Left untouched for decades, this dingy 1960s apartment was recently reimagined by interior designer Céline Poulfort. Located in Paris’s chic seventh arrondissement, the 60-year-old building sits amid traditional Haussmann structures, providing a more industrial flair to the neighborhood. However, “it had carpeting and ’70s material in the kitchen and bathroom,” and the owners wished to modernize it to fit their tastes.
The clients, Philippe de Poulpiquet, a decorated photographer and wartime journalist, and Caroline Azurza Bigas, who works in finance, loved the bay windows, which brought in plenty of natural light and elicited an artist’s studio feel. But they were also excited for a gut renovation, one with a punchy palette and design that would nod to the building’s history. “I wanted the apartment to be restructured with an open plan but also have a strong personality that reminded me of its origins,” Philippe says.
Coming in at just over 700 square feet, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment would require a savvy flip in order to maximize both livable space and storage opportunities. One of the major changes was moving the kitchen into the living room and making the old kitchen into an office/guest room, which has become the couple’s creative hub during quarantine. “The clients wanted a kitchen that was easy to circulate in and opened to the living room,” Céline adds.
The designer aimed to imbue the space with warmth, choosing soft timber and a nude color scheme for the main living area, while a Corian countertop, black-and-white terrazzo, a Zellige backsplash, and dreamy light pink cabinetry finish out the kitchen.
The flooring was also completely redone with polished concrete, which ended up being a more difficult task than the designer had originally expected. “The clients didn’t want too much texture,” she says. “We had to apply the concrete twice to find the right combination.”
While the main areas are awash in calming colors with hints of ’60s-era inspiration, the bathroom is another story, as it received a bold transformation via a floor-to-ceiling renovation. The white tile walls were spiced up with red grout, which gives it “a more playful and graphic character,” Céline says. The green walls also give it an edge, but if the homeowners do indeed tire of the color, it can be easily changed for something more neutral.
In the primary bedroom, the designer looked to the couple for the ultimate direction, choosing one of Philippe’s own photographs as the focal point of the room. “It was an obvious choice to use one of the client’s photos as the backdrop for the headboard of the bed. They both love animals and their apartment is filled with small wonderful objects,” she says. She then custom-designed a wardrobe that encases the bed, covering all of their storage needs without taking up too much of the room’s footprint.
Overall, the home has taken on an entirely new personality, one which fits its homeowners well and embraces the days of its past.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest