Tag Archives: interior design

redefining minimalism in paris.

This Parisian apartment mixes classical, period detailing with ‘30s ornamentation, ‘70s retro fun, and contemporary clean lines and modern hues. Located in a typically ornate Haussmann building, the vertical lines of the soaring ceilings are emphasised and enhanced with full-height window treatments and bold paintwork; the curved forms of the furniture and furnishings soften this effect and bring the scale back down to earth.

The main walls have a pale grey, distressed finish, with ghosted images of the original panelling. A deep blue, curvaceous sofa dominates the living room, flanked by other low lying, curved pieces. A traditional, glass fronted vitrine containing porcelain figures is lined with non-traditional, tangerine-coloured fabric.The kitchen juxtaposes jade green granite with gold fixtures and original parquet floors. Matt gold walls line a corridor leading to a red bathroom with black marble basin. A guest room is painted out in boldest Majorelle-Blue, the colour named after the French artist of the same name, who was inspired by the colours of Morocco.

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studioko_ohl.studio-ko-paris-t-magazine-ohl.The apartment is designed by Studio Ko, a Paris based practice known for their minimal aesthetic (see my previous post, here). Featured in the New York Times Style magazine, the article defines the look as ‘spare elegance, with rich colour and quietly luxurious furnishings’. It talks of ‘redefining minimalism’. It is a bold, exuberant look, but minimal too; there are no layers, rather, each piece has space to breathe and stand alone. The colour palette isn’t overly restricted. The pieces work together because of their juxtaposition, and the backdrop serves to unify. It’s light and airy, so there is a feeling of space, even where space is restricted. The look is dramatic, but not dark, so one can inhabit the spaces without resorting to artificial light. I love this style of interior decorating. What about you?

Photos by Francois Halard.

drama and serenity in copenhagen.

Today, I’m drawn to these drop dead gorgeous images showcasing the work of Studio Oliver Gustav.

From a studio, showroom and boutique in central Copenhagen, a carefully curated edit of designers and artists from around the world – Faye Toogood, Michaël Verheyden and Poul Kjærholm amongst others – sit against a monochrome interior. Beautiful pieces and striking lighting create a dramatic, yet intensely serene interior that feels timeless and elegant. I love each piece of the collection, not to mention that knock-out shade of grey used on the walls and ceilings.

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Studio Oliver Gustav, here, via

modern and serene in antwerp.

Beautiful, serene interiors that belie the bustle of everyday life. Shown are three separate projects from the same design studio.

The kitchen below is minimally detailed, with a wall of white, streamlined cabinets with concealed handles and hinges and matt white marble countertops. Timber floorboards and furniture and brass taps add warmth to the palette. The soaring ceiling is simply adorned and brought back down to human scale with the elegantly minimal Tube Chandelier.

The monochromatic bathroom is kept clean and minimal with a linear marble countertop stretching end to end, with simple, rectangular mirrors and black Vola taps. The effect is softened by the diaphanous curtain to one end.

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I could move right in. What about you?

All by Antwerp based Rollies + Dubois.

antwerp house in blue/grey.

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veerle_wenes_en_amberes_202974908_1200x800 veerle_wenes_en_amberes_575021604_1200x800 veerle_wenes-ohlveerle_wenes2-ohlLike Ampersand house (I write about it here and here), this home in Antwerp doubles as a gallery space. The first thing that one notices is the wall colour: an intense, muted grey/green. The second thing is the cobblestone floor and exposed brick. Originally built as a workshop in the 19th century, it translates beautifully into the 21st, with contemporary materials – resin floors and polished concrete elements – adding to the simple fixturing that allow the gallery’s pieces to be shown to best effect.

Much of the furniture is by Muller Van Severen, who describe their pieces as ‘sitting somewhere between art and design’. I love their simple, industrial but elegant aesthetic.

Gallery house in Antwerp via AD. Photographs: Ricardo Labougle

sorrento simplicity.

Sorrento is a beautiful coastal town on Victoria’s Mornington peninsula, and I have very fond memories of seemingly endless summer days spent on the beach there. This summer house captures the vibe perfectly in its simplicity and feels just about right on these gorgeous, late September days.

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Natural materials reflect the surrounding landscape with timber floorboards, in this case Fir with a white oil finish, and the woody exterior, stained black. Clean white walls reflect the coastal light, with texture provided by the timber lined ceilings, again kept white. The living spaces are open plan with the clever insertion of a log-burning stove and bank of cupboards on one side, and kitchen units on the other. The joinery is kept consistent throughout – white cabinetry and palest grey glass mosaic tiles adding texture and tone wherever a waterproof surface is required. Built-in shelves and a low ledge behind the bed are always a good idea. A second bathroom is kept simple with panels of ply and a reclaimed metal trough.

Scandinavian classics are plentiful with low-slung leather armchairs, Louis Poulsen’s PH5 light, and lots of pieces by Hay and Iittala.

House in Sorrento by Shareen Joel Design. Photographs, Brooke Holm. Via

a parisian in grey.

This beautiful interior intrigues for two reasons. First, we are heading to Paris for a few days and this home is housed in a classic Haussmann apartment; and second, we are in the throes of purchasing a new flat here in London, with very high ceilings, period detailing, and parquet floors. I cannot wait to start decorating (although we had better exchange first!)

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The interior designer owner has painted the entire space in a darkish mid grey – walls, ceilings, mouldings, cornices, architraves. I love this contemporary idea – all surfaces are treated with equal importance, rather than the traditional route of picking out details and giving them a hierachy. Tall French doors and equally vertiginous mirrors bounce the light around and keep the apartment from feeling drab. Gleaming dark-stained herringbone floors reflect the light and continue to bounce it around.

Grey is a fabulous muse for vivid colours; the lilac pink sofas, although not to my taste, work beautifully. Red appears throughout in artwork, positioned to entice the eye from one room to the next. Quirky artworks abound, as do odd, mismatched chairs, giving a it a charming, off-beat yet utterly elegant air. The study appears to be a departure, with a half-painted wall (I love half-painted walls and have several pinned on Pinterest, here); black door frames, stair and rope handrail, ravishing teal-coloured curtains and bright red Eames shell chair.

New Paris Style via Habitually Chic. Photos by Richard Powers and Jean-Marc Palisse

Would you use grey for the walls in your home? A useful resource for selecting the right shade of grey can be found, here

More wonderful Parisian spaces, here. Bon weekend!