A Stylish Paris Flat That Defines Understated Luxury

Gay Gassmann

The mastermind of marquee hospitality projects—such as the luxe hotel Royal Evian on Lake Geneva and a handful of top restaurants in France—interior architect François Champsaur is known for his trademark quiet luxury and relaxed French elegance.

In a compact two-bedroom apartment, which looks onto the gardens of the Picasso Museum in the Marais, Champsaur found everything he wanted. “This is a 17th-century building with high ceilings," he says. "This is not a showroom; everything is personal and from my collections.” Champsaur, who, before moving in, opened a few walls, is from Marseilles, so his work is infused with light and color. He is also influenced by Italian style, much like fellow designer Ettore Sottsass.

The master bedroom looks out over gardens, and the cool interior is punctuated with pops of color. The green bedcover is handwoven in Tibet, and the painting is by British/French artist Marine Hugonnier. The bedside lamp is by Champsaur, called Origami by Pouenat Ferronnier.

Inside, the space feels light and easy. “It's like I’m in the country," he remarks. "Nothing too formal—I move things around. This is a place that lives and for me, that is freedom.”

The apartment is marked by splashes of color, via the carefully arranged artworks and a bold green entrance. A visitor is met by arrangements of the homeowner's collection of plasterworks that he sources at the flea market and through various dealers. “I love the movement of the forms and the material, which is simple," he says. "They are like drawings and the white captures the light beautifully.” Asked to elaborate on his style, he hesitates a bit. “I guess the words to describe my approach would be that everything must resonate," he says. "Very chic and pulled together, but there is always something a bit offhand—even if on purpose.”

In the salon, a 1958 gouache artwork by Italian artist Giulio Turcato. To the left is a vase by Ettore Sottsass and his Tahiti lamp for Memphis on the right. The rattan chair is by Franco Albini.

Champsaur, too, is calm and composed, despite having quite a bit on his plate. In addition to his commercial projects and a line of lighting and furniture with Pouenat, he has recently finished working on a new Edition hotel in Madrid alongside Ian Schrager. He is also collaborating with French architect Rudy Ricciotti on a project of some 60 apartments in Monaco. Champsaur is also the new president of Design Parade 2019 in Interior Architecture, following in the footsteps of AD100 designer Pierre Yovanovitch.

Remarking on the lofty post, Champsaur says, “I want to think about nature and our environment and present collaborations which address these issues—I want to talk about how we are going to live and how are we going to design.” A fitting comment from the proprietor of a home that defines such ambitions.

A Stylish Paris Flat That Defines Understated Luxury

The green entrance in a Paris flat owned by designer François Champsaur is hung with a gouache by Portuguese artist Bela Silva. The armchair is Franco Albini for Cassina. The wall sconce was designed by Champsaur for Pouenat Ferronnier.
A wall displays part of Champsaur’s art collection, including a Richard Serra lithograph to the left, and a yellow painting by Swiss artist Carmen Perrin. On the mantel is an anonymous plaster sculpture and a vase by French designer Eric Schmitt. The leather chair is from the Paris flea market, and the coffee table and dining table are both Champsaur designs for Pouenat Ferronnier. The diminutive bronze in the background is also a Champsaur design, this for Maison Intègre.
The screen in the background is by Champsaur for Pouenat Ferronnier, as is the steel table with a travertine top. The chestnut stools are custom.
In the salon, a 1958 gouache artwork by Italian artist Giulio Turcato, from 1958. To the left is a vase by Ettore Sottsass; his Tahiti lamp for Memphis is on the right. The rattan chair is by Franco Albini.
Shelving designed by Champsaur displays his various collections.
Champsaur, who likes to mix things up, placed a bookshelf by Ettore Sottsass in the kitchen with a Noguchi lantern overhead.
A Carlton Bookcase by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis and Champsaur sconces for Pouenat Ferronnier.
In the salon, a Noguchi lantern hangs to the left and a circa 1960 Italian painting is on the wall. The chairs are LCW by Charles and Ray Eames.
The master bedroom looks out over gardens, and the cool interior is punctuated with pops of color. The green bedcover is handwoven in Tibet, and the painting is by British/French artist Marine Hugonnier. The bedside lap is by Champsaur, called Origami by Pouenat Ferronnier.
A round backlit mirror, sourced at a local gallery, makes a statement in the bathroom, which floods with sunlight from the south-facing windows.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest