Raynounard residential, France

January 4, 2016

Home is a place of comfort, where minds can be set at ease. The Raynounard apartment in Paris reflects this notion in every sense with an intricate balance between modernity and tradition; a light-filled space of repose.

Camille Hermand Architectures saw a traditional Hausmannian apartment, named Raynounard, in central Paris, France transform into a stylish and contemporary four-bedroom family home, bathed in natural light elevated with decorative fixtures.

Designed for a family of four with two young boys, Hermand described her creative vision for the energetic family: “They entertain at home a lot. Both the husband and wife have busy careers and didn’t have the time to look after decorating their home after the renovation. They wanted a functional family home, with enough space and the right atmosphere for hosting dinner with family, friends and colleagues.”

Situated on the highest floor of the apartment building, the south-facing apartment underwent little structural change. In order to create a coherent living space for its new occupants and to maximise natural light, Camille Hermand Architectures removed the doors from the compartmentalised star shaped living, dining and kitchen zones. The floorboards were lightened and the walls painted the same shade of light grey throughout.

These simple and creative solutions offer the feeling of fluidity to the apartment that it was previously lacking, while retaining the original charm of the Haussmanian woodwork, mouldings and flooring.

“We wanted to conserve the charm of the original features while at the same time giving a modern twist to their home,” said Hermand. “We decided to remove all of the doors in the living areas to make the space feel more open. The wall and suspension lighting was a key element to bringing a contemporary edge.”

These traditional elements find new life through their association with a careful selection of decorative lighting fixtures. “We opted for contemporary lighting throughout with two statement pieces – the Petite Friture Veritgo suspension light in the entrance hall and the ClassiCon Bell pendants over the dining room table, giving a contemporary edge that respects the apartment’s traditional nature.”

Entering the apartment beneath the wide brim of Petite Friture’s Vertigo pendant a dramatic yet playful statement is made to welcome guests into the spacious home while setting the tone for the blend of contemporary and tradition that is so key to Hermand’s designs.

“I like to play with contemporary design codes, mixing graphic motifs and blocks of colour with areas of transparency,” explained Hermand. “I aim to reinterpret the Parisian-chic design philosophy for a contemporary audience with femininity and practicality, always bearing in mind the personality of my clients.”

Standing beneath Veritgo looking into the apartment, guests are presented with a view into the living room, where a light grey couch sits beneath a semi-circled window framed on either side by Tom Dixon’s Base wall lights in copper. These fixtures stand as eclectic personalities, standing out amongst grey tones.

Moving through to the dining area, German designer Sebastian Herkner’s Bell pendant lights for ClassiCon take centre stage in a suspended cluster of three over the dining table. The variety of colour and texture in these pendants creates conversation between other objects around the apartment, recalling the copper of Tom Dixon’s Base wall lights. Beneath an angular, staggered shelving unit sits the Panthella table lamp by Verner Panton for Louis Poulsen, to the left of Foscarini’s Lumiere Grande table lamp by Italian designer Rodolfo Dordoni. Together, these provide additional lighting for the room and stand as a beautiful ornaments when not in use. This intricate interior is bathed in a flood of natural light washing in from the inward opening French balcony doors.

An open plan hallway connecting the dining room to the kitchen features Plumen’s 001 low energy lamps, also turning to copper as the material for its fitting. Meals are prepared in the kitchen beneath the light of Danish design store Bloomingville’s Wall lamps, also in copper; this repetition creates a wonderful sense of movement and continuity throughout the apartment. Further adding to the contemporary yet traditional theme of the apartment’s interior design, the bathrooms use Astro Lighting’s Cabaret and Cube wall lights to brighten these spaces with a flair of fun sophistication.

Residential projects can be vastly different to those that are more commercial by nature, as homes are such personal and private spaces. Having worked on residential projects before, Hermand had a good idea as to how to work with her client on their family home: “The relationship with the client on a residential project is often much more intense. The architect has to manoeuvre delicately between the different needs and preferences of each family member. Sometimes it is the first time the family will have undergone a major renovation to their home, so you have to analyse quickly what the client wants and needs, when in reality they aren’t actually clear of this themselves.”

From the first instance when Hermand and her client sat down to write the brief together, there was no major deviation; simply clear communication and respect for the home itself and all those involved. The result of this open and creative process is a home where a young family can grow, surrounded by the intelligent produce of creative thought.