French designer Pierre Yovanovitch is quite a history buff. “I have a deeply rooted love for the Swedish Grace, a not-so-well-known design movement from the 1920s,” he shares. “Gunnar Asplund, who I consider to be one of the greatest Swedish architects of the first half of the 20th century, was part of this decorative movement, as was Axel Einar Hjorth.”
Admiring the “rigour, balance, curves and depth of materiality” of the furniture from the era, he notes that that the design of the pieces was “very simplistic with an organic, raw quality, whilst also containing extremely sophisticated elements to them, too”. It comes as no surprise then, that the designer’s ongoing fascination with the dated period is reflected in his transportive interiors, which range from high-end residences to hospitality spaces such as the Christian Louboutin Beauty flagship boutique at Galerie Véro-Dodat in Paris and the five-star ski hotel Le Coucou in Méribel, France.
The design extraordinaire, often revered for his mastery at restructuring historical spaces with art and artisan pieces to create a contemporary edge, also admires the 1930s and 1960s, citing Nordic designers such as Frits Henningsen and Paavo Tynell as well as American designers such as James Mont and Harvey Probber as sources of influence.
“Mid-century American designers knew how to overturn conventions such as steel, cork, ceramic and wood into variations of these materials that were not necessarily found in Europe,” Yovanovitch says. “My attraction to this period in American design corresponds to the interiors I create. I like the strength and authenticity of designs with an almost architectural perfection; I prefer an apparent simplicity in the statement itself, with personality, elegance, an exactitude that is timeless as well as a touch of originality without ostentation or arrogance.”