By Kevin Frankental
I’ve always been fascinated by how certain pieces of furniture stand the test of time. With a little care and experience, they can be seamlessly incorporated into any interior, even if it is, itself, distinctive and bold.
Of course, the process of sourcing and selecting the right pieces ultimately hinges on personal preference, but the underlying character of the space also plays an important role. Here, I share some tips on how to integrate classic collectibles and future heirlooms within a timeless and refined setting, using the example of this three-bedroom apartment in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, on the market for €4.85mn.
Look for the classics
Instead of aspiring to an unattainable magazine aesthetic, it’s important to think of your home as a place that should be lived in and enjoyed. By selecting furniture that works with the natural warmth of solid materials such as the Versailles-style parquet flooring and exposed beams at this property, we can craft interiors that tell stories — preserving timeless classics, like this sofa set designed by Pierre Jeanneret, while also creating spaces for new memories.
Take a personal approach
Collecting is deeply personal and each piece should be an expression of your taste, creating a gallery of cherished moments in your home. I would opt for this Rick Owens-designed daybed, for example — a sculptural masterpiece made from petrified black wood.
Learning about a piece's backstory creates a deeper connection to your collection — think about the designer's vision, the methods employed, and the materials chosen. Many apparently simple pieces were feats of engineering in their time and it can be rewarding to understand this.
One such masterpiece is the Superleggera chair by Gio Ponti, inspired by the lightweight Chiavari chairs crafted in Italy. Made from ash, Ponti's chair weighs a mere 1.7kg and exemplifies the designer’s search for a balance of lightness and strength in his work.
Explore different eras
Whether you’re drawn to mid-century modern or the charm of classic British design, don't be confined by particular styles. Instead, explore common threads like wood tones and fabrics that will weave your collection together. A personal favourite of mine — and a piece that would be perfectly at home in the reception room of this Parisian apartment — is the Rising Sun bamboo table, designed by Gabriella Crespi.
Consider the context
While you are curating your space with pieces you adore and boldly mixing eras, remember: context is paramount. Take into account the architectural elements of your space, from the scale of the floor plan to the intended use of each area and the materials. Much like an artist working with a canvas, your interior's potential is often dictated by the groundwork laid before.
In the case of the Parisian apartment, the canvas was expertly prepared, and the furniture serves simply as the finishing touch — such as this lounge chair, designed by Jean Royère, for which there is always a time and a place.
Photography: Lemon; Daniel Féau of Christie’s International Real Estate ; Images courtesy of Phillips; Owenscorp; Cassina