Decorator Index: Pierre Yovanovitch

The Parisian interior designer for whom every project is a unique and thoroughly personal work of art

Pierre Yovanovitch interior scheme
Pierre Yovanovitch

Who is he? Since establishing his studio in 2001, Pierre Yovanovitch has become known as one of the most refined presences on the Paris interiors scene. He started his career in fashion, designing menswear for Pierre Cardin, but interiors have long been his passion.

‘I’ve always been obsessed with scenography and a sense of volume,’ he explains. ‘As a child, I was constantly rearranging things around the house.’ Now, he designs homes all over the world, as well as exhibition spaces and furniture. His covetable ‘Oops’ collection includes the characterful ‘Mama Bear’ chair.

French designer Pierre Yovanovitch portrait
Pierre Yovanovitch
Photography Julie Ansiau

What’s his style? Yovanovitch conceives of every project as a work of art. ‘My style is elegant yet minimalist,’ he states. ‘I focus on textures, angles and vintage elements to bring spaces to life.’ Born near Vallauris in southern France – a region famous for its pottery – the designer often includes bespoke ceramic pieces in his schemes. ‘They change during firing, so the end result is never quite what you planned,’ he adds.

Quinta da Côrte by Pierre Yovanovitch
Quinta da Côrte by Pierre Yovanovitch
Pierre Yovanovitch

Tell us about his projects... At Quinta da Côrte (above), a guesthouse and wine-making centre in Portugal, Yovanovitch brought together tradition and modernity with a colour palette inspired by the local landscape. Similarly, his design for a chalet in the Swiss village of Andermatt focuses on the beauty of wood, with asymmetrical shapes that reflect the house’s mountainous setting. His artistic approach, meanwhile, is apparent at the gift shop in Villa Noailles, with its brightly framed displays.

‘Papa Bear’ armchair by Pierre Yovanovitch
‘Papa Bear’ armchair by Pierre Yovanovitch
Pierre Yovanovitch

What is he currently working on? In London he’s just completed a revampe of the restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, and he is working on a hotel in the Méribel ski resort. He’s also revamping the former apartment of modernist Jean-Michel Frank. Rizzoli has just published Pierre Yovanovitch: Interior Architecture, the first monograph on his work.

Chef's table at Helene Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

He says: ‘I don’t design for a specific type of person, but what’s always key is trust. If there is no trust, there can be no creative freedom.’

This feature appeared in ELLE Decoration September 2019

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