Take a Photo Tour of Designer Stéphanie Coutas’s Picturesque Apartment in Paris
Stéphanie Coutas transforms a vintage apartment for herself.
As soon as Stéphanie Coutas finished remodeling a Paris townhouse for her family, she began dreaming of a fresh challenge. The noted interior designer has a passion for collecting, creating, and arranging beautiful things, and all those talents found expression in her new apartment overlooking the Place des États-Unis in Paris. Despite the name, which roughly translates to “United States place,” this is a quintessentially French square: a railed garden surrounded by 19th-century townhouses. From the outside, these elegant buildings have ornate stone facades; the interiors, however, are constantly changing. In 1926, for instance, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles commissioned Jean-Michel Frank to create modern interiors for their mansion; in 2003, Philippe Starck turned those spaces into a glittering showcase for Baccarat.
Those makeovers inspired Coutas to transform a warren of tiny rooms on the fourth floor of another impressive house to make best use of its high ceilings and the light from large, south-facing windows. “It had a typical French layout, in which everything was tightly enclosed and the kitchen was at the far end,” she recalls. “The trick was to create a gallery that would flow out of the entry foyer, linking the principal rooms, and eliminating corridors. Living, dining, and kitchen [areas] are separate but grouped together and the master suite overlooks the courtyard to the rear where it’s quiet.”
For the entry’s massive double doors, Coutas designed a sunburst pattern that was executed in selenite stone marquetry by the artisan Yann Jallu. She designed hammered white bronze pulls for the hallway doors, and conceived original rug designs—including the living room’s graphic Tai Ping carpet—which lend texture to the solid oak floors. Indeed, the entire apartment is a showcase of her latest creations, a bespoke line named SC Edition. While a few favorite pieces were carried over from her previous residence, the new space is invigorated with Coutas’s originality in materials and presentation: bronze shelves inserted into “new ebony” wall panels in the study; a sleek ensemble of glass, black crocodile, bronze, and chrome on the vanity island in the master bath.
When Coutas designs a home for herself, she finds the process much more complicated than when she’s working for a client. “I have a million ideas and a host of new pieces and finishes that I wouldn’t dare to try out on someone else,” she admits. “It’s an easy temptation to keep adding, but I am always trying to eliminate the inessential and focus on a few key features and materials. I decided to abandon the notion of symmetry and go berserk with the ceilings.”
(Continues on next page...)