How many patterned tiles is too many? Anki Linde and Pierre Saalburg of Paris-based
LSL Architects say to each his own limit—and that the couple who own this rambling Paris apartment happen to have a higher threshold than most.
These clients—she’s a film director/writer, he’s a writer, and they have two kids—approached the remodel of their Paris quarters with a playful spirit, and the architects responded in kind. “Each space is designed as if it has its own identity and story to tell, sometimes indifferent to each other,” says Linde. And yes, tile plays a starring role, some painted monkeys, too.
Photography by Katrin Vierkant, courtesy of
Above: The apartment occupies the third floor of a grand 19th-century Parisian building in the center of Paris. Linde and Saalburg divided the layout into three zones: the living area in the center with the parents’ and kids’ rooms at opposite ends: “giving all parties the privacy they need.”
Linde describes the space pre-remodel as “refurbished for some banker in a sterile, cheap style,” but it came with preserved “Point de Hongrie” (solid oak parquet) floors, marble fireplaces, and plaster moldings, all of which they repaired. The painting over the living room mantel is by Swedish artist Orjan Wickstrom. The reading light is from Ikea.
Above: The living room opens to a combination dining area and kitchen. “Even though the owners are very fond of cooking, they wanted the room to feel at first glance like a bar rather than a kitchen,” says Linde, noting that for the central counter Ceramiques Du Beaujolais fabricated 18 tile shapes to LSL’s specs.
The monkey-patterned walls mark the entry to the kids’ quarters.
Above: The sink was custom made by Etains e Lyon, which specializes in classic all-metal sinks and counters. Linde sourced the industrial brushed stainless steel pulls online: they’re Poignée de Tirage Massive from Eurowale.
The mirrored cabinet to the right conceals the fridge and other storage: “it’s the place where things you don’t want to look at go.”
Above: “We designed a wooden structure that the carpenter prepared onto which the tin was wrapped,” says Linde. Ab0ve: A built-inn pantry with a glazed steel door stands on the other side of the kitchen bar. The clients bought the French glass hanging lights at a flea market. Above: The dining table doubles as a work area. It was bought at a Paris flea market and has a top made of blue stone from Liège. Above: Lewis Heriz, the London graphic designer who was recruited to paint the monkey-patterned hall, also left his mark here and there in the apartment, including over the door to the primary suite. Above: The architects made up for a lack of closets by building in a wall of cabinets with paneled moldings to work with the original plasterwork on the ceiling. Above: There’s more built-in storage in the master bath, which is patterned in Moroccan tiles from Kismet, a California-based company known for its mod geometrics. Above: The cement tiles are in a pattern called Zocalo. Of the decision to tile not only the floor but the walls, Linde says the clients insisted: “We discussed this endlessly—we were worried you might not be able to stay in there for long. But it actually feels super calming, like you’re like in a cocoon transported into another time.” Above: The freestanding bathtub, pedestal sink, and fixtures are all from UK company The Water Monopoly’s Paris Collection. The ceiling and wall lights are from the architects’ favorite vintage lighting store in Paris, M.A Dauilac.
The custom shutters on the windows are a signature LSL Architects detail, with decorative cutouts to allow in light.
Above: The hall was initially going to be covered in a de Gournay monkey-patterned wallpaper. On realizing that the ceiling would be hard to paper, the architects came up with the idea of recruiting graphic designer Lewis Heriz to paint his first mural. Above: The kids are two and four, and have side-by-side rooms, each with a custom alcove bed painted in its own color-blocked palette—the architects call this one Strawberry and Vanilla. (They used paints from Farrow & Ball and French company Argile throughout.) Note the built-in storage below and above the beds. Above: “The kids’ bath is like a striped cabane, a little beach hut, says Linde, The Moroccan cement tiles are in a pattern called Hex Knot from Popham Design and come in a range of colorways. To make up for the lack of natural light in the space, the architects introduced an interior window that draws indirect light from the library.
The sink is from Agape’s
Ottocento Collection and the Black Hanging Lights are by Zangra. Above: The bathtub is also from Agape’s Ottocento Collection; the towel warmer ladder is the Scaletta by Tubes. The architects report that, not surprisingly, the kids love to use the room as their playhouse. Above: The apartment’s public rooms are in the center, and the parents’ and kids’ quarters are at opposite ends. “As we developed the floor plan, we discovered that we could wrap the corridor leading into the kids’ rooms around the building’s main staircase,” Linde tells us. “Many days were spent trying to figure out how we could best highlight this space and turn it into something quite special and fun,” hence the hall of monkeys.
Here are three more projects by LSL Architects: