Spare Time

FRENCH REVOLUTION

Didier Gomez started playing piano at the age of four, and still practices for three hours every day. “Music is very important to me—it’s part of my life,” says the interior designer, whose ebony baby grand anchors the living room of the Paris apartment he shares with his husband, home furnishings designer Jean-Pierre Tortil. The décor strikes a harmonious note, as well, layering classical themes with contemporary counterpoints in a melodious marriage that suggests Mozart by way of Philip Glass.

Located in a 1790s building in Paris’s posh 1st Arrondissement—steps from the Tuileries, the Place de la Concorde, and the Louvre—the apartment blends 18th-century flourishes with spindly mid-century lighting and contemporary furnishings from Tortil’s company, Atelier Tortil. “It is classical but, at the same time, minimalist. We wanted to have a mixture that linked past and present,” says Gomez, whose firm, Didier Gomez Design, caters to A-list celebrities (Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, and Robert De Niro are past clients), five-star hoteliers, and luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Ferragamo, and Giorgio Armani.

There was little evidence of the apartment’s past when the couple purchased the spacious residence four years ago. Having served as an office since the 1950s, the second-floor unit was nearly devoid of ornament—its warren of rooms sullied by institutional lighting and wall-to-wall carpeting. “It was in a bad state, really,” says Gomez. “There was nothing to conserve.” But the location was ideal, the ceilings were high, and every room was flooded with light from towering French doors.

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INTERIOR DESIGN BY DIDIER GOMEZ AND JEAN-PIERRE TORTIL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS JAUSSAUD

WRITTEN BY FRED ALBERT

This story appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of MILIEU.