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A Room of One’s Own: An En Suite Retreat in Paris

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A Room of One’s Own: An En Suite Retreat in Paris

March 19, 2021

Imagine an extra room becoming available in your home? The owner of this little retreat is a single father who lives with his teenaged son and 10-year-old daughter in Paris’s 19th in an art deco brick apartment building. When the large studio upstairs became available, he and the only other family living in the small building went in on it together and divided the space.

The Dad envisioned his half as a bedroom/home office with a luxurious bathroom—a conversion that required considerable work. Having admired his friend Stephen O’Sullivan’s recent apartment makeover—see Order and Pattern in a Spirited Paris Remodel by Two Young Architects—he knew who to enlist. Architects Suleïma Ben Achour and Antoine Lallement together make up Studio Classico, a newly minted firm based in Paris, where Suleïma lives, and Marseille, where Antoine lives—the two are 2016 graduates of the École Nationale d’Architecture de Paris la Villette, and have mastered the art of digital collaboration. Join us for a tour of the hideaway they created for this very lucky parent just in advance of lockdown life.

Photography by Marvin Leuvrey and Charlotte Robin, courtesy of Studio Classico (@studio_classico).

the setup is a staircase away from the duplex the father shares with his two ki 9
Above: The setup is a staircase away from the duplex the father shares with his two kids. The architects’ mandate was to fit a bedroom with a work area and walk-in closet, plus a bathroom with a shower and washing machine into their client’s 215-square-foot half of the apartment (scroll to the end for a Before shot).

The linen bedding is from Merci and the vintage Gaetano Sciolari wall sconces were found on eBay. The push-button light switches are by Modelec.

custom millwork of ipe wood in a dark oiled finish lends the space a jewel box  10
Above: Custom millwork of ipe wood in a dark-oiled finish lends the space a jewel-box feel. The idea, the architects say, “was to create a bedroom-bathroom-dressing suite in the manner of a hotel room.” The parquet floor is the only original detail, newly sanded and refinished.
the father&#8\2\17;s glass desk is a hand me down from friends. he bought t 11
Above: The father’s glass desk is a hand-me-down from friends. He bought the lamp at “a bric-a-brac in Normandy.” Because space is tight, the folding desk chair doubles as bedside table.

The white paint on all the walls is Ventre de Biche (translation: Doe Belly) from Tollens.

a large closet is tucked behind the green linen curtain. the bathroom&#8\2\ 12
Above: A large closet is tucked behind the green linen curtain. The bathroom’s glazed partition and the corner cabinet and shelves are all custom designs. The light is a 1970s Europhon, a combination table lamp and radio. “We wanted soft lighting as in a Japanese house, so we didn’t use any ceiling lighting except in the shower,” says Suleïma. “We installed a lot of sockets that you can activate from the same switch, so our client can add a lot of table and floor lamps.”
the bathroom door slides shut and wired glass panels provide just enough privac 13
Above: The bathroom door slides shut and wired glass panels provide just enough privacy.
the tiles were inspired by the bathroom studio classico designed for stephen o 14
Above: The tiles were inspired by the bathroom Studio Classico designed for Stephen O’Sullivan—”our client loved Stephen’s bath and said ‘I want the same black-and-white pattern,'” Suleïma tells us. “We explained that Stephen’s isn’t black and white but green and cream—and that’s how we discovered that our client is colorblind.”
the striped and diamond patterned tiles are from balineum&#8\2\17;s series  15
Above: The striped and diamond-patterned tiles are from Balineum’s Series S collection hand-painted in Italy. “The brushstrokes are visible and give the artisanal and painstaking effect we wanted,” says Suleïma. “When something is  done meticulously, you have the sensation that your house is taking care of you.”

Also on our radar from Balineum, Wayne Pate’s Painterly Tile Collection.

the pedestal sink is from hudson reed, and the steel sconces are the gude desig 16
Above: The pedestal sink is from Hudson Reed, and the steel sconces are the Gude design from Sammode Studio. The Retro Toilet with elevated tank is also from Hudson Reed. A wooden shelf, not shown, holds toiletries, and there are shelves near the washing machine for towels and plants.
ipe wood, the architects point out, is water resistant—read about the wood in 17
Above: Ipe wood, the architects point out, is water resistant—read about the wood in Gardenista.

The Designers

architects antoine lallement and suleïma ben achour collaborated on the proje 18
Above: Architects Antoine Lallement and Suleïma Ben Achour collaborated on the project from separate locations. Unable to be photographed together, their photographer friend Martin Leuvrey created this collage.

Floor Plan

the floor plan shows elements not captured in the photos, including a balcony n 19
Above: The floor plan shows elements not captured in the photos, including a balcony next to the bed, the dressing area, and laundry.

Before

the bathroom occupies what had been a kitchen (at their client&#8\2\17;s re 20
Above: The bathroom occupies what had been a kitchen (at their client’s request, the architects “created the kitchen exits and power supplies,” all hidden in a cabinet, so that should he decide to rent out the space, a kitchen can be introduced down the line).  The double window was preserved.

For more inspiration, browse our Bedroom and Bath archives, including:

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