Located in the 7th arrondissement, in a prime location just steps from the Eiffel Tower, designer Steven Volpe and his business partner Roth Martin, purchased the perfect Parisian flat. Partners in Hedge, a San Francisco gallery of 20th century furniture and decorative arts, the pair travels to Paris regularly in search of “the jewels in the sleeper sales,” says Martin. Their flat is a true refection of their passion for great art and design. Take for example the unusually beautiful armchair (pictured above and below) designed by the Italian trio Grassi, Conti, and Furlani. Volpe says of the chair, “it’s transparent nylon-mesh upholstery, seemingly spun by industrious spiders, makes it surprisingly comfortable. You can sit in it all night.” Other striking acquisitions include an Irving Penn photograph bought from the estate of Richard Avedon, and a curvaceous plexiglass and steel cocktail table, circa 1970, credited to aristocrat-artist Guy de Rougemont. Attracted to non-iconic pieces, they are interested in design that provokes a reaction. “Breaking the rules often gives a room charm and makes it less stagnant” ~ Steven Volpe
There is nothing more telling than a designers own home…it is a personal reflection of what they find beautiful and how they choose to expressive themselves…I love that we have a chance to see how these creative minds work and for their own personal pleasure
above, The living room sofa is by Christian Liaigre, the armchair—designed by Grassi, Conti, and Furlani—is vintage, and the stainless-steel Rock tables are by Arik Levy; the Jansen stool and oblong David Hicks pillow are vintage, and the small pillows are made of a Clarence House silk velvet.
below, A Ross Bleckner etching, cowhide rugs, and curtains of Jim Thompson silk in the living room.
below, In an artful corner, Irving Penn’s 1976 Parisian Bog Mouse is displayed above a collection of bronze sculptures by Diego Giacometti.
below, In the entrance hall, a wall sculpture by Kim Chun-Hwan, a circa-1955 Gilbert Poillerat bronze-and-mahogany table, and a 1940s Italian side chair; the hanging light fixture is by Nathalie Pasqua, and the sconces are by Artemide.
below, A gelatin-silver photogram by Adam Fuss and 19th-century École des Beaux-Arts student drawings of floor patterns in the back hall.
below, A circa-1975 Joe Eula sketch of Babe Paley hangs above a headboard upholstered in vintage fabric printed with Picasso designs in Martin’s bedroom; the bed linens are by D. Porthault.
below, The powder room’s circa-1950 brass mirror is French, as is the vintage collapsible tripod table.
below, The Italian desk chair and Line Vautrin mirror are vintage, the mohair throw is by Hermès, and the bronze reading lamp is by Christian Liaigre.
below, The desk in Volpe’s bedroom has an Eiffel Tower view; the circa-1950 table lamp is by Georges Jouve, and the bronze disk is by Robert Courtright.
below, Designer Steven Volpe near the 19th-century Paris apartment he shares with his business partner, Roth Martin.
photos and resources from Elle Decor, November 2007 ~ photographer Simon Upton