Emmanuelle Simon Creates A Grounded Retreat — And Jaw-Dropping Backsplash — Above The Streets of Paris

An interior awash in bone and ecru, with pops of mauve and brass on Sight Unseen in the year of our Lord 2020? While it sounds too Pinterest-perfect to be newsworthy, a closer look reveals that this just-shy-of-300-sq.ft. apartment has quite the pedigree. Tucked along Rue Saint-Dominique in Paris’s touristy 7th arrondissement, the space is — during better times — a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. French-Israeli architect and designer (and Pierre Yovanovitch protégée) Emmanuelle Simon drew on Art Deco and wabi-sabi inspirations to create a Parisian pied à terre that feels functional but welcoming —“a bit like a hotel suite.” The challenge was to create multiple living spaces that could evolve and be adapted throughout the course of the day.

“The space had to be able to welcome a group of six for dinner, but also be somewhere to relax and read a book,” says Simon. “Everything had to be made bespoke. We optimized each area for storage so as not to sacrifice floor space. We decided to make the kitchen a focal point — it’s visible from every corner of the apartment and helps to obscure the bathroom. The cabinetry is made of limestone-colored waxed concrete with functional necessities housed behind brass paneling, which also serves as a way to reflect depth and light. The other main material is oak, used throughout the dining area to create continuity with the living room; it’s also used for the convertible bed. The U-shaped sofa is the perfect spot to enjoy a calm moment, looking out the window toward the courtyard downstairs, and opposite that is another space that can be a small living room when the bed is pulled out and used as a sofa.”

Simon’s color choices throughout are based on natural and mineral tones such as sand, terracotta, and limestone. Furniture and accessories are limited by space, and as such had to be particularly impactful: the travertine coffee table, a 50’s Dirk van Sliedregt rattan armchair from LEV Lifestyle gallery in Holland; a small stool from the Parisian flea market in Saint Ouen; a 60’s ceramic lamp from Marshall Studios; a brass mirror from Marrakech; some ceramic vases and cushions from Maison de Vacances in a sand and dusty pink palette. Last, but not least, the central piece is the painting life is an ice cream by Hermentaire.


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