Project NameAppartement Saint Pères
Posted inInterior Design
|Project Name||Appartement Saint Pères||Posted in||Interior Design||Location||
Parisian architect and interior designer Hugo Toro has a talent for imbuing his projects with a riveting sense of elegance that feels both sui generis and timeless — courtesy of an aesthetic that he describes as “diverse, endless, and eclectic” — as much the product of his Franco-Mexican heritage and studies in France, Australia, Austria and the United States, as his innate gift of creativity, imagination and storytelling. Artfully mixing époques and styles with originality and flair, while Toro doesn’t shy away from bold gestures and vivid contrasts in materials, colours and forms, his interiors never feel unbalanced or loud, as this Parisian pied-à-terre in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés demonstrates. Lyrical in its rich materiality and sculptural sensibility, Toro’s intervention reimagines the classic sophistication of the Haussmannian apartment through a lens of idiosyncratic exuberance.
Featuring all of the hallmarks of Haussmannian buildings, namely high ceilings, tall windows, intricate moldings and herringbone parquet flooring, plus brightly coloured stained-glass windows, the one-bedroom apartment Toro was commissioned to remodel had many strengths to begin with but lacked character. This explains why he mostly kept the layout intact; the only exception being doing away with the mezzanine level in the bedroom and most of the double doors in the public rooms in order to enhance the sense of openness and spaciousness. Where he didn’t hold back was in introducing bold decorative gestures that inject the spaces with a touch of drama along with an eclectic furniture collection of contemporary and vintage pieces, many custom-designed by himself, others sourced from Parisian flea markets.
In the main living room, a sculptural travertine podium supports four elongated marble panels that extend to the ceiling. Set into patinated-brass frames that can rotate, the panels constitute Toro’s imaginative version of a folding screen which discretely delineates the sitting area along with the silver-green rug and banquette-like sofa, both bespoke designs. Underpinned by a muted colour palette of earthy hues and natural wood finishes, the yellow-hued marble and brass panels strike a presence while Le Corbusier’s LC4 Chaise Longue for Cassina in emerald green adds a vibrant pop of colour.
Just as eye-catching as the screen is the imposing travertine fireplace in the adjacent dining room, a nod to the work of Carlo Scarpa, which both echoes and amplifies the geometric patterns of the decorative wood panelling and parquet flooring. In contrast, the plush velvet sofa by Pierre Augustin Rose, the dark-stained wooden table by Garnier & Linker and the tan saddle leather cantilever dining chairs by Willy Rizzo introduce sinuous and rounded forms, as does the minimalist pendant light, also by Garnier & Linker, that takes the form of a travertine rod.
Dark green and dark blue-painted walls give the entrance hall and drawing room their own distinct character respectively. In the former, a monolithic travertine washbasin set under one of the stained-glass windows in the rear of the apartment is left intentionally visible, a nod to the designer’s grandmother’s house, imbuing the room with a poetic ambience due to its alter-like appearance. A symphony of marble makes a powerful statement in the bathroom – red Languedoc and white Carrara marble on the floor and green Alpine marble on the walls and sink – as does the combination of leather-textured cabinets in red lacquer and graphic white marble counters, walls and floor in the kitchen. Lastly, the bedroom stands out for the tactile wallcovering made from banana leaves, the padded forms of the custom leather bed and the teal-coloured rug that picks up the hues of the beautiful stained-glass window. A testament to Toro’s keen eye for detail and composition, despite each room’s very distinct decorative elements, the apartment ultimately succeeds in conveying both cohesion and balance.