At Home with Designer Pierre Yovanovitch

  • At Home With | Pierre Yovanovitch | est living

    French interior architect Pierre Yovanovitch takes us through the ancient halls of Chateau Fabregues, set in the lavender foothills of the high alps in Provence, France.

    Arriving at Chateau Fabregues northwest of Nice, it’s likely you’ll find French interior architect Pierre Yovanovitch in his garden. Bordered by woodland, the noble grounds were designed by French master Louis Benech, which Pierre enjoys with his partner Matthieu and their four dogs, as well as a few chickens and donkeys. “Whenever I feel in need of inspiration and to recharge, I go outside to my garden,” he says. “It grounds me and reminds me that beauty, colour and mystery are all around us.”

    Formerly a menswear designer for Pierre Cardin, Yovanovitch established his Paris-based atelier nearly 20 years ago. He went on to open outpost in New York and is one of the world’s most in-demand designers.

    Pierre’s haute couture lens has cultivated an inimitable design portfolio founded on his passion for art, Nordic and American design and a love of the antique, unexpected and imperfect. His style lends itself particularly well to historic homes where Pierre is careful to modernise without mimicking or erasing the past. That’s how the designer found himself purchasing a fairy-tale-like chateau and surrounding farm buildings kept in the same family for centuries, with a chapel that dates back to the 10th century.

    “It was very important to me to preserve the historical integrity of the home in the process of renovating it, whether that be breathing life back into the original chapel or restoring the roof’s stunning tile work,” he says. Pierre hoped his work would appear as though it had always been there with a rich story to tell. Authentic materials affirm this dialogue in the agricultural buildings, where timber beams, camel-coloured walls and exposed wooden floors underpin eclectic objects such as the Zigzag sofa designed by Pierre.

    In the chateau’s dining room, the gold Snowflake chandelier by Finnish designer Paavo Tynell and ornate blue dining table designed by Copenhagen architect Christen Emanuel Kjaer Monberg echo a bygone grandeur. But in Chateau Fabregues, the most prized pieces are the collection of owl figurines Pierre has acquired travelling. “I have a fascination with the bird and their singing and each one of the objects adds its own character to the space,” he says.

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    This dining nook features the Laura bracket lamp from Pierre’s Oops Collection, a vintage Bean Sofa by Otto Schulz, round dining table by Jules Wabbes, circa 1965 and eclectic dish by Alexandre Noll. 

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    “I always try to lead all of my projects with my intuition and the design of my home isn’t any different.” 

     

    – Pierre Yovanovitch 

    Pierre Yovanovitch by Stefanie Moshammer

    The designer believes bringing in unique, site-specific artwork is what makes each space come alive. A long- time collaborator with artist Claire Tabouret, he commissioned her to create a mural in the property’s abandoned chapel. “Claire’s work is so emotive and powerful,” he says. “The scene she created is stunning and immersive and in many ways repurposes the building, true to its origins, as a place of quiet reflection.”

    Pierre says Chateau Fabregues is his heart and soul and lifelong project. “It’s a blank canvas for me where I’m able to express myself creatively and also a place for me ground myself surrounded in nature and with my family – four-legged members included.” 

    This feature originally appeared in est Magazine Issue #37.

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    The garden designed by Louis Benech features a swimming pool, original ornamental pool, shapely hedges, pebbled walkways and manicured lawns dotted with sculptures, encased by dry stone walls.

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    “It’s a blank canvas for me where I’m able to express myself creatively and also a place for me to ground myself surrounded in nature and with my family – four-legged members included.”

     

    – Pierre Yovanovitch 

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    Coloured tiles illustrating the different seasons were added to Chateau’s four towers in the 1800s.

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