A penthouse with personality, Charlotte Hamel’s chic two-storey apartment in Dublin 2 is a lesson in making a rental completely your own…
When a woman is tired of New York, she moves back to Dublin. Or so this story goes. “I really like New York but I feel so much better here. Most people don’t understand but that’s okay,” says fashion marketing director and Lyon native Charlotte Hamel. Working in fashion means she’s lived and travelled all over the world. Everywhere she goes, her furniture and art follow. “To me, a home is made when every object represents a precise moment of your life – whether it’s a photo, a poster, a chair, or whatever.” A mix of inherited furniture, vintage finds and modern style, Charlotte’s home certainly seems autobiographical.
Prints of old ads, creative magazine covers and exhibition posters are dotted around the apartment. Each frame tells a story of different city visited, an exhibition absorbed and the first campaign of her professional life – a Campari poster. “I kept it as a memory. It was my first internship, I was very motivated, I loved it and so I kept it. It has always been with me.”
When asked to choose three items to tell her life story, she doesn’t hesitate. “My two armchairs, which belong to my family. As a small girl, they seemed so big. It was like a king’s chair,” she says. “When I moved to Paris and left my family, my mother gave them to me. We had them re-done from the original green velvet fabric. When I see them, I see my parents and my family.” Second are her books. “They have followed me everywhere from Milan, New York to Paris and now, Dublin. They explain a lot about my personality. I love reading.” Her cello completes the trio.
Without any repainting, wallpapering or re-flooring, Charlotte has packed her place with personality. Wherever she is, each element can be bundled up to transform the next blank canvas. Right now, her heart is in Dublin and her penthouse above the lights and bustle of the Docklands. “I love it. There are amazing bars, restaurants and people from all over the world.”
France and her family are still dear to Charlotte though. Her most treasured piece in the apartment is a small picture of her grandparents in a gold frame. I ask is that the item she’d save if the apartment was on fire. “Honestly, I couldn’t choose between my cello and the frame. I would take both and leave a leg.”
Words Amanda Kavanagh. Photography Mark Scott.
Have you fallen in love with this Parisian-influenced penthouse? Jet off to London next to see former Image Interiors & Living editor Amanda Cochrane’s chic city home