Banda’s first completed project in France is a Parisian apartment in a coveted location, with a pared-back approach to luxury
Banda’s aesthetic of pared-back warmth and understated luxury speaks an international language, so it is no surprise that the property and design company is finding clients beyond its native London. It currently has a schedule-juggling 40 projects in progress across the world, including several in France, and this 7th arrondissement apartment in Paris is its first French project to be completed. It features many Banda hallmarks – astonishing marble, top-quality vintage pieces and a respect for classical architecture – but this is no one-size-fits-all approach, with local artisans and French design studios also playing a role in the finished result, from the marble fireplace to the lighting.
“As always our design journey started with the location, the architecture, the unique details and ‘personality’ of the space,” says Banda’s founder Edo Mapelli Mozzi. “We wanted to create a feeling of timelessness and fluidity, an elegant sanctuary which would celebrate and work alongside the extraordinary location, flood of natural light and instantly recognisable views” – the latter encompassing the green space of the Champ des Mars and the Eiffel Tower beyond, enjoyed via the full-length balcony on the south side of the building.
The second-floor, three bed lateral apartment unfolds via a central hallway, with a large open-plan reception room with dining area to one side, flooded with light from an elegant row of French windows. A Louis XV-style fire mantel (from Paris’ Galerie Marc Maison) draws the eye to the end of the room, while Pietro Franceschini’s Dune coffee table is a talking-point piece, a vortex-like piece made from robot-sculpted maple. The walls are a creamy off-white (Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin), and the whole room is an exercise in playing with neutrals in a sophisticated way.
Banda’s expertise in creatively using marble comes to the fore in the kitchen; the island is in arabascato vagli stone, with a U-shaped profile that introduces a certain daring, bringing shadows and dynamism to the space. The dining area in front of the island features Emmemobili’s Kono dining table, its conical legs neatly balancing the island’s inward curve. The main bathroom takes an even more monumental approach to marble, with a series of three plinths (housing the basin, with storage either side) and a splashback, all in spectacularly veined calacatta viola marble.
Contemporary statement lighting has been used throughout, contrasting with the apartment’s period panelling, ornate plasterwork and parquet floors, in a recurring palette of brass and bronze. Riloh’s linear Equil Even brass pendant hangs above the kitchen island, with the simple lozenge-shaped Gélule lights by Ozone mounted on the wall behind, eye-catching in their mirror-like brass finish. French designer Emmanuelle Simon’s Raku Yaki wall lights, in a crackle-glazed raku ceramic finish, sit either side of the ornate fireplace.
Creamy neutrals create an appropriately restful environment in the master bedroom; Banda’s custom headboard – which runs the width of the wall – is upholstered in a horsehair fabric, while a taupe fabric upholsters the Kelly Wearstler Esfera stool. Mid-century-modern nightstands by Edmond Spence sit either side of the bed, the symmetricality of the room enhanced by a pair of boldly scaled Kelly Wearstler Melange pendants. The twin bedroom, designed with the client’s children in mind, is painted in Farrow & Ball’s green-grey Card Room Green, with a cosy Missoni Mela rug underfoot, in a gridded pattern of rainbow colours.
“It has been a huge privilege to have the opportunity to design and redevelop this exceptional space in such an iconic location,” says Mapelli Mozzi. “We wanted to embrace and enhance the historical period details whilst creating a space that felt thoroughly modern, exquisitely beautiful and faultlessly functional” – speaking Banda’s language of luxury, with a Parisian accent.