Hundreds of Karl Lagerfeld’s designs—for Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, and more—have been published in Vogue; and, in a 34-year span, the magazine published eight features on the designer’s luxurious homes. Four of these were snapped by Lagerfeld, a polymath par excellence who understood that the art of living well was a far-reaching concept that extended beyond spaces and objects to encompass learning, manners, art, and the like. “Dresses are only interesting as part of everything else that’s going on,” he told the magazine in 1989. It’s no wonder then, that Lagerfeld felt most at home in the 18th century. “It was a most polite century,” “And so modern. It was perfect. The rooms were so flattering to live in.”

Paris: “Karl Lagerfeld, is a young fashion designer whose special talent is to invoke the mood, the glamour of the 1920’s and ’30’s—combining it with the ease and dash of the 1970’s. The clothes he designs for Chloé, a top-flight Paris ready-to-wear house, are enormously pretty, feminine, alluring….His passion for the 1920’s doesn’t stop at the drawing board. He loves, and collects, furniture, paintings, and objects of the Art Deco era, lives surrounded by them—in the Paris apartment shown on these four pages. All the rooms are in tones of white, cool or warm: one, a creamy white named for an Auvergne cheese—crême de cantal. Floors, black or dark brown: ‘They show off my Art Deco pieces like diamonds in a Cartier showcase.’”

Paris: “Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris apartment is a showcase for his 1920’s masterpieces. ‘Shell’ sofa, armchairs, and pouf, in heavy ivory satin and gold lacquer—from a house decorated by Elsie de Wolfe, about 1930. Lacquered screen by Eileen Grey, about 1924. Painting, and two vases in silver bronze and black lacquer (1928), all by Jean Dunand.”

Paris: “Stainless-steel bed by Prinz, covered in rust-red satin specially woven in Lyons. Mirror designed by Groult, a brother-in-law of the couturier Paul Poiret. Standing lamp in bronze and Bakelite by Brandt and Dunand.”

”Karl’s study-workroom-library. Here the white walls have a slightly greenish cast, to complement the brown-and-beige velvet upholstery on the low 1930’s daybed (by Roux-Spitz), and two armchairs of the same period, by Lurçat. The fabric design (by Helene Henry) came from a document of the ’20’s; the velvet was specially woven for Karl in Lyons. Mirrored bar and chrome bar stools—unsigned, but ‘of the époque;’reflected in the bar are Karl’s 1974 stereo and video. Over it hang two drawings by Buthaud…. Another enchantment in the apartment is scent—a perfume created by Karl, and soon to be marketed. He sprays it around constantly: ‘Having a nice smell is as important as the light, the furniture—as everything.’ ”

Monte Carlo: “Like a palace for a child—another sophistication for Karl.” says Andrée Putman of the seaside flat she helped Lagerfeld put together, using the candy-colored, toy-like furnishings from Memphis, the experimental group of international designers based in Milan headed by Ettore Sottsas. Like a giant playpen in the living room, the boxing ring by Memphis designer Masanori Umeda of Tokyo.”

“More fun and games—Lagerfeld’s Monte Carlo bedroom. The wardrobe, a giant jack-in-the-box for clothes (glass-doored, plastic-laminated wood), is by Michele De Lucchi. Comic-book fabric (like Superman’s ZAP!), covering the bed, was designed by Nathalie du Pasquier.”

Rome: “Guest bedroom is furnished with glorious re-editions of classics by early twentieth-century designers: Eileen Gray’s Centimetre rug and Mariano Fortuny’s reflector floor lamp (both reissued by Ecart International, Putman’s furniture firm and available at Furniture of the Twentieth Century, in New York City); Josef Hoffmann’s austerely simple Hauskoller chairs and couch created in 1911.

Paris: “The designer’s 18th-century bed is signed by Sené. Lagerfeld created its theatrical baldachin of extravaganza of hand-woven brocade, ostrich plumes, and bird of paradise feathers. The first tier of the 18th-century nightstand is inlayed with Sèvres porcelain. The stucco statue of Madame du Barry is by Augustin Pajou.”

Paris: “In the gallery, Louis XV chairs covered in scarlet surround the table draped with a Venetian lace tablecloth. The painting of a scene from the life of Christ once hung in Marie de Medici’s private chapel.”

Le Mée, near Paris: “On the ground floor, Largerfeld has created a room inspired by early 20th-century French fashion illustrations and decorative arts. The striped sofa and chairs are by fashion designer Paul Poiret’s Atelier Martine, the shell chair by fashion illustrator and set designer Paul Iribe. In the corner is a prototype, c. 1919, for a futuristic mannequin by sculptor Rudolf Belling. Contemporary pieces include a table by Poillerat, a rug, portrait, and shadow box by Dutch designers Clemens Rameckers and Arnold Van Geuns, whose firm is known as Ravage.”

Le Mée, near Paris: “The salon d’été contains a suite of Gustav III painted wood and cane furniture Lagerfeld bought over the phone. The plaster mirror is by Christian Bérard; the cast-iron armchair is by Poillerat; the wrought-iron and crystal centerpiece is by Dubreuil. Roses are arranged in pots from Nantucket, Massachusetts, a gift from Susan Gutfreund.”

Le Mée, near Paris: “Princess Diane de Beauvau-Craons bedroom has an 18th-century pattern from La Manaque, Paris, on the bed, windows, sofa, and walls.”

Le Mée, near Paris: “Karl Lagerfeld’s dressing room with boxes of robes and personal stationery.”

Paris: “This self-portrait, taken at his hôtel particulier on the Left Bank in Paris, reflects two of Lagerfeld’s passions other than fashion: photography and 18th-century art and antiques.”

“A view of the grand salon, where rare original boiserie panels and exceptionally large mirrors cover the walls. The eighteen-foot-high ceilings are decorated with gold-leaf designs original to the house. Military symbols in the gilding added in 1730 indicate that the room was redesigned by a subsequent owner, an officer in the army. Sculptural elements are by Jacques Verberckt, who decorated the apartments of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour. The yellow armchairs, left to right, are by Tilliard, Delanois, and Bauve. The Savonnerie carpet is originally from the Salon de la Paix in Versailles. The bronze in the corner by Falconet was made for Catherine the Great.”

Elhorria in Biarritz: “Above the grand tiled entrance hangs a chased-brass light fixture created by Dagobert Peche in 1919 for a theater in Vienna.”

Paris: “Karl Lagerfeld is reflected in the frosted-glass panels that cover the bookcases in the main room. A Marc Newson chrome chair and two stools from Galerie Kreo face a long free-form Chester leather sofa-chaise by Amanda Levete for Established & Sons. Against the wall, a Martin Szekely metal chest of drawers.”

Paris: “When the glass panels swivel open, the books—a very small sampling of Lagerfeld’s library—are on view. The concrete-and-silicone floor is gray, like the ceiling.”

Paris: “In the pod delineated by frosted-glass walls, immaculate white lace and crochet covers the bed. An image from the flat screen, visible through a glass wall, floats over the reflection of the bed. The corridor leads to the dressing room.”