A Tour of Designer Pierre Yovanovitch’s French Chateau

A Tour of Designer Pierre Yovanovitch’s French Chateau


Pierre Yovanovitch

Age 51

Occupation Interior designer; furniture designer

Location Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France

Photo

An installation by the French artist Franck Scurti hangs in the living room, floating in space like a mobile.

Credit
Rebecca Marshall for The New York Times

His Favorite Room In 2009, Mr. Yovanovitch, whose primary residence is in Paris, bought a chateau surrounded by 90 acres of woodland that was in the same family for centuries. He turned a separate barnlike structure where hay was once stored into a warm, wood-filled salon decorated with art, vintage furniture and a zigzag sofa he designed.

Was it daunting to renovate and furnish what amounts to a castle?

I think it was the most crazy thing I have ever done. If you think too much about possessing this kind of property, you don’t, because there is too much work, too much everything. But for me, life is short, and you need to do some crazy things.

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Mr. Yovanovitch sits on a pine couch with soft pink cushions of his own design. He uses pink in many of his projects, because, he said, “it adds some softness”

Credit
Rebecca Marshall for The New York Times

The salon is fairly spare, with carefully chosen objects. What’s your criteria?

In every client project, and for myself, I try to make a story around the room. Here, I don’t want to use any shiny fabric, bronze and so on, because it was a farm. You feel that in the architecture. I try to respect the style of the house, but in a modern way, a nicer way. I used simple objects, lots of wood.

The zigzag sofa made of pine is really cool, but is it actually comfortable?

The inspiration is very brutalist, because it’s sharp. But it’s also cozy. Because of the shape, you’re sitting close to each other. Very warm and very comfortable.

Photo

The paintings, center, which are actually sculptures carved from wood and painted, are by the German artist Stephan Balkenhol. “You have these eyes watching you, and you watch the eye,” Mr. Yovanovitch said. “It’s quite cool.”

Credit
Rebecca Marshall for The New York Times

I’m intrigued by the small owl sculpture.

I love this object because it was given to me by a client. He knew that I love owls. One day, we were at a fair in Paris. I saw it and fell in love. I couldn’t afford it; it was quite expensive. The next day, I received the owl in my office as a gift. It’s a very good memory for me.

You’re planning to open a New York office. Will that mean less time at the chateau?

Maybe, yes. If I decide to open an office in New York and I want to grow in the U.S., it’s a part of the success. But I will try to go as often as possible. To buy this chateau gives me a lot of energy to do other projects. I have to work more to afford this.



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