DESIGN DETAIL INDOOR/ OUTDOOR L IVING
Homeownersnico andchristo share their top tips
Don’t limit your living spaces to just inside the house. Design your home fromthe boundary edge of your garden to its innermost rooms. Live in a home before renovating so that you understand howyou use the space andwhere the connections between outside and inside can bemade. Use similarmaterials, colours and textures inside and out, alongwith the same style of furnishings, to blur the distinction between the two. Use subtle focal points– plantsor furnishings–at short, midanddistant horizons todrawthe eyeoutwards towards the viewsof the garden. Don’t forget the space above your head. We used large skylights to give us glimpses of the tree canopies, blue sky and passing clouds.
his apartment is the epitome of Parisian chic, thanks to a radical overhaul by Marie De Andreis, owner of children’s fashionbrandzef. Shefirst viewedthe spacewithherhusband, Raphael, in2014. ‘Itwas all very darkwitholdwallpaper and carpets, and very heavy curtains,’ she recalls. Now, the renovated interior is the antithesis of the old: a bright, white, gallery-like space, warmed by accents of wood.
Itwas the property’s location – nestled on the right bank of the River Seine – and its captivating views that initially attracted the couple and their three children, Chiara (18), Inés (16) and Joseph(seven). It tookmarie andraphael just four months to transform the four-bedroom, 19th-century home.
The couple rearranged the 200-square-metre space, turning whatwas the living roominto the kitchenand dining room, and knocking downthehallway wall to allow natural light in. The layout is unconventional for a Parisian apartment in that there is no central corridor connecting the main spaces. ‘Iwanted a brighthome, so I just looked for sources of daylight andwent from there,’ explains Marie. ‘The rooms are square and the volumes harmonious – there’s an easy flow throughout; you don’t feel enclosed here.’
The removal of the old carpets revealed the apartment’s hidden treasure: an original 19th-century parquet floor. It has been sanded, resealed and restored to its original grandeur, ashave themarblefire surrounds and ornate cornicing. ‘For us, it was important to retain the building’s integrity,’ says Marie. The architecture needed no embellishment, so Marie simply painted everything white. ‘The decoration is in the furniture, the pictures, the lamps and objects – it doesn’t come from using strong colour on thewalls,’ she says.
Cleverly, the couple’s mostly white furniture is outlined in black, fromthe piping on the sofa to the border on the blinds. This gives the pieces a striking presenceinthepared-backscheme. ‘Therearenorules,’ saysmarie. ‘Everything in the apartment, I’ve boughtwithmy heart. It all has soul, which makesmy home feel cosy, even though it’s completely white.’ zef.eu