‘It was a small project with big ambitions,’ says interior designer and architect Laure Ardouin Marie of this 65-square-metre apartment, created for a young Parisian couple. Married just two years ago and with jobs that mean they regularly travel, the pair were looking for a place to settle and call their own, but without compromising on the indulgent luxury they had become accustomed to in hotels around the globe.
Situated in Saint-Mandé, a suburb of Paris with such close links to the centre it’s often referred to as the 21st arrondisement, this modest property was ready for a transformation. The art deco apartment block, built in the 1920s, was beautiful on the outside, but the inside was not ideal for modern living. ‘The kitchen was separate and there was a long, dark corridor leading to the bathroom. It needed to be reorganised to optimise the space,’ explains Laure, who decided to move the kitchen into the large living area to form a generous open-plan room for entertaining. ‘I also created a more indulgent bedroom, with a spacious en suite bathroom.’
The new layout deserved a fresh look, and Laure was keen to integrate the art deco details that decorate the exterior of this property into her scheme. ‘I wanted to create a visible connection with them, as they were such a big inspiration,’ she says. ‘The new atmosphere is cool and minimalist, with graphic patterns and refined brass touches.’ From the striking golden lines that criss-cross the kitchen cabinets to the ‘La Farge’ wallpaper by Thibaut in the bedroom, the home now has a luxurious sheen. ‘Gold and brass can sometimes be too rich, too full-on, but here we have kept its effect subtle,’ adds Laure. ‘White walls allow moments of respite; they are the breath that flows between the areas of decorative pattern.’
A restrictive budget meant that it was necessary to find creative ways to add opulence. The brass detailing on the cabinetry in the kitchen, for example, is a bespoke vinyl sticker, while the bathroom vanity unit has a real marble top and a marble-effect base. Now, when the apartment’s owners return from their international adventures, they not only have a place to call home, but one with five-star appeal. laureardouinmarie.com
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration March 2020
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