Spirit

This Renovation Takes a French Flat From ’70s Spirit to Modern Minimalism

Located in the quiet, small town of Asnières-sur-Seine, just a few kilometers from the center of Paris, this 807-square-foot two-bedroom apartment initially had a ’70s aesthetic. To envision what it would look like after a makeover required a high dose of imagination.

“I had been looking for a new place for about a year when I saw the real estate ad for this apartment,” remembers the 40-year-old owner Hélène, who works in fashion and lives here with her 11-year-old son. “I scheduled the visit for the next day and liked the place. It was very different from what it is now: It was filled with furniture and had carpet on the floor, but I really loved the soft and quiet atmosphere.”

<div class="caption"> <strong>BEFORE:</strong> The homeowner saw the potential in her apartment despite all the furniture and busy carpets. </div>

BEFORE: The homeowner saw the potential in her apartment despite all the furniture and busy carpets.

<div class="caption"> <strong>BEFORE:</strong> The quiet atmosphere was the real draw to the space. </div>

BEFORE: The quiet atmosphere was the real draw to the space.

<div class="caption"> <strong>AFTER:</strong> In the dining room, <a href="https://www.andtradition.com/products/pavilion-av2" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:&Tradition chairs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">&Tradition chairs</a> surround the made-to-measure table by Heju with an <a href="http://www.atelierareti.com/pendant-lamps-2/girlande-ceiling" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Atelier Areti ceiling light" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Atelier Areti ceiling light</a> above it. A <a href="https://artemest.com/products/tahity-table-lamp-by-ettore-sottsass" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ettore Sottsass table lamp" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ettore Sottsass table lamp</a> sits on the <a href="https://www.usm.com/en-us/modern-home/inspiration/applications/shelving/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:USM shelves" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">USM shelves</a>. </div>

The French young interior architects behind Heju, Hélène Pinaud and Julien Schwartzmann, immediately had a great connection with the owner. As soon as they discovered the space, they knew they could create a very pure atmosphere—a departure from the old Haussmann apartments they usually work on. “Our client liked the functionality of the existing floor plan, so we almost didn’t change anything about it,” the duo says. “This idea was coherent with the minimal project influenced by the ’70s and ’80s that we wanted to design.”

One of the biggest challenges the interior architects faced during the six-month project was giving some personality to a standard flat. “In the main living space, we had to find a way to gather several functions in the same room without breaking the feeling of volume, so we created a ‘big living wall’ with arches that define the entrance, an office, and a library with some

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