Floating in time, this renovated 1930s duplex is a marriage of eras and duality of styles — artfully swerving the “total look”. For Parisian interior architecture studio Hauvette & Madani this has become their visual signature — that of making old with new.
Dubbed “Sleeping Beauty”, this pied-à-terre is located on the top floor of a building on Lauriston street, near Trocadéro in Paris. Commissioned by friends for a second time, the team were offered what most designers only dream about — “carte blanche” — to rejuvenate the apartment, reflecting the spirit of the 1930s. With this in mind, they set out to create the impression that the space has always been there, frozen in time.
Spanning 160 square metres, the existing envelope became the main source of inspiration. While the classic 1980s freestone construction of the exterior gives nothing away, inside art deco woodwork lines the walls of almost all the rooms on the ground floor. Although damaged by the sun, the team worked to restore the panels, applying a darker shade to the oak, creating depth.
Eclectic furniture choices and strong decorative elements were crucial to contrast with the dark panels. Groovy armchairs by Pierre Paulin and an Aldo Tura Coffee table add 70s glam to the interior — a contrast that particularly plays to Hauvette & Madani’s strength. A modern interpretation is also added with contemporary pieces from the Noguchi pendant to the sofa by the Bouroullecs for Ligne Roset. Tension is devised as the era-spanning furniture and fixtures respond to one another.
Playing with chiaroscuro, the kitchen acts as a cool antidote to the oak stained walls. Painted walls in blue-grey and white marble benches create an icy polarity with the honeycomb-hued volume. Lighting is maximised by dropping the level of the partition separating the kitchen from the living room, a simple moment that adds warmth to the small dining area.
An extensive selection of artworks complements the material choices. Curated by Galerie Française, a myriad of paintings, photo prints, engraving and drawings grace the entirety of the apartment. Hauvette & Madani’s own influences get a look in as well with artworks by Slim Aarons illuminated under Charlotte Perriand sconces in the corridor.
Restoring the bathroom to its Art Deco glory, opulent Emperador marble is balanced with Thala marble stone flooring. A custom made oak vanity continues the apartments love affair with wood, an addition that could easily be mistaken for original joinery.
Here lies the magic of Hauvette & Madani, through noble materials and an old-world sensibility they have faithfully restored the Trocadero Mansion while not falling into pastiche in a design that feels natural — having us forget any intervention at all.
A design duo taking Paris by storm, Samantha Hauvette and Lucas Madani met on the benches of the prestigious Camondo school, and have been working together ever since. Complementary in their timeless approach to design, from the conception of space to furniture design, they sign elegant and refined interiors, tinged with the patina of modernism.