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Quiet Influence

Paris, France

The young duo behind Heju Studio transformed this classic French home into a tranquil and timeless space with Japanese references

“This Haussmann apartment had nice volumes but hadn’t been renovated for several decades,” remembers Hélène Pinaud and Julien Schwartzmann, cofounders of Paris-based Heju Studio. Located in the elegant 16th arrondissement and owned by a couple with two teenage girls, the 140-square-meter space needed a complete makeover, from the plumbing and drain columns to the renovation of the original architectural elements.

“The mouldings and cornices really contribute to the beauty of this place so we restored them with a lot of care and painted them white,” the interior designers say. The marble fireplaces were polished and the Point de Hongrie parquets were sanded and varnished. In addition, to highlight the Parisian atmosphere, Heju Studio also introduced Japanese touches, echoing the family’s love for the country, which they have traveled to frequently.

Some areas were reorganized to fit a contemporary lifestyle and provide more functionality, such as the children’s bedrooms and bathroom, which occupy the previous service areas. The light grey kitchen is now situated where the old dining room was, and features the original Prussian stove while the vertical and horizontal cleats are nods to Japan.

The generously-sized volumes of the apartment give a feeling of airiness, particularly in the living room, which is filled with natural light and furnished with a sofa and coffee table by Bolia, a Maison Sarah Lavoine rug, a Lambert & Fils lighting fixture and a painting from Oak Gallery on one side. On the other end of the space, separated from the rest by made-to-measure glass and wood partitions – which are reminders of the sliding panels in washi, a traditional Japanese paper – the Marina Bautier daybed, bookshelves, fireplace, &Tradition lamp, Stattman table and Frama chair create a cosy nook for relaxing.

We wanted to give a mineral aspect to the apartment through the use of grey terrazzo in the kitchen and the waxed concrete in the master bathroom and closet

Used in different tones depending on the rooms, the oak wood elements bring warmth and depth into the constellation of materials. “We wanted to give a mineral aspect to the apartment through the use of grey terrazzo in the kitchen and the waxed concrete in the master bathroom and closet,” say Pinaud and Schwartzmann. “The brick partition in the master bathroom adds a raw aspect to the space, and is softened by the white washbasin cabinet and earthenware.”

Heju Studio focused on colours inspired by nature – green in particular – and played with textures to create a minimal and contemplative décor that would appeal to the senses. In this raw and refined apartment, Parisian and Asian aesthetics blend to a subtle and balanced effect.