Pierre Yovanovitch's latest residential interior in Tel Aviv is a fantasy seaside urban retreat

dining room with grey marble flooring, a brown wooden table with six mustard yellow dining chairs, and abstract art including a blue lightshade, wall art and freestanding wooden nest sculpture
This striking residential interior in Tel Aviv is Wallpaper* 2019 Designer Of The Year Pierre Yovanovitch's newest offering.
(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)

As you might expect of Wallpaper’s Designer of the Year, Pierre Yovanovitch has had a busy 12 months. Besides chairing the jury for the third International Festival of Interior Architecture in Toulon, including his masterful curation of L’Erotonomanie de Mademoiselle Oops, Yovanovitch has completed residences in London, Brussels, Paris and Tel Aviv, too. Sitting out the drearier days of winter, it is the latter that we are particularly enamoured of.

The 200 sq m apartment, on the 16th floor of a new residential tower in the south of Tel Aviv, is a fantasy seaside city escape. The owners are a French couple working in fashion (return clients of Yovanovitch), and you sense they’ve had fun creating something bold together. ‘A second project means more trust,’ explains Yovanovitch, ‘hence the possibility to make bolder proposals. The client is a fairly radical personality, yet the result here is more radical than our previous work. The main reason is Tel Aviv: if one is not going to be bold in Tel Aviv, where can one possibly be bold?’

balcony with a brown bench seat, stools and wicker chair and footrest, with clear glass walls showing the sea view

The seaside apartment offers interior delights and calming water views.

(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)

Yovanovitch took on the project before the building was completed and remodelled the layout to suit the practical needs of his clients. This meant opening up the floorplan to create a generous kitchen, dining and living area, with two en suite bedrooms, all connected by a 16-metre long corridor. Curtain windows look out over the beach and the sea on one side and the city on another. Linen curtains diffuse the intense light, creating an ethereal atmosphere throughout, which is grounded by Yovanovitch’s deft and generous use of natural materials.

‘We wanted to add rawness and roughness,’ he explains, pointing to the grey Ceppo stone flooring and the shockingly red travertine wall that lines the corridor. ‘I always look for texture, and increasingly, colour. These two components allow one to draw simple, rigorous lines and achieve a striking result. I used stone, wood, ceramic – raw materials with personality.’ A subtle warmth is evident in the handcraft that Yovanovitch accentuates in his approach, particularly in the custom elements his studio designed: the carved oak headboard, a circular chestnut sofa, a pivoting wall lamp and ceramic petal sconces.

Yovanovitch is a particularly courageous curator. His custom designs are interspersed with exquisite midcentury pieces spanning Italy, France, Scandinavia and the US, by Ponti, Perriand, Ditzel, Tynell and Nakashima, to name a handful. They reinforce the warmth of craft and the texture of time through their patina. A striking wall piece by German artist Imi Knoebel animates the dining area, while custom hand-knotted rugs add pools of softness underfoot.

There is a confidence in Yovanovitch’s playfulness, which makes for wonderfully light-hearted interiors that are simultaneously robust and enigmatic. Porky Hefer’s woven nest, comically perched on legs between the dining table and the balcony, is a case in point. And yet this is no gimmick; Yovanovitch’s genius lies in rooting everything carefully and poetically in the human experience. ‘When you lie in the nest after a meal and fall asleep,’ he explains, ‘you wake up and see only the sky and the sea from your perch.'

living room with white curtains on windows along the full length of a wall, brown half moon shaped couch, and matching orange and yellow armchairs

Set on the 16th floor of a residential building by the water, the apartment was a commission by a French couple working in fashion.

(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)

a wooden nest sculpture with a ladder leading up to it with cushions inside, in a room with grey marble flooring and a dining table with mustard yellow chairs in the background

Yovanovitch went for a radical proposal and bold pieces, such as this nest sculpture by Porky Hefer.

(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)

bunk beds build into a wall alcove, with an orange armchair next to the ladder and another bed visible at the front

The apartment includes two en-suite bedrooms. 

(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)

bedroom with floating wooden bed with brown feature wall behnd it, with linen curtains covering the full legnth windows either side of the bed and on the wall next to it

Linen curtains diffuse the intense Mediterranean light.

(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)

bedroom with the bed slightly visible at the front, and a natural orange brown feature wall with a brown desk and black arm chair

Natural materials add a sense of rawness and roughness, explains the designer.

(Image credit: Jérôme Galland)


For more information visit the Pierre Yovanovitch website