This Paris Life

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Client project: A lush Parisian “boudoir” is featured in Architectural Digest

Paris Property Group found this charming property located in bustling street near Bastille for a client who was looking for something that felt special, offered room for guests or an office, and fit into her budget.  The immediate area features numerous restaurants and clubs, but that didn’t daunt our client who had a familiarity with the area and loved it.  A major upside is that the two bedroom, two bath 67 m2 place came with a budget conscious price.  Next on the list, was getting rid of the old, tired furnishings abandoned by the previous owner, and adding a new dash of glamour.  Designer Anna Duval took on the mission:  to enhance the decor and instill the spirit of a late 19th century boudoir.

Anna Duval started out training to be an economist-mathematician . But by the end of the first year of work in her profession, she realized that this was not her path, and entered Design school instead. Anna has been engaged in interior design for twelve years, the last seven in Paris, where she now lives and works.

The apartment on the rue de Lappe is one of her first projects in France. “When I moved here, I did not speak French at all,” Anna recalls, “so I was looking for English and Russian-speaking clients. I was lucky, my contact was given to an Englishwoman who bought an apartment in Paris, and it turned out to be a good acquaintance.”


Living room: Dining table (folding, for 10 persons), Interior’s; antique chairs left over from the previous owners. Antique gramophone by La Voix de son maitre, Selency antique wall lamp. An internet box and a router are hidden in antique boxes. Photo: Romain Ricard

Living room. Sofa, chandelier, floor lamps, Labyrinthe Interiors, lampshades by Abat-jour du Moulin; armchair, Kare Design; display cabinets, Maisons du Monde; chinoiserie coffee tables and side tables with marble top antique, Selency; mirror over fireplace and floor lamp with black shade, Eichholtz; chandelier, Labyrinthe Interiors. Photo: Romain Ricard

The project was very interesting: the client bought an apartment in an old building, with walls warped by time and wooden beams on the ceiling, and dreamed of returning the atmosphere of the late 19th century to it.

“The layout of the apartment is rather successful,” says the designer, “a small entrance hall, a living room with a fireplace, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen. Only the electricity needed work: the client laughed that she needed a crazy amount of sockets, lights and switches in all rooms. One of the bedrooms was to be turned into a home office, where the hostess intended to draw, and one of the bathrooms was to become more functional, with a modern shower.

Anna’s main task was to make sure that the hostess and her guests, stepping over the threshold of the apartment, stepped into another era. The client asked to give preference to things with history, but she also had more specific wishes: the dining table, for example, had to unfold and accommodate at least ten people; side tables for drinks were also needed.

The task is not so simple, given the historical moment. Parisian flea markets, where you can find items of any time, closed due to the pandemic, and Anna had to turn her search to sites selling antiques. On one of them, we managed to find a working gramophone, and on leboncoin (this is the French analogue of Avito) – a beautiful easel of the 19th century. The artist gave it away for some ridiculous money.

Hallway. Antique hanger left from the previous owners. Umbrellas with bird-shaped tips are also antique. On the wall are reproductions of paintings by Carl Larsson, Anselm Feuerbach, Auguste Macke, Hermann Winterhalter. Door, Pitch Black, handle bought at the antique market in Versailles. Photo: Romain Ricard

A small wine rack (left) found in an antique market in Versailles. A hanging cabinet above it, left over from the previous owners, hides an electric meter. Photo: Romain Ricard

Anna says that this interior is dear to her precisely because it is a little fabulous. “It takes us to another, more romantic world and makes time stop.” The owner of the apartment, apparently, is of the same opinion: initially she was going to stay in this apartment during her trips to Paris, but now she is going to live in it permanently. When the world is changing every minute, you appreciate the opportunity to slow down.

Kitchen. Wall lamp and curtains, Coquecigrue; candlesticks, figurine and decanter are antique. Wall paints, Farrow & Ball and Studio Green; on the floor there is an old terracotta “tomette” tile. Photo: Romain Ricard

Kitchen furniture, Spar; the tabletop is made of travertine; antique chandelier; on the apron, tiles in the style of “zelij”, As de Carreaux; on the floor there is an old terracotta “tomette” tile. Photo: Romain Ricard

A glass door leads from the kitchen to the bedroom. Rue de Lapp is a pedestrian street with many cafes, bars and restaurants. In the evening it is very lively here. Therefore, the fact that one of the bedrooms overlooks the courtyard, the owner of the apartment considers a huge plus. Photo: Romain Ricard

Bedroom. Headboard and canopy cornice, Coquecigrue; antique bedside tables, Selency; wall lamps, Labyrinthe Interiors; mirrors, linen and bedspread, La Redoute; decorative pillows, Madura, Bouchara. The canopy is made to order at On the walls are reproductions of works by Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Albrecht Dürer. On the floor there is an old terracotta “tomette” tile. Paint on the walls, Farrow & Ball. Photo: Romain Ricard

Sources: Architectural Digest  and Anna Duval

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