IN THE Slide of 2019, the architect and designer Sophie Dries, 35, and her partner, the sculptor Marc Leschelier, 37, moved into a two-bed room Haussmannian condominium in Paris’s 11th Arrondissement, not much from the city’s historic Location des Vosges. For numerous months, they lived just about totally without having household furniture or family comforts, preserve for a mattress on the bedroom flooring — which doubled as a hangout space and dwelling business — and two dinner plates. They had no interest in shopping for stopgap merchandise and wanted to just take time to acquaint themselves with the room prior to making it their individual. “We would entirely stay clear of the residing room, nevertheless,” Dries says. “It was so vacant, it had an echo.”
But the few weren’t specifically beginning with a blank slate. The 1,450-square-foot next-floor apartment is an archetypal 19th-century Parisian residence, finish with all the trappings of the era’s refined, decorative architecture. The 10-foot-high ceilings have ornate, botanically themed moldings the partitions are wainscoted and the floors keep their primary geometric two-tone marquetry. At the western conclude of the 376-sq.-foot residing room, there is an elaborately sculpted marble fire inscribed with the year of its generation, 1853, and on the adjacent wall a row of flooring-to-ceiling French windows open onto a balcony overlooking the wide, tree-lined boulevard down below. The household, in other phrases, was designed to be a sumptuous backdrop for the gilded commodes and carved-leg bergères of its time. But Dries and Leschelier — who met not very long after they both of those graduated from the architecture software at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts — experienced an fully diverse vision for it. “We desired to generate a clash among this bourgeois typical Haussmannian household and present-day household furniture and concepts,” claims Dries. “We stay on the old continent, and we love its perception of history, but we’re younger — it is vital to have that paradox.”
Due to the fact FOUNDING HER namesake architecture and design studio in 2014, Dries has built a portfolio of household jobs in Paris — including a minimalist penthouse on the Rue Saint-Honoré for a pair of art collectors and an elegantly stripped-back two-bedroom around the Canal Saint-Martin for a youthful few who function in fashion and tech — that each serve as a deft portrait of their people whilst reflecting Dries’s own interests in combining pure strains with wealthy textures and unusual supplies. With his uncooked significant-scale sculptures — normally pavilion-esque concrete forms — Leschelier likewise seeks to introduce a feeling of spontaneity and experimentation into the architectural method. This shared sensibility, which rejects hierarchies of aged and new, sort and purpose, is apparent all through the pair’s dwelling. Beginning in December 2019, they little by little furnished the apartment, which has a traditional round format — a residing space and a dining room direct off an entryway, and the more private rooms, which includes the bed room and a nursery for the couple’s 3-thirty day period-aged daughter, Daria, flow into 1 one more from there — above a two-12 months interval, mixing pieces by designers these kinds of as Philippe Starck and Ettore Sottsass (acquired typically by way of Paris-dependent gallerists, including Paul Bourdet and Yves and Victor Gastou) with Dries’s very own handcrafted creations.
Arrangements have been normally educated by affinities that Dries or Leschelier seen between seemingly unrelated objects. In the residing room, for illustration, the few paired a eating table with a wavy-edged oval oak leading, and tubular rusted steel legs by Dries with a established of Starck’s ’80s-era steel Von Vogelsang chairs for Driade. A 10-by-6 1/2-foot framed print by Ryan McGinley depicting three nude figures sprawled across a sand dune addresses practically the overall south wall. Dries shared photos of the home with the British designer Max Lamb, who then made a slablike rubber coffee table for the house in a complementary shade of peanut butter brown. The piece now sits beside a crescent-moon-formed modular couch, created by Dries and upholstered in deep aubergine velvet, that like the ground is created from oak but in a additional contemporary burled veneer.
Leschelier also contributed personalized operates to the dwelling space: two console tables composed of steel-topped stacked cinder blocks sealed with overflowing mortar that sit on both facet of one particular of the French windows. Dries, far too, usually elevates raw, humble things in her observe and counts the postwar Italian Arte Povera movement, which championed every day supplies, and the minimalism of the French Modernist inside designer Jean-Michel Frank amid her references. “Frank was a punk of his time, and I generally ponder what he’d do nowadays,” she says. For the couple’s bedroom, a heat but restrained refuge defined by earth tones and organic textures, she utilised a slap brush to use an organic, craggy white plaster complete to the tall built-in closets, and she had curtains created from approximately woven hessian, a fabric commonly used in upholstery. The sun-flooded dining room, adjacent to the living space, functions one particular of her brass Glow chandeliers, intended for the lights company Kaia, whose egg-formed glass globes are topped with molded papier-mâché cases. And for the smaller galley kitchen area at the considerably conclusion of the condominium, she selected a blue-gray polished concrete to protect the countertops and flooring, a refreshing departure from the beige and white palette her consumers so typically ask for.
Dries and Leschelier share an appreciation for functions with a sense of humor. They are enthusiasts, for example, of the expressive approach of the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce, and 1 of his anthropomorphic, brightly colored hand-poured resin Nobody’s Best chairs sits — in close proximity to a plush purple and eco-friendly tufted wool rug by Dries for Nilufar Gallery that evokes an otherworldly animal pelt — in the corner of the apartment’s vestibule, a hushed, jewel-box-like area exactly where the couple’s eclectic tastes are most thoroughly on display screen. To amplify the room’s intimate, denlike experience, Dries upholstered the partitions in jade environmentally friendly Japanese straw. Then, using inspiration from the Barnes Basis in Philadelphia — in which outdated masters and own curiosities amassed about decades by the early 20th-century collector Albert C. Barnes are shown side by side — she hung some of the couple’s scaled-down-scale artworks salon-type across them. A religious engraving by the German Renaissance grasp Albrecht Dürer, inherited from Leschelier’s maternal grandmother, appears not much from a photograph of an English breakfast by the British photographer Martin Parr an engraved landscape by Dries and Leschelier’s near buddy the French conceptual artist Laurent Grasso offsets a floral even now lifestyle by the young Azerbaijani painter Niyaz Najafov. “The room has no purpose, but it is our favourite,” Dries suggests. “We desired to come across an absurd way of placing issues with each other with no any believed of value.”
Now that the residing room no for a longer period has an echo, the few make complete use of it by internet hosting buddies for aperitifs. Although neither statements to be a excellent prepare dinner, they equally delight in sharing a bottle of Chablis — or, when the celebration calls for it, a gin and tonic or two — with their beloved types, and it is in this place, far too, that they spend the most time with their daughter. But for Dries, the family’s property is also a professional manifesto of kinds, a way to illustrate that a much more idiosyncratic residing house can hold great attract. “My consumers may possibly be much too concerned to do most of the issues here,” she states. “But if they see them in the context of a common apartment, they may possibly adjust their minds.”
Photograph assistant: Lilly Merck