“You are buying the sky!” exclaimed designer Amelie de Gaulle when her clients approached her with plans for their penthouse apartment in the yet-to-be built ICON. This was an accurate response considering the 22nd floor apartment boasts 15-foot glass walls wrapping three sides of the apartment, three large skylights and balconies.
The owners are ardent fans of Art Nouveau. The style, known for its use of organic forms and curving lines, is a sharp contrast to the rectilinear design of the ICON. Amelie interpreted their passion and designed a space that respects the style in a modern way. An antechamber with subtle curves in the gate, door and mosaic floor provides a smooth transition into the apartment. Enter and the mix of organic design gives a sense of mystery and a subtle sexiness in the stunning combination of wood, copper and color.
Amelie wanted the owners to feel grounded in their aerie. Elegant panels of South American Lacewood line vertical surfaces. A freestanding wall sheathed in copper leaf provides warmth. Dark bamboo floors add gravity. Light pouring through the windows plays with the volume. Curves in the walls and ceiling flow comfortably from one space to the next. In the entry, they wrap the space with a château-like feel. Similar curves overhead create niches, as in the dining room and “bird’s nest” feel of the master bedroom.
Naturally, color plays an important role. Stone colored upholstery covers custom furniture. The stormy gray-blue ceilings blend into the night sky. The pale silvery glass tiles and wall coverings in the Lalique inspired master bath add a watery element.
Accents throughout the apartment complement the Art Nouveau theme, including a triptych commissioned from Greg Decker and select pieces from the couple’s Asian travels. In every detail of the custom interior, Amelie’s respect for Art Nouveau and organic elements—flowers, stone, wood, light and music—is apparent. The elements combine perfectly to create a living space that is timeless.
A Nashville-based designer with French roots, Amelie will continue to create timeless living spaces through her newest venture as the U.S. representative for Fort Royal. Fort Royal relies on centuries-old French craftsmanship techniques in the areas of stained glass, iron, garden ornaments and cabinet making. For more information, contact Amelie de Gaulle at 615-513-5938 or visit fort-royal.com.
—Holly Hoffman, Photos courtesy of Bill LaFevor