; Joseph Karam's Paris townhouse brings to mind 'Stairway to Heaven', the 1970s classic - ELLE DECOR

Homes

Joseph Karam’s Paris townhouse brings to mind ‘Stairway to Heaven’, the 1970s classic

AUG 4, 2020 | By Sakshi Rai
Sliding doors conceal an entertainment unit in the capacious living room; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand
A streaked wooden backdrop, paired with side tables in softer tones, adds a classic elegance to the white boudoir; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand
Metal rimmed glass windows stream in abundant daylight to enliven the lavish setting; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

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.

To say that the Paris based creative’s palatial house is anything but a literal ascend through history and time would be a lie. Sprawled across nearly 6,000 sq ft, the property—originally built for an artist at the beginning of the 20th century—was crafted using an amalgamation of northern and southern French styles.

A quaint, wall display of earthenware in varying neutral hues can seen behind a pristine white couch; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

While its heritage construction offered a priceless historic allure which Karam wanted to retain, he also wanted to bring in his signature, distinctly modern touch. So he added three levels above to break away from the impregnable cement mould below and to bask in abundant daylight with the help of glass and metal. The transparent, grid-like facade offers a visual connect across the abode and gorgeous vistas of the Bois de Boulogne.

The wall mounted modern art acts as a backdrop to this streamlined table setup near the staircase; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

This stark yet pleasing contrast of surfaces continues indoors and can be seen in the metallic designs and frames of the elevators and stairs, bound by white painted walls. Karam stuck to a dry construction palette throughout, glimpses of which can be seen in his choice of materials comprising wood, Corian, Fermacell and stucco.

The artwork continues along the length of the metallic staircase; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

Karam’s abundant professional expertise and keen eye for bespoke pieces can be seen in the refined—and long predetermined—materials and accessories that he sought for his home. Most of these have been exclusively customised for this project, including some created by his namesake practice Jospeh Karam Agency as part of its POP collection.

A narrow console and bench sit atop the white, marbled flooring in this corridor; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

A green patch, in front of the main facade, lies planted with bamboos, weeping willows and roses and ushers you into the house. Inside, the living and dining area along with the kitchen comprise the ground floor, while the two basement floors below house a gaming arena, laundry room, wine cellar, storage and some additional machinery. Upstairs, the first level gives way to a guest suite, and the second and third storeys host mister and mistress themed suites (complete with dressing rooms) respectively.

The spacious interiors are spruced with angular seaters and pops of pastel hues; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

Wanting to reinvent the art of living outdoors, the creative planned a terrace with a monochromatic winter garden that stretches across the topmost levels. This serene escape, cooped up high away from the bustle of the city, is where one can go for a breathtaking, all around view, and some peace and quiet.

The metal clad elevator and winding staircase; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

Obtaining the building permit and the approximate passage of the underground subway was not an easy feat and took nearly two years of negotiation with the concerned administration. Since the structure did not use cement, Karam also had to draft a special anti-seismic study.

A muted tinge of grey seeps into the modular kitchen setup on the ground floor; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

But despite its many challenges, Karam is beyond elated with the final outcome. “I’m happy to have devoted the necessary time in search of my idea of perfection. A feeling of satisfaction fills me when I look back at my initial sketches and see how closely we were able to realise them. It is incredible and very rarely possible to be able to custom curate architecture on such a grand and personal scale,” he concludes.

Scroll below to view more images of Joseph Karam’s posh Parisian residence…

Even the prints and frames that line countertops comply to the simplistic theme of the home; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

 

A solid blue wallpaper seen in one of the bedrooms breaks away from the monochromatic palette; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

 

Bespoke, sculptural artefacts and paintings spruce up every corner of the residence; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

 

The washrooms are styled with sleek fittings and fixtures; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand

 

An outdoor bathtub, in the terrace garden allows the homeowner to soak in the luxury of nature; Art Direction by Gilles Dalliere; Photographs by Francis Amiand