Un Diamant Brut: A Berlin Loft By A Husband-And-Wife Architect Team

Xavier Charvet, the Parisian architect and designer who founded Studio Charvet in Berlin, has put his stamp on stylish projects in the U.K., France and Germany. His roster ranges from guest villa to penthouse, café to perfectly appointed dressing room — even beach houses on the French Riviera.

So when he moved with his family into a modern loft near his office, there was no question that the personality of the place would rise to the occasion with his signature bespoke style. Charvet prides himself on looking at every project like a “rough diamond” (un diamant brut in French) and refining it into something luxurious and elegant.

“We chose this condominium for its beautiful contemporary architecture and huge outdoor terraces,” Charvet notes. “I love the easiness of this city. Everything is big, from streets to flats, from doors to tables. Coming from Paris, where everything is beautiful but small, it is a real change.” He was drawn to the apartment’s high ceilings and streaming light.

He adds, “We are four: me; Coline Savoye, my wife and architect partner; our son, Gabriel, age eight and our cute, small Pomeranian, Nano.

“I choose to live with objects I love: vintage furniture; nice, strong materials like wood and chic linen textiles to smooth the style.” The design features a big room at the center of the apartment, for entertaining. “The other rooms are smaller, like refuges,” quips Charvet.

The family reads, eats, talks and visits with guests in the partially rounded living room.

Studio Charvet designs bespoke furniture — like the dining room table shown below. Even the kitchen is bespoke, with tailored details and a minimalist approach built around a Bulthaup design system.

Charvet notes that, “I reduced it to the max, with a gray tone. In contrast, the red Le Creuset accessories are good-looking enough to leave out, which is practical since we cook a lot of French food here. The challenge was to create a working kitchen in a small space. We always take the color Cerise from Le Creuset. When you cook, the red changes and reminds us of our childhood.”

The rosewood dining room chairs, sourced from Les Puces in Paris, are by Danish designer Kai Kristiansen. The old table is from Normandy and the pendant lamps are vintage Louis Poulsen by Vilhelm Lauritzen.

Those beautiful drapes? “They are linen, tinted in an indefinite tone that stands between gray-blue and green. It’s so nice to see the color changing with the sun,” Charvet continues.

Family and friends love it here — not only to relax and visit in a serene spot, but also to savor the chic, comforting food that emerges from the streamlined kitchen. Savoye admits that she and her husband cook a lot of French food because they love it and their friends are German. It’s a way to share their culture. “We make salad with warm goat cheese, classic ratatouille, potatoes Dauphinoise (au gratin), crepes, boeuf bourguignon, blanquette de veau and duck in orange sauce,” Savoye notes. They even make their own lovely desserts, including macarons, madeleines, financiers and cherry clafoutis.

“And for the kids, I also make Parisian chouquettes — cream puffs,” she explains.

“You know all our secrets now,” chuckles Savoye. If only.

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