Guillaume Excoffier - Interview

How did you come up with the idea of creating a traveling gallery with your partner Nancy Gabriel ?

I met Nancy Gabriel in 2013. She traveled a lot and when she discovered my store in Paris she really liked the style. I was already mixing contemporary and vintage pieces. So we started working together on her apartment in Paris. She wanted a different decoration from her very contemporary house in Beirut, she wanted something much more Parisian. That’s how we started working together in Paris and quickly she suggested that I should set up my own shop in Beirut. We started like that, like an event, and as it went very well, we continued organizing events together but with much more significant pieces like what we do now. Compared to the contemporary world, it is much more modern than a permanent gallery. If you’re just creating a gallery that is not moving you will not get the attention of people. So the idea is to present these pieces in different spaces, mainly in apartments as it is much more personal, to allow people to project themselves.

Beyond the ephemeral nature, how do you differentiate your gallery from the other ones?

We also differentiate ourselves by the presentation of our exhibition as we’ve always presented our pieces in a “live interior setting » as if you are entering into a collector’s house. We also differentiate ourselves with the choice of pieces. For instance, we insist a lot on Brazilian pieces but not on what is most obvious when one thinks of Brazilian designers. We are mainly presenting pieces by Jose Zanine Caldas, a very great Brazilian designer who works mainly with plywood. We also insist on unique and rare furniture from the 80s and 90s like the sofa designed by Zaha Hadid, furniture designed by Garouste and Bonetti, by Martin Szekely for the Neotu Gallery, etc.

Can you tell us more about your current exhibition at the Steinway Building?

Initially we wanted to meet American collectors so we participated at the Salon Art + Design that is great but quite short. We wanted to exhibit more pieces, always in the same atmosphere, and thanks to Guillaume Coutheillas from French California we found this fabulous penthouse in the old Steinway building which almost looks like a French house. It is a 5000 square-feet duplex that we entirely decorated with a very large part of our collection, from 1900 to 2017. For instance, there is a fireplace designed by Carlo Bugatti, furniture from the 1980s, but also pieces designed by contemporary designers and especially Lebanese designers like MariaGroup + SpockDesign or Ranya Sarakbi and Niko Koronis.

What would be your dream project ?

I have always dreamed of designing a hotel or a restaurant. We are working on collector’s pieces but it doesn’t mean we are presenting them on a podium. On the contrary, we definitely prefer to create spaces where we simply feel good. Creating an atmosphere has always been at the heart of our activity and creating an atmosphere for a hotel or restaurant would be awesome.

Do you think of a particular city where you would like to do this project?

No, anywhere! Every city is interesting! Whether you go to Mexico City, NY, London, Paris or Beirut, they all have their unique and personal universe. And what is interesting is that a hotel or a restaurant is already a kind of world apart within a city.

Finally, according to you, what place do artisans occupy in the world of interior design?

Craftsmen are really the central part of the interior design world and they are more and more important because they are more and more rare. For instance, today very few people now have this incredible opportunity of having an upholsterer. And personally, this is precisely the importance of craftsmanship that I’m looking for in my profession. This is the same for the designers we are working with. There is absolutely no piece that is not the result of a true symbiosis between the designer and the artisan.


Nicolas Trousselle : Immersive tour of a Haussmannian apartment

An article by Signatures Singulières - 360° video

The interior designer, Nicolas Trousselle, has restored this Haussmannian apartment to its former glory. He transports us to a classic and contemporary universe through woody textures and precious materials. It combines luxury and confort by making reception rooms and everyday life ones coexist in harmony.

Discover this place with a 360 ° visit for a total immersion

The principle is simple: just move the cursor with your mouse to navigate around the apartment! Some indicators are placed on certain pieces of furniture, objects or pieces of art revealing the identity of the selected object. You will also discover some comments from Nicolas Trousselle.

A style, a signature

The interior designer has collaborated with renowned artists and craftsmen with exceptional know-how to give birth to a unique style.

A flawless career path

Nicolas Trousselle is a former student of the Boulle School and a graduate of the Métiers d’Art. After several years spent in a large design office, he created his agency, Secrets d’Intérieurs, mixing both contemporary and classic styles.

Find the full interview on the website of Signatures Singulières.


The best of the typical French Yule Logs of 2019

An article by Signatures Singulières

Once again this year, the best French pastry chefs are challenging their imagination for the conception of their own design of the famous christmas yule log. Their inventive creations for the 2019 holidays are making us drool over at first glance!

Christophe Michalak pays tribute to the sculptor Arman with his « Violin » yule log and Adrien Salavert to the collection of old books of the Réserve Paris with a trompe-l’oeil yule log made of three volumes. The one created by Julien Alvarez carries the Bristol seal: the iconic hotel keychain is transformed into a crisp tablet.

Gourmet and festive, the Yule logs created by the best chefs of 2019 will satisfy the most demanding palates!

Pierre Hermé

Dalloyau  –  Jérémy Del Val

Hôtel Brach – Yann Brys

George V – Michael Bartocetti


The new collection of rugs designed by Damien Langlois-Meurinne

The French interior designer and architect, Damien Langlois-Meurinne, recently redecorated this XVIIth century mansion located on the Île Saint Louis, in Paris.

In the past, the mansion had been decorated by Jacques Garcia in a classic spirit with XVIIth century furniture, wall hangings and yellow and red tones. Today, even though Damien Langlois-Meurinne has made very few changes to its structure, the style of the appartement looks completely different.

With elegance and subtlety, he managed to give a second life to this incredible place by mixing contemporary works of art and pieces of design. He mainly used the white palette to play the card of clarity.

For this project, he designed three wool & silk rugs with our partner, la Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne: the « Rain », the « Aura » and the « Zebra ». These three new rugs fall in line with his previous creations : the « Zenith », the « Follow Me », the « Nautilus », the « White Sun » and the « Flakes ».

Rugs available in special size upon request.
Photos by Stephan Julliard.

By Elle Decoration


Isabelle Stanislas - Interview

Par Excellence met French designer Isabelle Stanislas at The Salon Art+Design. An opportunity to ask her some questions about her work, current projects, and inspirations. Interview.

Par Excellence – What made you become an interior designer? 

Isabelle – I was sixteen when I visited the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design located in Jerusalem, Israel. I saw the creative energy of this place and I knew I wanted to be part of it, to live this emotion!

Par Excellence – What is your philosophy of interior design? 

Isabelle – My interior design is not dissociable from architecture. The functional aspect of my projects guides my interior design in terms of light, volumes and materials. To me, interior design is the reflect of souls. 

Par Excellence – What are your current projects? 

Isabelle – My work is multidisciplinary. I mainly design private residences. I finished a house in Comporta, Portugal, and another in Senegal. I also created a furniture collection. And now, I would like to orient myself towards architectural landscape. 

Par Excellence – In one word, what would be your dream project ? 

Isabelle – I would love to design a foundation after having created the concept of it! 

Par Excellence – What place does craftsmanship occupy in your work ? 

Isabelle – The Artisans guide my work, at every step of the process of design. They help me to go beyond my limits and the limits of the material. Above all, they are sincere and honest. They are at the basis of the beauty we convey. 



Waldorf Astoria to Reopen, with a new French Touch

By Amanda Copkov

After several years of undergoing extensive refurbishments, New York’s very own Waldorf Astoria is expected to open once again — and this time, with a new French touch.

Acclaimed French designers Jean-Louis Deniot and Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR) — both originally based in Paris — have undertaken both sides of the luxury art-deco hotel’s latest renovations: Deniot, with the former rooms now turned into luxury apartments and penthouses as well as the amenity spaces, and Rochon with the general hotel interior and public areas, as reported by luxury lifestyle magazine The Robb Report on November 14. The new designs also bring back the “old world glory” of the hotel, reconstructing the grand ballroom as it originally was in 1980 as well as restoring the four-faced clock which dates back over a century to 1893.

In 2016, Deniot was featured on the AD100, a list from Architectural Digest which recognizes the world’s best interior designers and architects. The “tastemakers,” as the magazine referred to them, on the 2016 list were each artists with a vision, and all “supremely confident” — Deniot included. On the AD100 2016, AD wrote that Deniot places a “heavy importance on the atmosphere more than the actual look” and was then working on projects such as the 25,000-square-foot construction of a modern palace in Chandigarh, India as well as an apartment
overlooking the Tuileries Garden in Paris.

PYR also focuses on luxury hospitality, while integrating the location, culture, and history of each property into the final design. According to their website, their design philosophy “centers on creating a refined, comfortable atmosphere that celebrates elegance and warmth while providing a timeless backdrop for an ever-changing modern culture.” Previous works from PYR include award-winning designs for the other luxury properties such as the Four Seasons, Ritz-
Carlton, Shangri-La, Sofitel, among several others.

The Waldorf Astoria renovation, which began in 2017 and cost up to $1 billion, includes refurbishments to 375 hotel rooms and 375 brand new residential condos — the latter costing anywhere from $1.7 million and higher for purchase and expected to go on sale starting in 2020. The condos, which will be formally known as the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, range from studios to four-bedroom apartments, averaging 1,700 square feet. They will also feature large floor plans with libraries, entertainment rooms and master bedrooms with en suite baths and
walk-in closets, as detailed by The Robb Report.

The complete renovation of the Waldorf Astoria is expected to be completed sometime in 2021.


Manufacture Zuber - Unique wallpapers

An article by Signatures Singulières

Founded in 1790, the “Manufacture Zuber” is based in Rixheim, Alsace, in a former commandery of Teutonic knights. It is the oldest French wallpaper factory still in operation. Nowadays, the artisans of the manufacture still print their creations by hand thanks to their extraordinary know-how. 

Traditional production methods (handmade)

Its famous panoramic scenery depicts continuous landscapes without any repetition of scenes of patterns. In addition, the Manufacture creates an abundant collection of designs for wallpaper. As well as motifs such as friezes, trimmings, rosettes, and trompe l’oeil architectural elements. Nowadays, 80 to 90% of its production is still printed with traditional handmade processes. Between 1797 and 1830, the factory’s workers sculpted some 150,000 wooden boards. Medieval cellars dating from the 15th century preserve this treasure. 

A national treasure

These wallpaper boards classified as “Historic Monuments” are part of the French Heritage. Some of them were used to print the “Americas” decor in the oval office of the White House. It was an order made in the 60s by Jacqueline Kennedy. 

A decorative repertoire of infinite richness

Terrestrial paradises, sublimated elsewhere, fantastic bestiary, luxuriant flora, breathtaking landscaped, architectural treasures… This diversity allows Zuber’s creations to adapt to all styles of decoration. It goes from the historic interior to the purest design. 


The Salon Art+Design 2019: Rendez-vous

The Salon Art+Design show returned for its eighth edition at the Park Avenue Armory from November 14 – 18, 2019. Being an incredible melting pot of design, vintage, modern and contempory art, it featured 56 leading art and design galleries (Apparatus, R Company, The Future Perfect, 21St Gallery), from 14 different countries.

Lalique : A celebration of iconic design and craftsmanship

Lalique participated at Salon Art+Design 2019 for its second year in a row. The façade of the installation featured the debut of the “Hirondelles” Wallpaper, created in tandem with Fromental, a British wall-covering company. The overall concept for the installation was influenced by the three F’s that define the Lalique brand; Femme (woman), Flore (Flora), Faune (Fauna). 

For this special occasion, the Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne which is part of Par Excellence Craftsmen collective, created a custom hand-cut and looped carpet that lent a textural, luxurious and inviting atmosphere to the space with its modern nest and parakeet pattern. 

Mathieu Lehanneur – The Colonel’s Room

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur created a new site-specific installation for the Salon, using a mix of new and old designs. He created a place of refuge within the historic Colonel’s Room called “Soldier’s Retreat”. Here was his new collection “Inverted Gravity but also pieces of his “Illuminations” Collection like his cloud-shaped Familyscape couch and a green marble console. Most pieces of this collection were crafted by Par Excellence partners.