Exclusive Interview with the Art Homes Concept Creator Gerard Faivre

Gerard Faivre is a french revolutionary art homes concept creator that offers fully renovated, ready to live, prestige apartments for sale. It was back then in 1985 that he proved the world that he could be a pioneer but it was years later that he started in this business of transforming homes into real works of art.

Inspired by the interior decor sets by the Second Empire, Faivre confesses that he imbues himself with the soul of each property and that each project is a unique piece of art.

He was kind enough to answer some questions, let’s get to know him better.

1. Where do you come from and what are your studies?

My studies were soon oriented by architecture. The death of my father forced me to take over the family’s company “Prêt à porter“. Therefore I spent about 30 years in this field as manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler. We produced and sold to supermarkets in France and abroad.

In 1985, I met a designer and decided to found a brand in Paris named “Un dimanche dans nos Campagne”, a store where I mixed the sale of clothing, furniture and other items from all over the world. I was probably the Pioneer of this concept store which was further replicated by notorious concept stores such as “Colette” in Paris.

By chance, I met with my wife in Saint Rémy de Provence, a town who was immortalized by Van Gogh’s paintings in his paintings that made the whole world dream. Deeply in love we bought the first “Mas” which we have fully restored and decorated.

A person in the neighborhood who witnessed this metamorphosis, fell in love, and decided to acquire the fully furnished place in order to keep the soul that I had given in the during the renovation work. Later in 2000 I had the idea of selling completely renovated properties and “ready to live” apartments fully decorated and furnished by myself. My second realization was found on a purchaser and the adventure began.

2. How did you decide to set up your business and why?

I have found that when a foreigner wants to buy a “Pied de Térre” (a small living space) in Paris, or elsewhere, he has no choice but to go to a real estate agency, which relates a seller and a buyer. This type of business representative does not really know it’s customer’s needs besides what is demanded on paper, therefore, this does not capture well the desire of the client, although some boast otherwise! They offer everything and anything leaving the client unhappy. The acquisition made, the customer is left alone and often helpless to show case this apartment. To the luxury clientele we work with is inconceivable to settle in a place already inhabited, although the work there has been made recently. They will eventually contract an interior designer, and renovate again the space in their own way.

It’s long journey!

The distance between the customer and the seller, but also sometimes the fact that he still does not know what he really wants, requires a long time to develop the final plan of renovation/transformation of the space. Many concerns, works and time (often more than 18 months) pass before the customer gets installed and uses his newly acquired Parisian “Pied a Térre”! Do not forget to talk about important issues such as prices that involve all of this steps. The customer knows the cost of acquisition, (usually referred as “price per m2”), but does not control the final total cost of the investment, so it is extremely important to keep the costumer updated regarding these costs. This clientele is accustomed and demands luxury and comfort for their interior design of their apartments, such as: technology (home automation, sound system, air conditioning, etc.).

Faced with this difficult path, Gerard Faivre has a real trigger that leads to imagine what will remain his greatest creation: his own business “Art Home Maker“. The idea of having “ready to live” luxury apartments allows him to explore its know-how, especially in real estate, architecture and home decoration. The process is as simple as innovative: buy a home that somehow has a great and inspiring feeling, renovate, modernize and decorate it, before finding its place on the property market.

Fully furnished and equipped with the best technology, this house is ready to be bought and habitable immediately. For the customer, there are many advantages to acquire properties signed as “Art Homes“. The name comes from comparing my work to the work of a painter. As a work of art, the buyer will immediately fall in love. The important difference is that if everything is not suitable, it is still possible to make some changes!

3. Where does your inspiration come from? And how do you work in a team?

Like a work of art, to have value, it must remain unique! The challenge is to never repeat the same project. For me each client is unique therefore its interior decor must be unique as well! Inspiration is in my heart and my imagination to go. Often the history of a space, a building, and even some iconic pieces, become a source of inspiration for my work.

The name “Art Homes” also for my collaboration with artists (painters, sculptors, photographers) and amplifies the idea of my accomplishments. This allows artists to stage their works in a luxurious interior, and also, through our publications, those artist have international recognition and meet fans worldwide.

4. How do you choose artisans and materials? And which are your favorite materials?

To decorate prestigious locations, I collaborate with craftsmen who best represent the French “Savoir Faire“. I like to combine the materials such as marble, wood, glass, fabrics and wallpapers. The goal is to create a perfect harmony for a unique place that will attract customers.

5. Tell us a little about L’Appartement at Rue Bonaparte. What was your inspiration?

Gerard Faivre loves this area because it is the birth place of the French Revolution and is also the district of Literature. He chose this apartment on Rue Bonaparte, as the name still evokes for many foreigners, a very important figure in our history. It is an apartment full of history: its construction dates the year of 1880 and is the major restructuring of Paris, decided by Napoleon III and directed by Baron Haussmann.

The buildings on the street became more exclusive, only one apartment per floor, the second floor is the main floor and has a long balcony along the entire facade. This building, located 20 meters from St. Germain, perfectly matches what lovers search in Saint Germain des Prés.

“What interested me in this project is the preservation of the original construction of the time, for example: the marble, inlaid mirrors in worked-wood. I wanted to keep this characteristics as they really mark the time of the building. I composed here a bold staging inspired by the past, influenced by the style of the Second Empire, while dreaming of the future. We find the emblematic colors of that era: oranges, greens, blues and also the shades of gold that symbolized wealth, luxury and which bring an extra sparkle“, said the designer Gerard Faivre.

A foreign lover of authentic Paris style will find it very suitable.

6. How did you mixed colors, materials, patterns and textures for this project?

I was inspired by the colors (green Orange and gold) and emblematic materials (velvet, wood, marble) that were found on the interior decors by time of the Second Empire. And which symbolized a certain “bourgeoisie”.

7. Do you have any favorite brands and designs for your projects? Which ones?

I believe that every place is different, and I am always looking for new designers, new brands that represent the luxury with which I can collaborate and use in my projects.

8. What are your future projects and collections?

I recently finished a “Parisian” project at Rue du Cirque, a sublime apartment of 310 m2. I also finished another project at a prestigious location, close to the Arc de Triomphe. I am surrounded by a team that knows the time and requirements of my achievements, each project takes 3 to 5 months maximum.

Nothing is left to chance in Gérard Faivre’s selection of prestigious neighbourhoods, designer sofas and paintings by masters.

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