When we first saw this apartment, on a quaint little street of the tony 7th Arrondissement in Paris, it was what you'd call "builder grade renovated." The kind of place that could, with a little bit of smoke and mirrors, be considered Instagram pretty. We even asked our client, who had hired us to do a complete remodel, if she really wanted to go for the full reno when a simple zhush might work. Luckily for us, our client is a visionary -- and knew the potential of this apartment was much greater than a refluff. So she gave us carte blanche and said, "Make it sing." What a fun assignment!
Although the bones were good, and the south facing light was abundant, the layout needed to be modified completely. We wanted to salvage the floors but unfortunately they were in poor shape.
In an effort to create a bedroom, the previous owners had added a wall in the living room that did nothing but break up the room and create a very in-cohesive space.
The kitchen was an efficient step down from Ikea and facing the back courtyard. We immediately decided to move the kitchen to the front living space (what they call in France, "Cuisine Americaine" - I wonder why?!) and turn the existing kitchen into another bathroom.
We actually liked the configuration of the bedroom but decided to replace the floors and the closets with our own custom design, and to mirror the closet doors to create the illusion of space.
And there were gorgeous details that are typical of Haussmann style apartment buildings that we wanted to preserve.
Once we reworked the layout to be more functional and open, the contractors took over and we started gathering the furnishings.
So .... what came next?
Our very first purchase was the Hermes scarf that kicked everything off and served as the inspiration for the color scheme going forward. Having that as our beacon was wonderfully helpful in finding all the accessories that could dance around the same theme.
We'll share some of our details in another installment, but let's just say that with the Hermes scarf guiding us, we sourced wallpaper, fabric, pillows, upholstery, antiques, furniture, lighting and art …. all with the color scheme of black, white, gold and a touch of pink for the entrance and living room.
For the front entrance, we went for a sexy punch that started with the wallpaper (Thibaut Tanzania), layered with a Louis XV carved console and a Louis Philippe mirror.
The living room, we kept the mantel and using Hermes as our guide, selected furniture and drapes that played off the black, white and gold of the scarf.
We installed a new kitchen that lined one side of the living room. To keep it feeling clean and open, we hid two refrigerators side by side under the counter. And, as a nod to wine country, we added a wine fridg as well. We'll share more secrets in another installment, but can you guess where the cabinets came from? (Yes, we hand carried all 32 brass pulls from Atlanta, however!)
While you're guessing about the cabinets, how about those chairs? It's amazing what a touch of Schumacher will do to plain slip-covered chairs!
Almost all the furnishings were sourced from the Paris flea market, with the exception of the sconces, which we found in our client's basement! We dressed them up with little black hats that we hand carried from Atlanta, and voila ... they were transformed (and our client was thrilled!).
My very favorite vignette ... showcasing a wonderful painting by a Japanese artist, posing in a very old and beautiful gilded frame.
How lucky were we to find two matching Italian crystal chandeliers that fit the proportions of the apartment? And you know the old trick: Hang a chandie in front of a mirror and you've just double your chandies!
Schumacher to the rescue, again! We fell in love with this gorgeous wallpaper which was the perfect back drop for another painting found in our client's basement!
We love the mix of old and new, with the crunchy painting of Notre Dame over the bed and two beautiful paintings by Steve McKenzie hanging on an adjoining wall. As they say in French, one makes the other sing!
In the end, our client was so right (and thankfully, pleased!). This apartment turned into the most beautiful jewel and we are so grateful for the opportunity to work on it. And speaking of which, we may have another one to share with you soon! Stay tuned ...
PS: Do you like what you see? Well good news. One of our other Parisian renovations is available on a fractional basis.
This could be one of my favorite apartments ever: the perfect little pied-a-terre for the Parisian addict or couple who want to spend several weeks a year gazing at the Eiffel tower from their own jewel box, without worrying about upkeep. For information, check out the website: