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The Perfect Two-Room Paris Pied-à-Terre, Ikea Kitchen Included


The Perfect Two-Room Paris Pied-à-Terre, Ikea Kitchen Included

April 6, 2016

For a client who lives outside of Paris but regularly comes to town by train, architect Philippe Harden transformed a two-room garret in Montparnasse into a well-planned, airy white pied-à-terre. If there’s architecture inside clouds, this is what it might look like.

Photography courtesy of Philippe Harden.

paris all white pied a terre, a garret remodel in montparnasse by architect phi 17

Above: The 32-square-meter (344-square-foot) apartment opens to a living space with an Ikea kitchen tucked into the corner. In place of beige pile carpeting and pink and red walls, Harden introduced pickled oak flooring and all white surfaces, including a wall of seamless built-in storage. The leather sofa is Habitat’s re-edition of its Robin Day Forum II design and the white metal coffee table is the Albers-inspired Kilo table (currently on sale for £32—$45.65—at Habitat). The Straw Armchair is a vintage Charlotte Perriand design.

Says Harden, “The choice of materials and colors is very simple and neutral to lighten the place and allow the furniture to show. Because the apartment is for occasional use, there’s not a lot in it, but each piece was carefully chosen.”

ikea kitchen in a paris pied a terre, a garret remodel in montparnasse by archi 18

Above: The new kitchen pairs Ikea cabinets with Ikea butcher block counters, which Harden touched up with a dark stain “so they wouldn’t look like Ikea.” (Go to DIY: Upgraded Ikea Wood Countertops for ideas.) The upper cabinets are custom and the skylight is a restored original detail. Arne Jacobsen’s Super Circulaire Table, a design conceived for cafeterias, is paired with his teak Model 3103 stacking chairs (offered by Fritz Hansen in the seventies and now available through vintage dealers). The bathroom (see below) is tucked near the entry.

paris all white pied a terre, a garret remodel in montparnasse by architect phi 19

Above: “The charm of this flat was its situation on the top level of an old building with a curved roof,” says Harden. To open up the space and accentuate the architecture, he replaced the wall and door between the living room and bedroom with a graceful partition that connects the two while keeping the bed private. And in place of clunky curtains, Harden inserted classic Parisian interior wood shutters. The windows look out to a luminous courtyard.

paris bedroom in an all white pied a terre, a garret remodel in montparnasse by 20

Above: Pierre Paulin’s 1954 Office Model CM141 desk of coated steel and wood stands window side. The bed is slotted into a tight space, which Harden surrounded with built-in shelves that serve as side tables while allowing “a small space on each side of the bed for circulation.”

white bathroom in a compact paris apartment designed by philippe harden | remod 21

Above: The new bathroom makes use of an existing roof window for light and ventilation. The floor is the same oak used in the rest of the apartment, here with a hard wax oil treatment. The sink is a Duravit and the faucet is by Cristina, “a good Italian brand,” Harden tells us, “that’s less expensive than Vola and well distributed in France.”

two room apartmentt floor plan by philippe harden for montparnasse pied a terre 22

Above: The floor plan details the tidy built-in cabinetry that continues from kitchen into living room, where it serves as a coat and clothes closet.

Harden designed one of our all-time-favorite kitchens (featured back in 2009): See A Paris Architect’s Fearless Use of Color.

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Frequently asked questions

Who designed the Paris pied-à-terre?

The Paris pied-à-terre was designed by architect Philippe Harden.

What was the inspiration for the design?

The inspiration for the design was a mix of traditional Parisian style and modern luxury.

What is the size of the pied-à-terre?

The size of the pied-à-terre is 600 square feet.

What colors were used in the design?

Neutral colors such as white, gray, and beige were used in the design.

What materials were used in the design?

Materials such as marble, brass, and natural oak were used in the design.

Is there natural light in the apartment?

Yes, there is plenty of natural light in the apartment.

What is the style of the furniture?

The style of the furniture is a mix of modern and traditional.

Are there any unique features in the pied-à-terre?

Yes, there is a hidden door that leads to a secret room.

Is the pied-à-terre located in a central location?

Yes, the pied-à-terre is located in the 7th arrondissement, which is central to many Parisian attractions.

Can the pied-à-terre be rented?

It is not mentioned if the pied-à-terre can be rented.

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