6,000 square feet is certainly a lot of space to fill, but Perry and Lestat did not shy away from the challenge. Instead, the stylish and talented Lestat designed and created a space full of color, personality, pattern, great furnishings and fun. There's so much inspiration here, it'll be hard to pick a favorite room.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Neoclassical inspiration with a French touch, but definitely the comfort of vintage American.
Inspiration: I have always loved combinations: Art Déco, design, ethnic, modern, traditional. Uniform décor bores me. I revisited these great classics without losing their essence. Stripped of their gilt and their conventions, they gained in beauty and prestige. Discrete luxury is the philosophy I applied restoring our home.
I constantly snap photos of anything and nothing. I have accumulated an impressive picture library showcasing objects, locations, decorations, materials, colors, textures, people or simply memories gleaned here and there in my travels. In all their many quirks and eccentricities, these photos reflect my personality and my intuitive style.
Favorite Element: I love that my home is eco-friendly. The building has been awarded an "A"-rated "green certificate" certifying that the property is energy efficient, using solar panels on the roof to produce hot water and electricity, LEDS, energy saving light equipment that reduces pollution and decreases the cost of utilities.
Biggest Challenge: Completing a massive reconstruction and redesign in a foreign country where red tape takes on a new meaning! Also, luxury furnishings and materials are difficult to find here and when you do find them, the prices tend to be off the charts. In the end, it turned out to cost far less for us to simply fly to London, purchase furniture and have it all shipped to Bucharest.
What Friends Say: Most visitors, friends or otherwise, marvel at the quality finishing and attention to detail and many have told me that the design is by far the most interesting and appealing they have seen anywhere in Romania.
Best Advice: As a student of Feng Shui, I am very sensitive to the inert energy of a room, I avoid overcrowding my interiors. Over time, I learned that aesthetics has nothing to do with comfort. I remember a sofa and armchair "Big Nothing" by Philippe Starck bought in Paris which are as beautiful as they are uncomfortable. With age I refined my choices; now I require pieces of furniture that are comfortable, as well as beautiful.
Biggest Embarrassment: The mosaic tiles in the master bathroom did not stay in place due to inexperience of the workers who installed them. Ultimately, although it broke my heart and cost a fortune, I tore most of them out and flew in a Moroccan artisan to construct an actual bronze color tadelakt on the shower floor and lower walls of the bathtub.
Proudest DIY: To be honest, the entire building is a DIY project! I gutted it, added modern earthquake reinforcements and reconceptualized the entire space. In my partner's office space, the master bedroom and the twins' room, I designed art deco-style furniture, which were made by craftsman Petru Sava in the finest tradition of the 1930s. The depth of the enamel was obtained by applying multiple layers. They were manually painted in a paint chamber.
Biggest Indulgence: Probably the artwork. We have collected paintings, drawings and sculpture from a number of well-known and up-and-coming local artists, including Laura Covaci and Catalin BADARAU.
Resources of Note:
- • Smeg oven with 6-burner stovetop and ventilation hood
• Built-in Miele Nespresso maker
• American-size LG refrigerator
• Whirlpool dishwasher
• Whirlpool microwave
• Electrolux separate washer and dryer
- • Bathroom fixtures by Czech & Speake (London)
• Master bathroom equipped with both jacuzzi bath and large shower with Raindance shower head from Hansgrohe
• Toilet fitted with electric bidet and heated seat
- • Kennedee couch from Poltrona Frau
• Sofa and armchair-"Big Nothing" by Philippe Starck for Driade
• EA117 chair by Eames brothers
• Eames lounge chair by Eames brothers
• Saarinen marble top coffee and side tables from Knoll
• Arco Floor Lamp by Achille Castiglioni
• Roche Bobois dining room chairs and bookshelves
• Glove chair designed by Terence Conran
• Black glossy ceramic stool of African inspiration by Philippe Starck, OX Gallery in Paris
• Cuckoo clock by Pascal Tarabay for Diamantini&Domeniconi, which I integrated onto a ceiling-to-floor mirror
• Maharani side-table by Jean Dange, for Asiatide Gallery
• Candelabra from Bayerische Metall Fabrik
• Magazine stand by Giotto Stoppino for Kartell
• Original Arts and Crafts oak chairs by Limbert
• "Lempicka" mirrors which I designed in collaboration with artisan Petru Sava.
• All radiator covers designed by me and made by artisan Petru Sava in pure art déco style.
- • large walk-in closet
• 2 large balconies and 20 sqm rooftop terrace, all without vis-à-vis
• Domotic system for: controlling video interphone (with color screen), multi-zone alarm system, access (with card) for both building and front gate, monitoring fire, smoke and flooding, light (in and out) , AC, Heat, Audio regulation and home cinema
• Bang & Olafson speakers built into kitchen and bathroom/laundry room
• Parrot Zikmu speakers designed by Philippe Starck
• Eikon/Vimar electrical sockets, including European, British and American electrical sockets
• Italian-style garden with red brick walkways and white birch, bamboo, shrubs and other plants and trees, equipped with Ipod-compatible sound system.
- • Mirror Ball hanging lamps by Tom Dixon
• BL7 light treatment by BestLite (Denmark)
• Gun lamp by Philippe Starck
• Lighting on dimmer switches with memory and scenarios
• Closets, drawers and cupboards equipped with lighting
RUGS & CARPETS
- • Afghan, Tibetan and Persian handmade rugs
• David Hicks (Paris)
• Stepevi (Istanbul)
• Mega Marrex (Bucharest)
• Toulemonde Bochart (Paris)
TILES & STONE
- • Bisazza
- • Curtains and shades custom made at Atelier Eclaude, Bucharest.
- • Vase in black glaze by Jean Marrais
• Bronze sculpture on an oak pedestal, by Catalin Badarau
• Hikikomori (acrylic painting) by Laura Covaci
• Batman & Robin, acrylic painting, by Tienne
• Superman, acrylic painting, by Tienne
• Stained-glass vase by Ion Nemtoi
• Black ceramic-Formasetti by Bitossi, Inside Home
• Gouache paintings by Laura Covaci, representing a pop version of traditional Romanian art
• "Molenac - Dematerialization" mobile by Frederic Molenac
• Various paintings by Guy Tayal
• African mask from the village of Pa, Cameroon, late 19th - early 20th century, wood, natural fiber, spider silk
• African chair of the village Baule, Ivory Coast, late 19th - early 20th century, wood
- • Benjamin Moore
- • Exotic woods (Brazilian nut and merbau)
• Brazilian marble
• Italian travertine marble
Thanks, Perry and Lestat!
Images: Corina Olaru, assisted by Adina Shollenbarger and Brandon Lee
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