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The Family Duplex: Architect Camille Hermand’s Newly Combined Paris Apartments

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The Family Duplex: Architect Camille Hermand’s Newly Combined Paris Apartments

February 8, 2019

Whenever we ask architects if we can see where they live, the response is invariably: “My place? Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.” Followed by: “You know the expression about the shoemaker having no shoes?” Paris architect Camille Hermand is one of the brave few to open her doors to us.

Hermand has a degree from Paris’s École Spéciale d’Architecture and runs her own five-person firm specializing in residential architecture and interior design (a year ago we featured her Grand Apartment Updated for a Modern Family). She lives in the Marais with her children, Madeleine, Adelaide, and Honore—a few years ago, they moved into the apartment immediately above her office. She recently relocated her workspace to a new location and transformed upstairs and down into a family duplex. The results are notably more bohemian and experimental than Hermand’s studied designs for clients—and, yes, “a continual work in progress.” Come see.

Photography by Hervé Goluza, courtesy of Camille Hermand Architectures.

the \1,400 square foot apartment is set on the first two floors of a timber fra 9
Above: The 1,400 square-foot apartment is set on the first two floors of a timber-framed 19th-century building in the heart of the Marais. The ground floor was originally a little grocery, then a mini market, and, starting in the 1970s, a wholesale jewelry boutique before Hermand took it over.

The sofa and velvet cushions are from Paris favorite Caravane. The woven rush armchair is by Le Déan Prieur (which has since gone out of business) and the daybed is from online vintage store Retour de Chine accessorized with custom cushions. Note the shade/awning/curtain combination on the large front window: “The most important challenge was to forget the street when we’re in the living room,” says Hermand. “Thanks to the café curtain, we still have the view and the light.”

hermand transformed what had been her architecture firm&#8\2\17;s office in 10
Above: Hermand transformed what had been her architecture firm’s office into an all-purpose living area. She moved the kitchen as is from her apartment upstairs. The door next to the kitchen leads to the pantry and fridge. The eclectic furnishings range from an antique French hutch to a 1970s Norwegian swivel chair by Sigurd Ressell.
a gallery shelf displays black and white photos in a range of simple frames ine 11
Above: A gallery shelf displays black-and-white photos in a range of simple frames inexpensively sourced from Fleux. For side tables, Hermand goes with a mix, including an old stool. The rug is a classic Tuareg mat of straw and leather (see New Directions: 18 Design Trends for 2018).
the kitchen is composed of ikea ekestad cabinets that hermand customized with a 12
Above: The kitchen is composed of Ikea Ekestad cabinets that Hermand customized with a marble counter and backsplash. Existing wall niches were incorporated as storage and display.
to maximize the light, hermand inserted a number of inventive interior windows  13
Above: To maximize the light, Hermand inserted a number of inventive interior windows throughout the duplex. Here she exposed the wall timbers to create a screen that divides the living space from the entry.
atelier doors lead to the library. the walls are painted farrow & ball& 14
Above: Atelier doors lead to the library. The walls are painted Farrow & Ball’s gray-based Strong White.
an ensemble of flea market pieces: hermand frequents the st. ouen marché aux p 15
Above: An ensemble of flea market pieces: Hermand frequents the St. Ouen Marché aux Puces. She uses African stool as low tables. The steel door frame is in a powder-coated blue to match the library.
the office meeting space is now used for doing homework and art projects. the m 16
Above: The office meeting space is now used for doing homework and art projects. The made-to-measure shelves are painted Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue, which references the hôtel particulier doors across the street.
the table is an old habitat design paired with chairs from selency, a european  17
Above: The table is an old Habitat design paired with chairs from Selency, a European digital marketplace specializing in vintage Scandinavian furniture. The Fancy Tall Pendant Lights are from Kathleen Hills’s collection of bone china hanging lights.
the back of the room is patterned with painterly wall paper, bien fait&#8\2 18
Above: The back of the room is patterned with painterly wall paper, Bien Fait’s Bohème, which the company describes as “a colorful travel diary, a fusion of African and Indonesian motifs.” The blue door leads to the WC and the foyer’s floor-t0-ceiling wardrobes in the background are customized Ikea pieces—the space was previously Hermand’s tiny bedroom.
preserved tiling from the apartment&#8\2\17;s dairy market days. 19
Above: Preserved tiling from the apartment’s dairy market days.
when hermand took over the upstairs floor, she installed a century old spiral s 20
Above: When Hermand took over the upstairs floor, she installed a century-old spiral stair to link the office to her living quarters.
at the top of the spiral stair, hermand inserted a windowed vestibule in a corn 21
Above: At the top of the spiral stair, Hermand inserted a windowed vestibule in a corner of her son’s room. 
the architect also introduced interior windows in the bedroom hallway. the anti 22
Above: The architect also introduced interior windows in the bedroom hallway. The antique bench came out of a school.
hermand&#8\2\17;s new bedroom—previously the family living room—is furn 23
Above: Hermand’s new bedroom—previously the family living room—is furnished with a mix of midcentury pieces. The bedding is from Le Monde Sauvage and Caravane, and the living-room holdover wall sconces are &Tradition’s Bellevue AJ9.
designed back when the family first moved into the building, the bathroom has a 24
Above: Designed back when the family first moved into the building, the bathroom has a tile rug, a polished nickel bridge faucet, and walls in lined in metro tiles—beveled subway tiles. Thinking of installing your own freestanding tub? See 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Clawfoot Bathtubs.
the space formerly occupied by the kitchen was converted into a second metro t 25
Above: The space formerly occupied by the kitchen was converted into a second metro-tiled bathroom, this one with a towel warmer and shower. To see the apartment in its previous incarnation, go to The Socialite Family.

Floor Plans

hermand&#8\2\17;s love of color extends to her floor plans. she converted t 26
Above: Hermand’s love of color extends to her floor plans. She converted the main office space to open living quarters by migrating the kitchen from upstairs to down and using a storage closet as the pantry. The foyer and library were largely preserved as is.
the upstairs now has four bedrooms and two baths. a series of interior windows  27
Above: The upstairs now has four bedrooms and two baths. A series of interior windows keep it light and bright.

Three more architects at home in inventive spaces:

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