We sit down with the interior design legend Jospeh Karam to talk about one of his projects called Lanes, a unique and ultra-modern townhouse in the heart of Paris.
Originally born in Lebanon but having been based in France shortly after completing his interior design studies, Joseph Karam is the epitome of what an eclectic designer should be. His natural flow between cultures, styles and an intimate understanding of both offers Karam a unique and distinctive eye that can transform spaces into something rather unique.
In a statement, Joseph Karam described this style of his as “French elegance with oriental warmth, and the authenticity of projects that transcend fashion.” And that is exactly what his projects are.
Much too often, an interior designer will come in and turn spaces into showrooms. Unfeeling and staged… well, stages. But, by so elegantly blending different worlds together, it not only results in a unique space and style but it creates a lived-in feeling. From the minute you see these spaces, it immediately feels as if this space had been curated by its owner over years of travelling and endless collecting. This offers a warmth to the designs which can much too often be lacking in modern design.
We sat down with the interior design legend Jospeh Karam to talk about one of his projects called Lanes, a unique and ultra-modern townhouse in the heart of Paris.
What kind of person lives here?
A young foreign couple who wanted to live in Paris in a modern and atypical house with a clear view towards the Bois de Boulogne.
Let’s talk a little about the location of the project. What makes this area unique and does this location offer the home/design any favourable features?
The house is located in the sixteenth arrondissement of Paris and is open on three sides with a panoramic view over the center of Paris and the Bois de Boulogne via Avenue Foch.
Tell us more about your design brief
Originally, the two-storey house belonged to a sculptor. We wanted to keep its old look in white painted concrete and raise three floors with a black metallic architecture, where concrete would be nowhere to be seen. This created a contrast in style of material and color which was the initial goal of the concept – while keeping the soul of the artist of the old times.
What is your favourite room or area in the project?
Given the small surface area of the land, we were allowed to go up in height and to experience with different styles on each floor, from an underground style to the winter garden – oriental and contemporary.
The owner’s suite is my favourite. It has been studied in every detail from the location of the TV to the built-ins, hidden toothbrush charger, etc.
Where there any challenges you encountered with this project and how they were overcome?
Obtaining the building 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 it disappear. We did not want to go up in height by copying the lower part which we do not appreciate. That is why we started with a steel construction.
What made this property so unique that it would require so much consideration when granting the needed permits as well as your design approach?
The old house was built at the beginning of the last century for an artist, with a mixture of northern and southern French styles. In order to preserve its history with light restorations, we had implanted three floors with a completely different structure where the concrete has completely disappeared and replaced with metal and glass. This allows more visual comfort to the eye and integrates the sun more into the interior.
How would you describe the final result?
The most important part of this adventure is the satisfaction of the owner with the final result. Bespoke architecture, modified and re-modified to devote the necessary time to it.