Design Notes Archive

Céline Paris

Céline Paris

Every once in a while we see a space that has nothing to do with bathroom design that stops us dead in our tracks. Such was the case when we laid eyes on fashion label Céline’s new Parisian headquarters. Tucked on a cobblestone courtyard in the 2nd Arrondissement, the 17th century hôtel particulier required a complete gut renovation. It should come as no surprise that the brand’s creative director, British fashion designer Phoebe Philo, skipped using an interior designer in favor of crafting the space to her own vision. The new interior is a spirited reflection of Philo’s signature brand of chic – refined with a twist.

Apropos for a mid-summer’s review, the maison is full of sunny charms. Step into the foyer and a fiddle-leaf fig tree accents the stately stone staircase. Ascend the steps and enter the showroom through traditional boiserie doors only to find a breezy modern space in contrast. The marquetry floor is an arresting striation of French, Italian and Brazilian marble inspired by Céline’s London flagship. Clothes hang from minimalist metal racks that seem to float under futuristic light fixtures. And then there’s the nod to Tropicalia… In a surprising move, the atelier is peppered with potted palms, rattan boxes and a lengthy seagrass room divider. It’s an inspired balancing act between classic and progressive that’s perfectly fit for a bathroom. 

Take this one designed by French decorator Frédéric Méchiche. The Directoire-style space picks up the traditional floor tiles of Céline’s foyer and the staircase is echoed in the bathtub’s stone plinth. But Méchiche keeps it light by adding a modernist globe pendant and flanking the roll top bath with Bertoia’s midcentury side chairs. In the spirit of summer, an abstract black and white painting was swapped out for Andy Warhol’s cheerful Flowers print. Nothing like Pop Art to lighten the mood!  

Photograph © Robert Polidori, Gilles de Chabaneix