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Architectural Digest Middle East – July 28, 2023

Architectural Digest Middle East – July 28, 2023

Haussmann-style Paris apartment

Step Inside This Elegant Haussmann-Style Paris Apartment That Mixes Tradition With Modern Style

Located in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital, this handsomely appointed home is rigorously old-school, with some elegant contemporary touches


An elegant Haussmann-style Paris apartment renovated by In Situ & Partners reflects the essence of France’s 19th-century Second Empire style, combining tradition and modernity. “The idea was to respect the aesthetic codes of a classic Parisian apartment while integrating them with the functionality of a modern home”, explains architect Yacine Bensalem, founder of In Situ & Partners, a luxury interior design firm based in Hong Kong.

“We found the apartment’s deeds dating back to the 19th century, and they guided us in recreating the rhythms of the space. Our renovation followed the rules of Haussmannian style, adding the British and Asian influences that are inherent in our DNA”, Bensalem explains. The result is an enticing and refined project that puts the spotlight on top-drawer craftsmanship, visible in the expert handmade finishes and the various custom pieces designed by In Situ & Partners and made by expert Italian and French artisans.


The Grand Salon: White Lunam armchair by Kartell, design by Patricia Urquiola. Velvet cushion by Maison de Vacances, the Tabouret Stone A – Carbon black coffee table is by Pierre Bonnefille, with a Murano glass candle holder by Diptyque Paris. Photo: Vincent Leroux


How did Bensalem incorporate his aesthetic into the classic Haussmannian design?

“In the hallway, we created leather and bronze shelves, providing a touch of Asian glamour, which you can also find in the Japanese-style resin shelves above the living room fireplace. The hallway separates the private areas of the home from the reception areas of the large living room and the study, so we designed it almost as if it were an outdoor space. The lantern-style light and the geometric floor, in particular, are reminiscent of the atrium of a Parisian mansion.”


Hallway: Custom wall sconces and shelving. On the left, Pancho stool by Cattelan Italia. Artwork on the right: Furoshiki Gold 6 by Pierre Bonnefille (mixed media on paper). Marble flooring. Photo: Vincent Leroux

Hallway: Custom shelves. Pair of Souffle vases in blown glass by CFOC. Candles by Diptyque Paris. Trio of Flamme vases in glass by CFOC and Lieu-dit bas relief by Yoan Béliard (Haydée Editions) Artwork on far wall: Bronze Painting 179 by Pierre Bonnefille (mixed media, bronze powder on wire mesh) Artwork on the left: Furoshiki Gold 6 by Pierre Bonnefille (mixed media on paper) On the custom-made sideboard, Stav Vessel ceramic sculpture by Simone Bodmer-Turner Studio. Photo: Vincent Leroux


What was the first thing that struck you about this Parisian apartment?

“Although the previous owner had removed all the distinctive Haussmannian elements, from the parquet flooring to the original mouldings and the division of the living spaces, it was easy to imagine the original design. The monumental entrance, the large windows, and 10-foot ceilings, and of course the incomparable view of the Eiffel Tower.”


Living area with Eiffel Tower view: White Lunam armchair by Kartell, design by Patricia Urquiola. Élitis cushion. Photo: Vincent Leroux


The materials and colour palette follow Haussmannian style codes. How did you choose them?

“We recreated the classical Parisian look with natural colours such as ivory for the walls and ceilings, and herringbone oak parquet that was lightly patinated to give the look of a place that has been lived in. For the study and powder room, the dark oak panelling is partly inspired by British style. In the long hallway, the flooring repeats a traditional 19th-century geometric pattern, made up of grey, black, and white Italian marble. The same motif is replicated with the floor tiles in the kitchen—which is contemporary and more casual—where we used contrasting shades such as grey with a rust colour for the wall.”


Kitchen: Custom cabinets by Ferrari Arredamenti. On the countertop, marble plate and vintage ceramic bowl. On the shelf, Last Order Clear lamp in crystal and leather by Michael Anastassiades for Flos, jujube wood accessories by CFOC. Smeg oven. Photo: Vincent Leroux


How did you choose the furniture for the living area?

“Working with skilled Italian and French artisans was an essential part of the project. Many of the elements are custom-made to make the room more personal, incorporating design elements such as Kartell armchairs and Flos lamps, as well as antique pieces such as the mirror above the dining room fireplace.”


Dining Room: Dining table with teak bowl by CFOC. Antique mirror. On the mantel, blown glass vase by CFOC. Sinai wooden coffee tables by Cattelan Italia. Blue Febo armchair by B&B Italia. Custom-made rug by GC. Custom-made dining table, couch, and lighting. Wall sconces on either side of the mirror: Clash by Penta Lighting. Photo: Vincent Leroux

Door detail: On the shelves, from top to bottom: pair of Souffle vases in blown glass by CFOC, Diptyque Paris candles, trio of Flamme glass vases by CFOC, and Lieu-dit bas relief by Yoan Béliard (Haydée Editions). Lunam armchair by Kartell, design by Patricia Urquiola. Tête-à-tête embroidered pillow by CFOC. Custom wall sconce. Photo: Vincent Leroux


What was the biggest challenge of this project?

“Apart from having to work during Covid, I think the biggest challenge was capturing the Haussmann spirit in an authentic way while combining it with our own style. The fact that I had studied and worked for 14 years in Paris helped us—as did the fact that part of my studies were on classical French architecture. We went against the grain because, at the moment, classical interior design is not valued much, in my view.”


Master Bedroom: Set of bedding in softened linen, pillows, and virgin wool blanket by Maison de Vacances. Left, Murano glass vase by Diptyque Paris. Right, Pakora glass carafe by CFOC. Furoshiki Bronze 06 by Pierre Bonnefille. On the radiator, Gatto Piccolo table lamp, design by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for FLOS. Custom-made rug by GC. Photo: Vincent Leroux

Powder Room: Custom panelling and wall sconces by In Situ & Partners. Photo: Vincent Leroux


How does your aesthetic interact with the many works of art?

“We chose numerous works by Pierre Bonnefille who is a Maître d’art (Master of art) – the most prestigious classification [in France] for a craftsman, designer, painter, or colourist. His works embody tradition in a poetic and contemporary way. In a society where everyone feels the need to belong to a specific milieu, he is a mosaic of artistic expression. His work aligns with our renovations, which were guided by an artistic and poetic feeling, leaving a lot of space and value for craftsmanship, as well as respect for the historical and cultural identity of the home.”


Studio: Left of the fireplace, from bottom to top: Large ceramic Dove vase by Cosmin Florea, recycled leather box by CFOC, and Diptyque Paris room fragrance. On the desk, Murano glass beaker by Diptyque Paris. Desk, ceilings, panelling and fireplace custom-designed by In Situ & Partners. Photo: Vincent Leroux

Studio details: Diptyque Paris candle. Marine Vessel ceramic sculpture by Simone Bodmer-Turner Studio. Recycled leather box by CFOC. Photo: Vincent Leroux

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