Two separate projects by Yovanovitch in Paris. Photos by LUXPRODUCTIONS.
ElleDECOR.com: What is it about black-and-white floors that you are attracted to?
: Both the contrast of colors and geometric patterns structure a place. And usually this kind of floor gives the impression of enlarging the actual room. A graphic floor can also give a three-dimensial aspect to a flat surface which is both amuzing and puzzling in a room that would have no furniture at all for instance. I like graphic floors for entrance halls and lobbies for this reason. We are currently working on residential building in Paris with a main lobby and hallways that all have black and white floors. Because of the pattern, you really get the impression you are walking on different levels and different surfaces. It is quite surprising.
Hôtel Marignan Paris. Photo by LUXPRODUCTIONS.
ED: How do you decide if a space needs graphic, bold floors?
PY: To counterbalance the vertical lines (walls) of a room with little furniture, a graphic floor pattern can be interesting and make the difference. A bold drawing can also be a stylistic choice linked to a period of time and the history of the building or the general environment.
ED: How do you know if bold, graphic flooring will work in a space?
PY: In my studio all our projects are developed by my team of architects under 2D and 3D software. This already gives a good idea of the final rendering. A pattern shouldn't be too tight or too loose. It is a question of balance and proportion.
Left: An interpretation of a pattern that could be from the 1920s. Photo by Marina Faust. Right: An apartment's atrium. Photo by LUXPRODUCTIONS.
ED: What pre-existing architectural elements do you take into account before you decide to go with bold flooring ?
PY: I will first look at the date and style of the building. I never conceive an interior out of its general context. In a Parisian apartment located in a building with an architecture from the 1920's, I had fun imaging a pattern that could be a re-interpretation of a design from that same period. In another project which was a castle in Provence and an original builiding from the 17th century, I decided to bring in a contemporary twist but that would strongly rely on its historic basis. Therefore, the pattern designed for both the dining room and the study has strong historical inspiration (and the colors are not black and white actually but black and beige).
Left: Hôtel Marignan Paris. Photo by LUXPRODUCTIONS. Right: Bathroom in a Paris apartment. Photo by Marina Faust.
ED: What is your process like when you are designing flooring?
PY: You would tend to neglect the floor but for me it is fundamental: when you walk and enter a room, you naturally look down and look at your feet! And then your eyes go straight up… to the ceiling. Therefore, for me floors and ceilings are essential and I consider them as a priority before the walls. I don't mind plain walls with a spectacular floor and a spectacular ceiling. And I find interesting to have the floor and the ceiling interact: we like imagining gypsum shapes and patterns on a ceiling being as an echo to a geometric floor pattern.
ED: Where is your go-to-source for stone and marble?
PY: I love stone and marble and when it comes to choosing, I often travel with my clients directly to the quarry. We mostly go to Italy. In the quarry, you get the opportunity to see large cuts of the stone or marble blocks. This gives a good idea of color, texture and pattern and it is much more reliable than just small samples. When you are talking about choosing raw material for a 40-square-meter-bathroom for instance you shouldn't have doubts about your selection! I like deep colors and for marbles I go for pieces which veins lines won't be too dominant.
Left: Entryway at an apartment in Paris. Right: Bathroom at another Paris apartment designed by Yovanovitch. Photos by LUXPRODUCTIONS
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