MI X THE OLD AND THE EXOT IC WI TH A NEW RESTRAINED ELEGANCE, A S IN THI S PARISIAN ABODE
Now is the time to throw away the rulebook and embrace interior design’s new motto: anything goes. We call this look ‘cultural fusion’: it’s all about buying the pieces that you love (regardless of their style or provenance), and arranging them as considered vignettes within a simple, pared-back space. The result is an original and contemporary scheme, brimming with personality.
It is an aesthetic that Marina Coriasco, an art director and co-founder of pop-up interiors shop Floating House Collection, has perfected in her Parisian abode. She first spotted this 250 -square-metre warehouse, which she shares with her 24-year-old son Elliot and 10-year-old daughter Daria, in the peaceful suburb of Cachan 15 years ago. Back then, it was derelict and unloved. Now, following a 12-month renovation project and a decade of travelling, it is a modern home that’s both elegant and exotic.
You enter the loft through wide, reclaimed wooden doors into the 80-square-metre living room ( left), which is the heart of the apartment. Original metal rafters, painted black in stark contrast to the white walls, ceiling and floors, frame the high ceilings. To the left of the entrance is the bathroom and kitchen, which both open to the small garden. Situated at the far end of the living room are three bedrooms and an office. ‘I could have had more rooms, but I wanted to create a big, central living area instead,’ says Marina.
The apartment is clean and spare, with a monochrome colour scheme and materials such as steel and reclaimed wood – classic components of loft living. But here, those basic elements are layered with furnishings from different eras and with varied styles. Marina’s secret is to restrict the colour palette, using only a few accent pieces in muted, natural tones. ‘Materials are very important to me. I like things to be raw and natural: unfinished woods and simple ceramics,’ she says. ‘I don’t like too much colour either – just a touch. Wall hues often bore me after a few months and I have to change them, so now I like to add interest using accessories, such as cushions.’
Marina combines heirloom treasures, reclaimed pieces, found objects and fabrics and furniture from her travels to create a scheme that fuses cultures and styles. ‘I’m attracted to modern, pure and minimal spaces, but I can’t always achieve them because I like objects too much,’ she says. ‘I’m Italian, but I was born in South Africa and I’ve always travelled extensively. I love Tulum in Mexico, India, Africa and Costa Rica. Whenever I go somewhere overseas, I always buy something to bring back for the house.’
One of the reasons this apartment feels so individual is that Marina chooses to eschew the obvious in search of the more unusual interiors finds – from the pale cream handmade paper vases she brought back from a recent trip to India to the cushions she’s had made from Palestinian keffiyeh (a chequered black-and -white scarf ) fabric. She’s picky about what she buys locally, too. ‘I always take my time to find the right thing. I rarely buy something just because I need it right at that moment,’ she says.
Portrait Homeowner Marina in front of a sideboard inherited from her grandmother Living room The grey linen sofa is from Merci, and the green silk throw is from India (available from Floating House Collection). For a vintage Eames lounger and ottoman, try 1st Dibs. Similar suspended fireplaces are available at Focus Stockist details on p152 ➤