House Music pix
Laurent Buttazzoni wasn't afraid to fulfill a Paris couple's home-disco fantasy—right across from the Louvre
Judy Fayard -- Interior Design, 10/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Wow! Bam! Pow! Hidden atop a staid 18th-century Parisian building near the Louvre, the bold pop art colors come as a shock. This duplex apartment's large foyer almost throbs with a disco-cool vibe, thanks to the glitter-tube floor lamps, the midnight-blue lacquered walls, and the royal-blue waffled rubber floor, which flows through the entire downstairs. Gleaming white doors open to a loungy living room, while another doorway offers a glimpse of pink kitchen cabinetry, and a mauve-painted staircase rises to the top floor.
The apartment's designer, Laurent Buttazzoni, is a fashion-world favorite with an edgy touch. (John Galliano is a fan.) But, Buttazzoni says, even he might have hesitated before "pushing the color quite so far" if the owners—a thirtysomething couple in the music industry—hadn't insisted on it.
The 2,600-square-foot space had started as a maze of small rooms, so Buttazzoni & Associés's architect partner, Frédéric Lavaud, removed non-load- bearing walls to open up both levels. Now, beyond the foyer, the downstairs is split into just two rooms, an eat-in kitchen and a vast living room.
Lipstick-red throw pillows, purple banquette cushions, and the royal-blue upholstery of low, deep modular sofas deliver a powerful punch against the room's white walls, awash in light from four large windows facing the street. Along one wall, cabinets hold a professional sound system and DJ turntables.
When the music's playing, two black glass cocktail tables light up with red squares that flash to the beat. (The tables were designed by Daft Punk, a French eletronica duo that designs the occasional piece of furniture.) To keep music from resounding through the chimney and disturbing neighbors, Buttazzoni fitted the fireplace with a removable vinyl-covered baffle.
If color is the strongest design element, a circle motif is the close runner-up—starting with the waffling on the rubber floor. Painted purple circles and dots cover part of the ceiling and a wall in the living room. The kitchen's round white lacquered table is surrounded by matching curved benches, all set beneath a Verner Panton–esque clear glass pendant globe that ' hangs from the center of a circular recess in the ceiling. Even Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec's white molded plastic wine rack is a series of circles.
The kitchen's upper cabinets, while not round, are squares with rounded corners. Set irregularly against a black Corian backsplash, these bubble-gum pink lacquered objects look like musical notes on an invisible staff. Radiant heat below the floor keeps the room barefoot-friendly in winter—the warmth softens the rubber just a bit.
Up the mauve staircase, the color palette quiets down to white, gray, and purples ranging from pale lilac to deep violet. The master bedroom's gray walls and ceiling are covered in white op art rings, and the ivory-colored carpet is tufted in a similar pattern. White vinyl upholsters the foam form of the platform bed facing the room's two windows. Originally extremely small, they were enlarged only after a three-month wait for a permit and two more months of extensive, costly exterior scaffolding.
From the master suite, a long white corridor lined with mirrored and purple doors leads to a spacious bathroom, clad floor to ceiling in a checkered mosaic of purple, gray, and white glass tiles. The Michael Graves bathtub is, of course, round, as are the washbasin's tiled column stand and an accompanying mirror. The shower's entrance is a shipshape lozenge.
At the other end of the corridor, an office leads to a den that doubles as guest quarters: a small room dominated by a colorful, cartoonish mural. (It features an enormous yellow pinwheel and a bunny rabbit in a jacket and tie—just for starters.) Across the hall, a bedroom's lavender-blue walls and red crib welcome the couple's newborn. He's already shown an interest in music, even if it's only "Frère Jacques."