Kitchen Closeup | Humbert & Poyet’s Iconic French Kitchen
An eloquent Parisian apartment designed by Humbert & Poyet captures the very best of an iconic Art Deco era, culminating in a modern yet classical kitchen design.
Monaco based studio Humbert & Poyet consists of local Monegasque Christophe Poyet and Parisian Emil Humbert who joined interior and architectural forces to co-found their practice in 2008. Humbert & Poyet are devotees of the decorative arts with a style defined as ‘warm glamour’. They have been crafting high-profile interiors in the form of showrooms, villas, hotels, and their notoriously opulent Beefbar hospitality designs across the globe ever since.
Their Apartment Turenne was recently featured on the pages of est living Issue #44: Modern Craft. In the spirit of our kitchen issue, we’re looking into the exquisite design details behind the kitchen space. In conversation with Christophe Poyet and Emil Humbert, we unearth how a convivial selection of materials, custom-designed elements and the inclusion of an iconic French appliance have brought this central space to life.
With its elegance, signature design and excellent cooking performance La Cornue’s CornuFé range cooker became a standout design feature within the kitchen. Humbert & Poyet handpicked the Arabescato marble to serve as a backdrop for the La Cornue range cooker.
Apartment Turenne is a 250 m2 home located in the old aristocratic Le Marais, a now hip Parisian neighbourhood located in the third arrondissement of Montparnasse. Despite its petite footprint, Apartment Turenne’s kitchen space is an ode to opulence, history and practical luxury. The clients had high hopes and a modest brief; they had a young family but loved to entertain, and they wanted to ensure there was space for their personal collection of modern art.
Inspired by the modernist, Art Deco and Memphis movements, paired with French classicism, unique period elements are displayed through the selection of furniture, colours and finishes in this rare family home. “All of this combines to form unique spaces that are statements in themselves, strong and refined,” Emil Humbert explains.
The source of inspiration was the function of the space, to design a timeless and elegant family home that is convivial and apt for both entertainment and family life. “The kitchen personifies this ambition perfectly,” Emil adds. Impeccably weaving the clients’ tastes with a sense of opulence and character, the kitchen balances contemporary references within a historical framework, which offers a sense of integrity and visual intrigue.
The balance of material abundance and warmth is encapsulated by the kitchen – modern in its design yet balanced with classical inspiration.
One of the most coveted luxury kitchen appliance brands globally, La Cornue is synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and makes an apt design statement within this petite kitchen.
Delivering a fusion between classic and modern, the kitchen conveys a strong feeling of grandeur by referencing a bygone era. “The structural framework of the interior was created with beautiful and intricate mouldings that are typical of Parisian interior architecture,” Christophe Poyet explains. While the cornicing is executed with a geometric style for a more contemporary context, it’s ultimately a modern space that remains harmonious with classical architectural codes. Another feature that reflects the kitchen’s sense of place is the floor-to-ceiling window, which is characteristic of French architecture and lets natural light filter through the space.
Marble, terrazzo, wood and copper all imbue an avant-garde palette. “The kitchen’s design is classical in its essence with a clean and modern aesthetic,” Christophe says. The marble brings richness and presence to the space; the terrazzo flooring serves as an accent; the copper taps and cabinet handles highlight the other materials while delivering a sense of warmth.
Wanting it to be as bright as possible, Humbert & Poyet chose to use a predominantly white colour palette with Arabescato marble to complement Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green used on the cupboards. “When you have a party, there’s always a gathering in the kitchen – here, it’s around this incredible marble island,” Christophe adds.
Other focal points include the circular pendant light, which overlooks the kitchen. “We custom-designed the Asterios Suspension Light to be a central feature of the room that hangs above the exquisite marble island, encircled by BassamFellows bar stools,” Christophe says, who also custom-designed and painted the kitchen cabinets to perfectly fit the kitchen space. The marble, handpicked from the quarry, serves as a beautiful backdrop for the centrally located La Cornue range cooker.
“The source of inspiration for this project was the functionality of the space, to design a timeless and elegant family home, that is convivial and apt for both entertainment and family life. The kitchen personifies this ambition perfectly.”
– Emil Humbert
Setting an elegant tone for the rest of the home, the foyer exudes grandeur through the use of terrazzo, brass and placement of the owner’s collection of modern art.
With a petite kitchen footprint, it was important to factor in a smaller cooker that didn’t compromise on culinary performance, making La Cornue’s latest freestanding CornuFé range a standout feature in the design. “The owners are avid cooks, so functionality and practicality were crucial in the kitchen design,” Christophe says. The La Cornue CornuFé cooker was a seamless fit both in terms of performance and as an icon of French craftsmanship and refinement. Entirely hand-made by artisans in Paris, the La Cornue knowledge and passion has been passed down from generation to generation since 1908. “We think it is important to carefully select the best artisans and craftsmen in order to keep traditional craftsmanship alive,” Christophe adds.
Inspired by art movements and iconic design eras, the kitchen space within Apartment Turenne is a rare balance of subtlety and opulence. Humbert & Poyet are true ‘masters les arts décoratifs’ with a taste for elegance and an eye for iconic pieces. They have a gift for pairing modern-day masterpieces with timeless, quality-designed appliances.