Living with Art

At Home with Cécile Ganansia

Canopy Collections’ co-founder, Cécile Ganansia, spoke to Maisons Côté Ouest about how she designed her South Kensington home as a residential gallery where the artworks take centre stage. Designed and decorated in collaboration with M de M Architects, Cécile’s house has been the background of many of our events, including our Summer 2023 Collection. Rediscover her elegant home and the artworks that it currently hosts.

It is in the upscale South Kensington district, which is home to several famous museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, that Cécile Ganansia, co-founder of the contemporary art platform Canopy Collections, chose to live and work. For this, she needed a place in her image, both an elegant, warm residence and a living art gallery, dedicated to the artists she wishes to promote. 

They have known each other for a long time and have already collaborated on several artistic projects. One, Cécile Ganasia, director of Canopy Collections and owner of this beautiful London house, wanted to best promote her selection of favourite works “in order to to make art more accessible to all those who want to discover it.” The other, Marie-Isabel de Monseignat, architect and decorator, Franco-Dutch interior designer residing in London, directs the international architecture and design studio MDEM Architects, and shares many affinities with the first.

Between the two friends, the same taste for unpretentious elegance nor ostentation as well as for harmony, coherence and fluidity of living spaces. “Above all, I seek balance, confides the architect, to tell a story while taking extreme care in the choice of materials, furniture and finishes." So, for this project she first of all staged some exceptional elements, such as the Serge Castella sofa in sage green Rubelli velvet or the integrated bench seat in walnut and chocolate velvet next to atravertine table. Or, in the master bedroom, the majestic headboard upholstered and surrounded by walnut, designed to measure to cover the large “emperor size” bed. Choice high-end furniture made by the best craftsmen come to marry, smoothly, with others, more vintage. Cécile, the owner, dreamed of reproducing the warm sophistication of her Parisian childhood home: noble materials such as brass or walnut, antique furniture, sage shades, pink or chocolate brown.

The duo's challenge was not only to renovate and make the urban building welcoming but also to prepare it for its vocation as a gallery. For Cécile Ganansia, “art is something we like to touch and see” and it is this philosophy that she defends with her contemporary art platform, Canopy Collections, to present easily accessible, attractive and flexible spaces. She therefore decided to keep the walls in her home mainly white so that the works can take centre stage. The very open layout of the house required a careful balance between the continuous red thread of paintings or sculptures and identity specific to each room. The eventual art house or residential gallery of Cécile Ganansia, bright, friendly, ready to receive family, friends and clients. Thanks to the complicit expertise of Marie-Isabelof Monseignat, the Londoner made it her masterpiece.

Words by Laurence de Calan for Maisons Côté Ouest, February–March 2024

Photos by Mads Mogensen