Overlooking the River Seine in the Parisian district of Île Saint-Louis, just a short walk from the ill-fated Notre Dame Cathedral, you’ll find this cheerful family home belonging to
a gallery owner. ‘When I first visited, it had a very 1980s-style décor,’ remembers Fleur Delesalle, the French interior designer who has cleverly updated its look, pairing a very modern scheme – a moodier, more restful take on saccharine-sweet pinks, greens and oranges – with classic pieces of furniture that turn the clock back to the 1970s and even 50s.
‘I like to mix colours, materials and eras, but always with rigorous attention to detail and craftsmanship,’ says Fleur, who set up her eponymous studio in 2011. Her skill at creating elegantly rebellious palettes – an expertise picked up during her six years working for India Mahdavi, the Iranian-Egyptian designer known for her mood-lifting use of colour – is apparent in every room of this home.
For the spaces with the most natural light, she has kept the walls white, even painting over the elaborate details of the original fireplace in the living room to create a blank canvas. Here, it’s the furniture that introduces the boldest hues, from burnt orange and terracotta to candy pink and pistachio. For the guest bedroom and bathroom, not so blessed by sunshine, colour is allowed to creep up the walls, resulting in what Fleur describes as ‘a more subdued atmosphere’. In the kitchen, a statement black terrazzo island by Max Lamb for Dzek combines flecks of every hue in this house. ‘Originally, we wanted it in white, but there was a mistake with the order,’ says Fleur. ‘We decided to keep it.’
It’s just one fortuitous accident in what is a very carefully orchestrated interior, the inspiration for which began, quite literally, on the drawing board. ‘When formulating my patterns for the rugs in each of the living rooms, I decided on the whole decorative language,’ says Fleur. The two designs not only set the interior’s main tones, but the abstract shapes they depict, inspired by the artistic works of Miró and Jean Arp, are reflected in the fluid lines of pieces like the ‘Group’ sofa by Philippe Malouin for SCP and ‘Pacha’ armchair by Pierre Paulin for Gubi. ‘The rugs,’ she explains, ‘are the essential ingredients – they make the whole recipe work.’ Sweet, but not sickly; fresh, but with real depth and clarity, it’s a delicious concoction. fleurdelesalle.com
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration April 2020
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