Rodolphe Parente respectfully rethinks the Haussmannian apartment in Paris

French interior designer Rodolphe Parente has completed a contemporary makeover of a 19th-century Parisian apartment, reflecting the building’s heritage and its owner’s “radical” art collection.

Originally built during Haussmann’s major reconstruction of Paris, this 150 square meter apartment is located in the Canal Saint-Martin district in northeastern Paris.

Rodolphe Parente has renovated a Haussmann-era apartment in Paris

As part of the renovation, Parente sought to celebrate the apartment’s overall period detail. In the entrance hall, a band of gold leaf now accentuates the geometry of the circular ceiling and missing parts of the moldings have been painstakingly restored.

“The main idea was to preserve and, in some points, restore the classic Haussmannian codes of the Parisian apartment,” Parenti told Dzine. “It was important to me to maintain the Parisian vibe as well as the radical tone of my client’s artistic taste.”

Redfield & Dattner created an abstract mural behind the dining table

Parente began by opening up the apartment to improve the sense of flow, exposing long, closed doorways and connecting the dining room to the kitchen.

Taking cues from the apartment’s inherent craftsmanship, Parente penned in several contemporary craftsmen including custom painting studio Redfield & Dattner, which created an abstract mural on the new wall behind the dining table.

The kitchen is balanced by stainless steel and pastel pink cabinet finishes

“I wanted to bring the artisanal hand into this project,” said Parenti.

“The people I worked with on this apartment bring something to creativity in general.”

A carved antique sofa centered the living room

Throughout the space, a palette of warm neutrals has been used to create a sense of immersion.

“I chose neutral hues to subtly enhance the apartment’s classic heritage and maintain an enveloping atmosphere,” explained the interior designer.

Against this cohesive backdrop, colorful elements pop surprisingly well including the yellow highlights painted above the dining table—Parente’s own design—and the bright purple rug used against the caramel-colored walls in the master bedroom.

The kitchen balances stainless steel and pastel pink cabinet finishes with a frame-like marble splash, created by French artist Alice Guittard for Double V Gallery.

“The kitchen is a disjointed block located in the Haussmannian environment,” said Parenti. “They are linked to historical elements through their composition.”

The wall panels remain in the reading room

In the living room, an antique carved sofa sits at the center of the space, anchored by a graphic rug and positioned to disrupt the room’s corners.

Parente played with contrast across palettes of materials and colors throughout the apartment. In the reading room, antique wall paneling accentuates the modernity of the sofa and chair with their highly polished side panels.

Parente designed a custom chair and sofa for the space

“For this room, we designed custom furniture in contemporary, radical shapes to give the space a form of reflection,” said the designer.

The motif of juxtaposition with the art displayed continues in the apartment, with the client’s often provocative pieces complementing the aesthetic in each room.

Colors clash in the master bedroom

“The client showed complete belief in this balance between modernity and legacy in the interior design,” said Parenti. “He also wanted to maintain this dialogue for the decor and focus on remaining eclectic in the choice of furniture and art.”

“The client has a radical point of view in terms of art and design. It was a real pleasure to create a dialogue between the existing pieces and the interior design.”

A bright purple rug contrasts with the caramel-colored walls

Renovations of other Hausmann-era apartments in Paris have seen interior designers make more dramatic interventions, with Atelier adding a 37.2 carved wood volume to house a new bathroom while Studio Razavi inserted a faceted mass of furniture that takes on a different function in each room.

Photography is by Giulio Gherardi.

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