In this exquisite Parisian apartment, a private art collection takes centre stage

So meticulous are Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet of Humbert & Poyet in their pursuit of design perfection that the duo will oversee every little detail of the project on which they are working. In this exceptional Parisian apartment, their lauded metier comes alive, where everything from the floors to the counter tops to the layout to the lighting (and even the bedside pendants) has been carefully planned out and executed, resulting in a residence that not only speaks to luxury in a tactile, interesting way but that directly reflects the unique personalities of its owners. 

Located in the heart of the City of Light, this apartment had been left in a dilapidated state for years despite its position overlooking both the Eiffel Tower and the Jardin de Tuileries. So, when Humbert and Poyet were approached to breathe new life into the neglected space, they had to start from scratch. The first step was to reimagine the layout, which saw rooms enlarged and the kitchen moved from the back of the home to the front, so that its commanding, green-marble island would be one of the first things guests would see upon entering. This decision to move the kitchen to a more prominent position was also in response to the owners’ love for entertaining. Putting hospitality at the heart of the home, the designers created an open, inviting, light-filled space in which food could be prepared with a glass of wine in hand, all while enjoying the good conversation of friends perched at the counter. 

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0414 chairs by Studio G&R for Gallotti&Radice available from ECC.
0414 chairs by Studio G&R for Gallotti&Radice available from ECC.

The idea of hospitality extends to the home’s dining room, anchored by a custom-made, inlaid dining table able to accommodate 10 people. Running along one side of the room, two bespoke wine cabinets flank an extraordinary piece of art by Christophe Wool, and add to the promise of dinner parties on a whole new level. 

Art was a major consideration in this home, with Humbert and Poyet using the owner’s vast and varied personal collection as a central tenet of their design. Pieces from artists like George Condo, Kelley Walker, Stefan Brüggemann and more hang on walls or sit sculpturally in eye-catching positions around the home, offering surprising moments of creativity and injecting every space with pizzazz. Here, art is important for the way it makes the design feel deeper than luxury alone, with Humbert and Poyet integrating it seamlessly so that it feels alive and impactful. There is an eclecticism and a playfulness in this apartment that really sets it apart.

DS-600 modular sofa by De Sede.

This extends to the furniture, too. In the living room, a large De Sede sofa wraps elegantly around the entire space, with a vertebrae-like structure that makes it feel right at home alongside the room’s sculptural elements. It’s here that one can imagine the owners’ dinner party guests inevitably ending their nights, draped over the sofa’s unique curves or perched on the two vintage De Jeanneret chairs beside the marble fireplace, while the twinkling lights of the city peep in through the room’s French windows. 

Alta lounge chair by Oscar Niemeyer for Espasso.

Elsewhere, pieces from the likes of Pierre Paulin, Emmannuelle Simon and Kelly Wearstler sit alongside custom-made furnishings and vintage finds, everything rendered in a subdued but sophisticated colour palette that not only makes the tactile finishes stand out but that gives this home a wonderful sense of depth and dimension.

Alpha sofa by Pierre Paulin, Creation floor lamp in Brass with Alabaster Globe by Glustin Luminaires, Artwork by Kelley Walker.

If (as the saying goes) God is in the details, then this apartment is holy ground. The parquet floors were designed by Humbert and Poyet in a patinated style to make them feel storied and antique, there is a custom illuminated ceiling in the bathroom, and the use of marble on a number of key details (from the four types used to create the hallway floors to the incredible Arabescato Statuario bathtub) lends a kind of weighty luxury to the overall vibe. So specific were the designers about the marble finishes, in fact, that they took the owners on a trip to Carrara to pick the perfect stone in person. 

Ultimately, this apartment is a showcase of Humbert and Poyet’s ability to layer materials, colours and shapes with such finesse that the resulting spaces offer luxury with a kind of untouchable nonchalance that could only be created by the French. It’s easy to understand why this duo’s particular perspective is so widely sought-after.

Image credit: Humbert & Poyet


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