From the glamorous collection of waterfront villas and yachts, the sun-soaked beaches to the amazing coastal views, the resort town of Antibes epitomises the romance of the French Riviera. One of the favourite summer destinations for celebrities and the well-heeled who seek a slice of paradise, the locale of extravagance has—even as far back as the early 20th century— inspired the works of F Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby.
Little wonder then, that this particular house would take its nautical influence to heart, with architecture inspired by the grandeur and ambience of a superyacht. The well-travelled Canadian owner fell in love with the seductive quality and seaside charms of the exclusive location, choosing to purchase this holiday home nestled in the forested Cap d’Antibes neighbourhood.
The owner tasked French interior designer Stéphanie Coutas to see to its redecoration, and to turn the grand house into a super-chic vacation hme for the jet-setter.
When Coutas first laid eyes on the property, she immediately understood its appeal. “I discovered a true gem in the neighbourhood,” recalls Coutas. “It is a stunningly unique home, which had been built to emulate the feeling of being on a superyacht.” Originally designed by Cannes-based architect César Cavallin in the 20th century, the house was recently renovated by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte’s eponymous firm. The homeowner gave Coutas full creative liberty to redecorate its interiors, with the only request being that the master bedroom should be functional, bright and focused on the stunning views.
For the designer, her top priority was to rearrange the interior to maximise the sheer scale of the space. “The extraordinary views guided us—our primary aim was to create a cosy interior that also opened unto the sea,” shares Coutas, who worked on the project together with the team of her studio SC Edition.
With a built-up area of 3,800sqft, the house was of a comfortable size but its elongated layout was one of the biggest design challenges. “We had to choose low furniture so as not to obstruct the view and to respect the proportions of the house,” she explains.
The studio designed custom-made furniture, such as the sofas and an onyx-and-wood coffee table in the living area to match the narrow proportions; a full-length mirrored wall also cleverly conceals a TV unit within the same space.
Throughout the home, light colours and a neutral palette create a peaceful mood, punctuated with accents of blue and pops of green and red, while geometric details bring dynamism to the space. A material palette of natural stone, wood and wool form the perfect canvas, with metallic trimmings adding to the glamour quotient of the home. In the kitchen and the bathroom, clean lines and use of white surfaces create a contemporary look; in contrast, the guest room and sitting areas are accented with colours.
“Pops of colour and joie de vivre were our guiding principles for the rooms,” shares Coutas.
For a local touch, Coutas picked out ceramic pieces from Vallauris, a nearby town known for its French pottery and ceramics. Meanwhile, decor in the dining area takes on a more global influence, with items sourced from all around the world to reflect the owner’s frequent sojourns. Next to the glass and brushed brass table, a leather wall with faceted details forms the centrepiece of the space; its fractal details echoed the marble marquetry console; a Santa & Cole chandelier sets the mood in the dining area.
Outdoors, grass surrounds the lap pool, with walls decorated with a lively array of planters and flowers, a nod to the flourishing greenery in the area. “The garden is a major part of the architectural heritage of Antibes,” explains Coutas.
While much of the house celebrates a relatively pared-down sense of style, the entertainment room at the basement embraces a more sumptuous mood, appearing like a speakeasy. Round mirrors on the padded walls mimic the appearance of porthole windows, while a marble feature wall, a bar counter and plush seating create the perfect setting for intimate soirees.