What visuals would you associate with a historic Paris pied-à-terre? Chances are, there will be some dark woodwork, French doors, heavy textiles and white marble in your mental conjurations, all of which are present in this beautiful duplex apartment on Place de Colombie. But designer Ramy Fischler has taken these and other historic elements and layered over them with modern touches, from a gradient of white epoxy paint downstairs to heavy curtains made of lacquered plaster.
The apartment is located in the 1930s Art Deco residential complex known as the Walter Buildings, and bears many of its original features. The designer wanted to bring the interiors into the present day, avoiding a fully preserved, museum-like feel, but without sacrificing the sense of history imparted by the parquet de Versailles woodwork, wrought iron stair railing and other features.
The custom white epoxy paint fades from full coverage at the pure-white ceiling to whitewash at the mid-level, leaving the original wood exposed at the bottom to blend with the parquet floor. Baroque patterns have been incorporated in a modern way, printed in large scale onto furniture surfaces. The dramatic white curtains evoke more traditional textiles, but with an unexpected stiffness and gloss. The corridor and kitchen feel downright futuristic with curving white panels and built-in lighting around the line of the ceiling.
“The Place de Columbie apartment is the result of a group of ideas and talents coming together as one,” says Fischler. “For me, designing ana portent or house is like running a research laboratory, during which different expertise comes together in order to produce a singular piece that is the result of a collaborative process.”