Our recent Mood Board Blog got us some attention from a client in Paris who is thinking of selling her apartment. It's a charming one bedroom in the 7th Arrondissement that is filled with light and has a great view of the rooftops of Paris and the grand golden dome of the Invalides. Although I haven't seen it in real life, just looking at the pictures put me in the mood and I love the feel of this little jewel with its Juliette balconies and romantic views.
The home owner did a complete renovation when she bought the apartment so the systems are in good shape and the layout is perfect. Of course she loves the apartment the way it is but thought that maybe the next buyer might want some ideas on how to give it a little refresh. So she asked us how we would zhush it and, with no chance of hopping over the pond in person right now, we replied: With a mood board, of course!
Here is the listing for the apartment:
As you can see, the bones are great and the systems are all new.
In our response to the zhush request, we came up with the following suggestions:
First we looked at the kitchen and taking a cue from the Vivant kitchen that we just completed, we would recommend painting or replacing the kitchen cabinets in high gloss white and replacing the backsplash with a lighter and more reflective material.
That's probably the biggest change for the whole apartment and from there it's just a matter of accessorizing. Because the apartment is open, and the kitchen is the busiest spot, we want to keep the palette neutral so that it doesn't overwhelm the room. Here are a couple of other touches we'd recommend:
- Paint the whole room white. In France, our go-to paints are Farrow & Ball and we love Wevet (cool white), All White (very bright) and Wimborne (a warmer white)
- Add a sisal or seagrass rug to warm up the space
- Paint the fireplace in a high gloss pale grey and limit the accessories to 3 larger contrasting pieces on the mantel
- Replace the mirror with a gold Louis Philippe to add some warmth
- Replace the chandelier with something bigger with lots of crystals, either modern or antique.
- Replace the shade over the window with a bamboo Roman shade, hanging it as high as possible to make the window look taller
- Add black mullions to the window to make it more distinctive
- And we always love a mix of antique and modern, so we'd pick up a gorgeous 19th C barometer at the flea market and combine it with some fun abstract paintings!
For the living room, we suggest going one of two ways:
- Again, to minimize the visual noise in a smaller apartment, we've recommended neutralizing the palette and recovering the sofa in a lighter tone
- We like the contrast of textures with sisal, bamboo and brass
- Although the current armchair is fine, we might replace it with something a little edgier and more modern
- We love the combination of mid-century art (from our Huff Harrington artist Debieve) with a series of intaglios on the wall
- And finally, although we realize this would be more work, we might paint the floors high gloss white!
We always love the mix!
Our other suggestion would be to go bright and colorful, since the kitchen has been "neutralized." As you may recall from a previous blog, I have a crush on yellow and this bright and cheery Jim Thompson fabric in the windows, combined with a fabulous painting by Lily Harrington and a beautiful punch of color from Geri Eubanks would be just the ticket! By the way, the rug here is from Ikea, and over white floors, it would be perfect!
The bedroom is cozy and bright and could just use a little refresh including white paint, a new headboard and new curtains.
My favorite part of this apartment is the windows that overlook Parisian rooftops and have pretty Juliette balconies.
We've told the owner that she could go neutral, and keeping with the theme of the rest of the apartment, blend organic textures like straw and sisal with glamorous ones, like brass and gold. Again, we would paint the bedroom a cheerful bright white and replace the hardware on the closet doors with something solid and brass.
Here we've suggested white linen curtains with a pale blue Greek key trim from Schumacher, along with pretty blue pillows from Schumacher, a contemporary chandelier, an Hermes blanket to curl up under on cold days ...
and the most beautiful evocative painting by Geri Eubanks:
Our other approach, in keeping with the colorful version of the living room, is to keep the same Jim Thompson drapes and mix them with brighter accessories, like the iconic Les Touches pillows from Brunschwig & Fils and a bold navy and white throw blanket. By the way, both of the headboards in these images are from Ikea! We love to mix high and low, and are never ashamed to use Ikea when we can get the look we need and save our clients' some money!
As always, I think the piece de resistance is the art (in addition to the view) and so I'd top this one with a beautiful original piece from artist Nancy Franke:
This painting belongs in a Paris apartment, and after working on the mood board for our client, I think I do too! Between the view, the location, the layout and the Juliette balconies, I could definitely move right in. Of course it's fine the way it is, but for this eternal project junkie, what could be more fun than doing a minor refresh to turn this bauble into one of the crown jewels of Paris?