In the entrance hall of an apartment building in the Rue de Calais, Paris, not far from the Place de Clichy, a familiar chaos of tennis rackets and bicycles reigns. On the second floor of the building lives Frédéric Beuvry, 48, along with his wife and their two daughters.

To the rear of the apartment is a small shed, which Beuvry has transformed into a treasure chest of designer furniture. You see, Frédéric Beuvry is the Design Director of a major French manufacturer of household appliances, with responsibility for a range of brands that he, along with a host of well-known designers, has totally renewed and relaunched.

"I see myself as a casting director," he says.