Inside the Charming Parisian Apartment of French Designer Sarah Poniatowski
No matter how many times you have been to Paris, or how long you have lived there, there are places that just take your breath away. The charming Right Bank home of French designer Sarah Poniatowski is one such place. Past the front door, light enters the duplex flat from all angles, as sun streams through the garret apartment’s dormers, skylights, and window wall. And that view! From this high you can take in the rooftops of the Tuileries area and, in the distance, Sacré-Coeur. Your own heart skips a beat.
“I have lived in this part of Paris for 25 years,” explains Poniatowski, who was born in Neuilly but grew up in the French capital, where she started her lifestyle brand, Maison Sarah Lavoine, as well as her young family. “With every new kid we moved around, but always within a few blocks radius.” Like every Parisian, she had her eye on one particular building, walking past it again and again, wondering who might live on the top floor. “I used to dream about this place in the sky.”
When the flat became available she first rented it as an office. But after her business outgrew the space her family moved in. Adapting the flat for her three children required a total redo. “My bedroom was the salon, the kitchen was an office,” she muses of the transformation, which included annexing the floor below. (That yielded one floor for the kids and one where she could work and entertain.) Of the views, she says simply, “it is magic here.”
Known for her consistent and bold use of color, Poniatowski created a dynamic palette of red, blue, and white for her own place. “My fetish color is blue. There is even a trademarked Bleu Sarah paint,” she notes. “But I change things often—the colors, the furniture. I test out new designs here.” And certainly, there is much to test with over 1,000 Maison Sarah Lavoine products, among them tabletop accessories, textiles, furniture, and most recently a fashion line. They can be found at eight boutiques in France and 120 retail outlets across the globe. Her third book, aptly titled Couleurs Sarah, has just come out.
These days, that rainbow is leading all over the world, from New York (where she is working on an apartment for a client) to Biarritz and Brussels, where she is designing hotels. Her dream project is a new hospitality concept—kid-friendly, loaded with color, and full of good food. That’s all in the beginning stages, so confidential for now, but she says to check back with her next year. Will do!