by Vanna Villa

The Paris apartment is de Bayser’s base whenever he comes to town for the shows that punctuate the city’s seasonal fashion weeks. In a typical month, he spends about 70 percent of his time in Berlin, and 30 percent in Paris. Asked if he could choose between the cities, he demurs, explaining that each one offers such a different experience. “Berlin,” he says, “looks to the future—it is always becoming something—while in Paris, one has such a clear sense of what its history and culture are all about.”


De Bayser’s Paris pied-à-terre is located in a building that is typical of the homogenous urban architecture of the mid-19th century when Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann was tasked to “renovate” the city under the command of Emperor Napoléon III (Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte,) though it was built several years after the legendary city planner’s death in 1870.


Originally each floor of the building was a single luxurious home, but these expansive spaces were gradually divided into smaller, more manageable allotments over the years. In fact, de Bayer’s apartment was subdivided from a larger residence next door.

Despite this downsizing of sorts, the smaller space—just 70 square metres in total—feels spacious and expansive. This is the result of the building’s elegant ‘bones,’ which include high ceilings that make for light-filled rooms and interconnecting doors with original glazed panels that open up the space and again allow light to move through. The feeling of luxurious roominess is accentuated by cream-coloured wall-to-wall wool carpeting. In addition, all of the apartment’s rooms look out onto an elegant Parisian park, which brings in fresh air and also provides magnificent views of manicured greenery.


For the better part of 20 years, De Bayser has mostly collected French mid-century design, furniture, and objets d’art. “This genre of design is timeless, [mid-century] mixes so well with the architecture from periods before it was created,” he says. “It has a patina and a lively character that somehow both contrasts and fits [in] with other styles.”


His charming apartment is a positive proof of these assertions: in this expertly curated space, items like a rare Visiteur wood and metal chair by the iconic mid-from a lounge set by Swiss modernist Pierre Jeanneret, and a black standing lamp by Serge Mouille seem perfectly at home. Boldly patterned bed linen crafted by contemporary French designer India Mahdavi adds a nice sophistication to the mix. There are also colourful ceramics by Georges Jouve, a collection of African tribal art figurines, and an excellent selection of contemporary artworks and books, many of which share space on a built-in bookshelf made by de Bayser himself.


Text via Philippine Tatler


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