French Villa Renovation | DPAGES

Beloved as…

France’s surf capital, Biarritz is known for its steep cliffs, sweeping bay and unpretentious relaxed elegance. Its chic credentials can be traced back to 1845 when Napoleon III built a villa here for his wife, Empress Eugenie, as a token of love. Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel and Pablo Picasso all proclaimed their love for this picturesque town on France’s Basque coast, which today combines a rich and diverse array of architectural influences from Art Deco landmarks to neo-classical style mansions to traditional Basque houses with red tile roofs and white stucco facades. In this newly renovated seaside villa, Belgian-based firm Wouter Tousseyn Interior Architecture has put laid-back glamour at the forefront of its design, blending soft hues, warm light and a kind of gentle modernism that’s homey, playful and sophisticated in equal measure. 

Small Modern Dining Room Design | DPAGES
Small Contemporary Dining Room | DPAGES

The dining…

room is more like a relaxing lounge space than a formal mealtime area. The focal point is a smooth stone table by Armand & Francine crafted from crushed riverbed pebbles, a symbol of nature’s invisible yet timeless connections. The table is surrounded by a curved cream sofa by Collett & Victor and vintage mid-century walnut chairs. Above, a dynamic brass ‘Arrow’ chandelier by Apparatus Studio distinctly marks the spot to socialize, inviting guests to melt into an atmosphere of familiarity and conviviality, or as the team put it, “to linger over meals whilst soaking up the breathtaking views”.  Walls are painted in off-white using Farrow & Ball Wimborne White, bringing to life the soft muted tones of this high-ceilinged room where artworks and light fixtures add avant-garde flair to an otherwise unfussy and uncluttered environment. Of special note is an ersatz ‘heritage’ portrait of a bearded man with bunny ears that hangs above the restored stucco mantle, and on this ledge a little bronze figure by contemporary Spanish sculptor Pedro Rodriguez. The Steven Klein sconces on either side of the fireplace are equally unique – combining brass, etched glass and horsehair. 

Luxury Kitchen Design | DPAGES
Travertine Kitchen | DPAGES
Travertine Kitchen Island | DPAGES

The kitchen…

is a creamy-hued space that combines smooth white oak and curved travertine stonework inspired by the arched rock formations of Biarritz’s coastline. With only a compact area to work with, Wouter Tousseyn managed to create the illusion of volume and depth thanks to the incorporation of recessed shelving, handleless cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling cupboards with textured doors, which together create an streamlined effect. Stealing the show is a cloud-like pendant light by Apparatus Studio, offering another subtle nod to the landscape outside with its endless horizon where the sea meets the sky.

Vintage Style Living Room by Wouter Tousseyn | DPAGES

A cozy…

living room features a statement wood-panelled wall, plush velvet sofas and soft fabrics for a retro style that points towards 1970s California Modernism.

Warm Minimalism Bedroom | DPAGES
Warm Modern Bathroom | DPAGES
Minimalist Bathroom Design | DPAGES


an arched double door, a master bedroom is transformed into a stylish sanctuary with a calibrated sense of space and light. Once again, the designers have used built-in materials and bespoke furniture to create visual interest in this bedroom, bathroom, and dressing room suit. White oak cabinetry, curved storage units and smooth travertine stonework, mirror the refined palette of the kitchen and dining space for a cohesive connection between upstairs and downstairs living. More than just minimalism, this cohesive aesthetic celebrates the idea of a united household, whereby curvilinear shapes and bold forms appear to have grown around the house’s framework, organically and naturally using the simplicity and natural beauty of the location as a resource. 

Bespoke Dressing Room Closet | DPAGES
Custom Closet Design | DPAGES
Luxury Closet Design | DPAGES

Tap the look…

Interior Architecture & Design: Wouter Tousseyn Interior Architecture

Interior Photography: Gaelle Le Boulicaut