When a couple transform their Paris pied-à-terre, they entrust Philipe Marques to craft a dazzling jewel box in the sky.
“His work is never predictable and eschews trendiness,” says the homeowner of her interior designer, Philipe Marques. “He also has impeccable taste.”
Full Story Below
WHEN INTERIOR DESIGNER PHILIPE MARQUES takes on a project, his first order of business is to envision his clients in the rooms. “I try to make sure that their style works nicely with the space,” he says, “so that they look their absolute best in it.”
This particular client—the wife of the couple who asked Marques o reconfigure and decorate their Paris pied-à-terre—dresses, he says, “in a very fashionable, modern way.” So even though the great majority of the furniture the designer was given to work with was antique, the goal was to create interiors that felt decidedly “modern, not stuffy.”
The couple were attracted to their Upper East Side roost by the generously proportioned living room and spectacular views. It took them four years to find the apartment, and when they did, their first call was to Marques. He had previously “updated” a room in their primary residence, a house in Milan. “Philipe has a unique ability to adapt to his clients’ tastes so that their homes reflect their personal aesthetic, not his,” says the wife, herself a former decorator. “His work is never predictable and eschews trendiness. He also has impeccable taste.”
To freshen the apartment, Marques installed mirrored panels in the enlarged entry hall. He also painted the living room three shades of white and the dining room caramel. (“The color is new to my palette,” says Marques, whose own Portugal house uses lots of black and white. “But I always try to push myself past my comfort zone.”).
Contemporary pieces, including a pair of Eve Kaplan mirrors and a gilded fiberglass copy of an Emilio Terry console, were mixed in with the older ones. “I love it when clients bring their own furniture to the table,” Marques says. “It makes a home feel layered and interesting.”
Such was the extent of his clients’ trove that Romualdez could engage in plenty of creative recycling. An existing sofa was enhanced by the addition of bullion fringe and placed in the study, which is paneled in cerused oak.
Embroidered trim from an old set of silk curtains was removed and added to new linen curtains for the living room. “The things she had were of great quality,” he says. “I kept asking, ‘Why can’t we use this?’ I think she was surprised. But when you save money on certain things, you can splurge on some really strong pieces.”
In the end, Marques says, “it was a very easy, fun collaboration. She really liked everything. When that happens, I get a little bit nervous—I wonder, Are they paying attention?”
Not only was she paying attention, she was also inspired to buy the apartment’s two major artworks, the Pat Steir canvas in the living room and the large Enoc Perez oil in the dining room. “I love that she went shopping after she saw the rooms,” he says. And even though her husband was less involved in the process, he later sought out Marques at a party to tell him how much he loves the space. “That, to me, was the icing on the cake.”