‘We are curious people!’ the owners of this Parisian home declare, sharing a quality that is clear from the minute you step through their doorway in Strasbourg St Denis. Working in the legal profession and the film industry, they both have a lot of opportunity to travel. ‘Meeting cultures, finding fresh forms of craftsmanship, and discovering architecture, gardens and landscapes that we never imagined is how we gain our inspiration,’ they add. Their global perspective sits well against the distinctly French backdrop of this apartment, with its decorative stucco and original woodwork. The success of this mix of styles is largely thanks to architect Federico Masotto.
Italian by birth, Federico has lived in Paris for the past 30 years, where he has worked under the wing of Jean Nouvel, the founder of the Paris architecture biennale and a master of mixing the contemporary and the traditional. ‘We were looking for an architect capable of offering a sophisticated and modern vision of what it means to live in Paris today,’ explain the owners. ‘He has been able to mix a sense of decoration with an Italian colour palette, all without neglecting the apartment’s Parisian touches.’
From its dramatic navy blue entrance hall, the rooms of this home can be taken in at a glance. To one side there’s the large living area – previously two smaller rooms – and to the other there’s the kitchen, where Federico has made a statement with terrazzo, Zimbabwean granite and orange lacquered cabinets. That same zesty touch can be spotted in the dining room, with its fluorescent chairs by Stefan Diez for E15, while the bedroom is painted an indulgent forest green. ‘The interior is defined by its calm and simplicity,’ explains Federico, ‘as well as its stimulating colour relationships’.
The furniture selected speaks to broad tastes and open minds. Bespoke pieces by Federico sit alongside important and iconic designs, including a Brutalist coffee table by American designer Paul Evans, a chest of drawers by father of the American craft movement George Nakashima, and modernist armchairs by Ernő Goldfinger, purchased from London antiques dealer Abel Sloane at 1934.
Cutting-edge yet linked to the past; global yet local, this home embraces its contradictions. It’s an approach that perfectly suits this neighbourhood of Paris. ‘It’s both bourgeois and young, ever in turmoil, varied,’ say the owners. ‘There’s everything here that we love, and also love to hate, about this city.’ federicomasotto.com
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration January 2020
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.