It was love at first sight. This apartment was an evidence for Marianne and Cédric. Windows with beautiful bronze espagnolette, doors with mouldings and very detailed handles, marbled fireplaces: a real treasure of history was there, within easy reach. They have made up their minds in fifteen minutes. Since then, life has gone on. The laden volumes of the Haussmannian apartment have been filled with books organized by colours. A modern and minimalist work Marianne has done room after room. Their twins’ bedroom is the only exception. There, the former buyer dared originality. Rattan cradles they got thanks to mornings spent at the flea market and a wallpaper which contrasts with the simplicity they love. The couple perfectly knows the art of blending. Cédric also works in the fashion industry, and was trained in some of the most prestigious companies. We can feel his sense of observation and his taste in this elegant decoration. We saw great designers’ works just next to the simplicity of raw materials such as stainless steel and marble. All this was inspired by their different experiences in the world of fashion. The theatre spolight tracks hanged up on steel ropes in their living room? Spotted in a New York showroom. The neutral tones everywhere in the apartment? Yes, they chose them in order not to get tired of them. Marianne rather likes accessoirizing. “Less is more“: this maxim is really still topical.
Marianne, what do you do for a living ?
I am a consultant for luxury brands. Before that, I worked as a buyer for multi-brand fashion stores for quite some time.
How long have you been living in this apartment? What made you fall for it ?
It has been 5 years. When we first came to view the apartment, we immediately loved it despite its very poor condition, as nearly every feature was an original, from the windows with their beautiful bronze espagnolettes, the moulded doors and their handles, to the chimneys, amongst many more. It took just fifteen minutes for us to make up our minds! We were both looking for exactly the same thing.
Did you design the interior of the apartment yourself? Where did you get your inspiration from?
Yes I did dit myself. In the course of my work as a buyer, I visited many places that have been great sources of inspiration for me. For example, I pinched the idea of theatre spotlight tracks hanging from steel wire ropes from the a showroom in New York.
What colours are you in to?
The apartment is almost solely decorated in neutral colours. Although I like colour, I can get tired of it fairly quickly. As an example, I use flowers to add colour, which then allows for me to change it as often as I like!
I wanted dark wallpaper with animal motifs and rattan cots. The room’s decor began with these two elements.
Is there an artist, a designer or some other artistic person that you admire?
Of course there is. In fact, there are several of them! I really like the South American architects Luis Barragán and Oscar Niemeyer. I’m a fan of the artists Cy Twombly and Elizabeth Peyton, as well as the photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.
Your daughters’ room is distinctly decorated. What were your reference points ?
I wanted dark wallpaper with animal motifs and, having done some research I chose that of Nathalie Lété, which I just love! I also wanted rattan cradles. The room’s decor began with these two elements. In general, I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest. The changing table and shelves were made by The Modern Carpenter, which I discovered on Instagram. They are inspired by the furniture of Charlotte Perriand, but I used softer colours so that they fit in with a kids’ world. The carpet and curtains come from Fragments Paris, which I found on The Socialite Family! I like the mix of craftsmanship and contemporary style that Caroline, the brand’s creative founder, has.
In terms of decor, how would you describe your style?
That is a good question. I find it very difficult to describe. Let’s just say that I like quite refined design styles as well as the contrast between typical Haussmann architecture found in Parisian apartments and modern and quite minimal decor.
When looking for a piece of furniture, where do you go? In Paris or online?
I buy a lot online and even in auctions. I regularly look through the sales catalogues of Drouot, Artcurial and Pierre Bergé & Associés, and then bid online. Otherwise, I do a lot of research on 1stdibs. However, this is often out of my budget range so I then try to find a cheaper piece elsewhere, especially on Etsy. Etsy is a bit like Drouot: there is just about anything and everything on it, but you can sometimes come across some real treasures at ridiculous prices!
Can you recommend a restaurant for us, either in Paris or elsewhere?
For lunch, there is the Toraya tea room, which is the oldest Japanese teahouse in Paris and the official supplier to the Emperor of Japan. Everything there is both refined and excellent. The pastries are also wonderful. For dinner, Vivant. It’s simply excellent! The restaurant is really small and the chef, Pierre Touitou, cooks right in front of you. There is a great atmosphere while Peter also has one of the best playlists in Paris!
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily