The trouble with being a tastemaker is that admirers want to own what you live with. Paris decorator Vincent Darré ’s protectionist solution? Conjure up a virtual home that serves as a by-appointment office and showroom. “It’s an exploration of what I can do with the elegant proportions of salons with dix-huitième-siècle boiseries,” he says, in an accent he laughingly calls “pure Maurice Chevalier.” And, as the thrillingly dapper designer points out—to his fans’ satisfaction—everything is for sale, from cushions to chandeliers.
Darré’s professional premises occupy a handful of high-ceilinged rooms on the third floor of 13 Rue Royale, a limestone mansion that was constructed in the 18th century by architect Louis Le Tellier. To Darré’s delight, the building is just a few grand doors up from another Le Tellier building that once housed the legendary Jansen design studio. “My desk is Jansen,” he proudly says of the vintage metal writing table standing center stage in the silver office.
Here, past and present unite with a contemporary charge, marrying a new line of home furnishings and accessories—sparked by Baroque, Renaissance, and mythological grotesqueries, Darré’s great aesthetic touchstones—with the expertise of artisans who are close friends. Vivid memories of a childhood trip to Rome come to life in the Forum’s worth of architectural fragments that march across a long corridor’s custom-made wallpaper. Lamps by Patrice Dangel and Kim Moltzer and a lava-stone console by Eric Schmitt are poised beneath the lounge’s blood-orange ceiling. Terra-cotta sconces by Vadim Androusov and André Arbus illuminate the bath, and a shimmering Manuela Paul‑Cavallier mirror fashioned of burned and gilded wood joins an Osanna Visconti di Modrone table in the bedroom.
Darré is so pleased with the effervescent mise-en-scène that he’ll be hosting everything from lunches to cocktail parties there, inviting painters, designers, actors, writers, and the like, in the manner of a mod Proustian salon. And if anybody wants the venerable china they just so handsomely dined upon, it can be had, for a price. maisondarre.com