Louis-Henri Delpy and Laure Girodroux form a duo of husband and wife designers with quite different aesthetics. Louis-Henri grew up in a very traditional environment in Normandy, not far from its architectural touchstone, the fairy-tale-like Château d’Ô, built between the 15th and 16th centuries.
One of Laure’s biggest influences, however, is the almost futuristic French designer Ora-ïto, with whom she trained for three years. “He taught me to be much more adventurous and daring,” she says.
In many ways, this 220m² two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, redesigned for a high-flying 60-year-old couple, is a perfect synthesis of their disparate perspectives.
The architectural setting is quintessentially French, with herringbone parquet floors, marble fireplaces topped with gilded mirrors, and flashes of intricate floral moldings. But the furniture has a lot more contemporary daring. A kinetic light sculpture by Swiss-born artist Bardula hangs from one of the living room walls, while a pair of sculptural armchairs from Ukrainian design studio Noom can be found in the master bedroom.
Customers had lived here for several years before calling on the expertise of Louis-Henri and Laure. The decor dates from the 90s, with a dark color palette and bulky furnishings.
There were also a lot of more elaborate decorations for the walls and ceilings. “You almost had the impression that the living room ceiling was going to fall on you,” Laure remembers.
While the rear part of this house has been completely reconfigured, with a spacious master bedroom plus an en-suite bathroom and a separate guest bedroom installed, the volumes of the main living areas have remained intact. However, few wall and ceiling decorations survived the transformation – the duo estimate they got rid of around 70%. “Our goal was to preserve character, but to lighten everything,” explains Louis-Henri.
For the rest of the interior, their initial proposals were relatively docile. However, they quickly realized that their customers were willing to go the extra mile. “Whenever we came up with something, they always went for the boldest option,” Laure recalls.
Take the kitchen, for example, which is dominated by a striking Calacatta Viola marble island sitting on a mirrored base. “From certain angles,” notes Laure, “it looks like it’s almost floating.
The hallway walls, meanwhile, were custom painted with a pattern mimicking rock strata, with a shiny golden horizontal stripe in the center. It’s one of the many gold accents that run throughout the apartment, offset by cooler ice blue tones in the master bedroom, bathroom, and study.
Most of the furniture was chosen in response to customer demand for unique and unusual pieces. One of Laure and Louis-Henri’s favorites is the futuristic chair in shiny aluminum created by the French designer Léa Mestres in one of the two office spaces of the house. For Louis-Henri, it recalls the work of Jeff Koons; for Laure, it adds freshness and originality. “It’s almost like a UFO has landed,” she marvels. fr.girodroux-delpy.com