but not dra­matic – I’m not a dra­matic guy! The same ap­plies to the store. I want our cus­tomers to buy in­vest­ment pieces, not just ephemeral ‘fash­ion’ items. I find that dra­matic pieces can break the bal­ance of an in­te­rior. They work in a mu­seum, but they can be over­pow­er­ing at home. Do you have any tips for us­ing gallery pieces at home? If you have the op­por­tu­nity to bor­row some­thing be­fore you buy it, then do so. Many gal­lerists are open to this. You need to be hum­ble enough to ad­mit when a piece sim­ply doesn’t work. Re­mem­ber, you have to be able to live with it, and you want the thing to func­tion. I once strug­gled with a beau­ti­ful freeform Jean Prouvé side ta­ble. It was just too big and it over­pow­ered the room.

What would you say to some­one who wanted to buy a gallery piece, but was wor­ried it might be too frag­ile or im­prac­ti­cal?

You have to adapt your col­lec­tion to the life­style you lead. You can’t in­vest in ex­pen­sive ce­ram­ics if you have chil­dren run­ning around. A steel Ron Arad chair might be a bet­ter in­vest­ment.

Is what you have in your own home sim­i­lar to what you have in your store?

Yes, from time to time I take things out of the apart­ment and dis­play them in the store, and vice versa.

Have you ever come across a piece that was too chal­leng­ing for ev­ery­day use?

There are al­ways things I love that I sim­ply don’t have space or use for. Us­age is ex­tremely im­por­tant to me. I could never put things in stor­age. If I buy some­thing, it’s for a pre­cise pur­pose. The pieces that I have at home, I en­joy ev­ery day. ➤


‘Be hum­ble enough to ad­mit when a piece doesn’t work. Re­mem­ber, you have to be able to live with it’

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