Lebanese designer Joseph Karam’s eponymous interior and furniture agency has been credited with creating several stunning mansions and villas for over four decades. He’s finally donned the client’s hat to fashion his own dream residence—a minimalist home with unique architecture that’s born out of a rich legacy and enhanced with a contemporary definition of comfort. Take a look:
“Normally, I begin by studying the character of my client and try to understand and translate his dreams into my drawings, but, for this project, it was simple, since I had the chance to be the client myself.”says the Paris-based Lebanese interior designer Joseph Karam
Located in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital, the house in question is an audacious amalgamation of the old and the new, which involved patience, persistence, and precision to realize. Fortunately for Joseph Karam, the two arms of his business meant that he was well equipped to manage every aspect of the project: Joseph Karam Paris is attuned to delivering move-in ready luxury residences and oversaw everything from the structural work to fine decorative finishes, while Karam Architecture Nice, which specializes in exteriors, created the extraordinary frontage and landscaping.
“The original house was built at the beginning of the last century for a sculptor, with a mixture of northern and southern French styles. The main idea was to preserve the history and spirit of an artist’s studio, so we undertook some light restorations and added three floors with a completely different metal-and-glass structure. This creates a clear distinction with what came before and integrates more sunlight and views into the interior.”explains Joseph Karam.
The result is a unique seven-story house with a verdant outlook. Large windows frame vistas of the sprawling Bois de Boulogne park and a smart front garden is planted with bamboo, weeping willow, and roses.
“Obtaining the permit was a great challenge for us since we were going to build on an old house that the town hall did not want to see disappear. We didn’t want to go up in height by copying the style of the lower half, so we proposed a steel construction method that was in use around the time the house was built.”recalls Joseph Karam.
Inside, most of the furniture was designed by Joseph Karam Agency with functionality in mind as much as fabulosity; several of the pieces are on wheels adding to the feeling of fluidity and ease that pervades the space.
“Moving a table to clean under it or a bed that’s two meters wide to change the sheets is much easier if it’s on wheels. It’s up to me to make it aesthetically pleasing and integrate it into the design.”says Joseph Karam.
He’s managed to do it brilliantly in the main suite where the bedframe he specified is perched elegantly on casters, and every detail has been considered ‘from the location of the TV to the built-ins and the hidden toothbrush charger’.
Now, the house has been sold to a young couple who wanted to live in a modern house with a clear view of the Bois. As far as design goes, this is still one of the more unique and atypical homes you can find in the area today.
“It [was] very rare to be able to have this chance to build an independent house in Paris in one of its most chic districts,”
says Joseph Karam