Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments

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By Kate Reggev / Published by Dwell
What could be more Parisian than a chic apartment or flat that combines original crown molding, contemporary furniture, and modern finishes?

When we imagine Parisian style, we immediately think of an impeccable but effortless mixture of historic architectural features with modern furniture, styling, and accessories. The classic Parisian mansard roofs give way to attic abodes with character-defining, wood-beamed ceilings—walls are covered with wood paneling, floors are lined with beautiful hardwood, and ceilings are edged with crown molding. Yet, these spaces feel anything but old and dreary, thanks to of-the-moment paint colors, modern lighting, clean lines, and tons of natural light. Take a look as we review some of our favorite appartements in Paris that have that certain je ne sais quois.

1) A Family's Retro Pied-à-Terre by Camille Hermand

Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 1 of 12 - The charm of original wood floors, wall paneling, and thick crown molding is brought into the 21st century with a coat of crisp white paint and soft gray walls. Minimalist furnishings and fixtures, like an undulating white pendant and a small white bedside table, keep it feeling modern.

The charm of original wood floors, wall paneling, and thick crown molding is brought into the 21st century with a coat of crisp white paint and soft gray walls. Minimalist furnishings and fixtures, like an undulating white pendant and a small white bedside table, keep it feeling modern.


Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 2 of 12 - The mix of old and new continues into the living room, where custom steel-and-glass windows open up the apartment and add visibility and light between spaces. Muted blues and grays in pastel tones keep the space feeling soft, cool, and relaxed, while the Conran Pembury sofa, La Redoute tables, and Petite Friture pendants keep it feeling clean—and far from overcrowded.

The mix of old and new continues into the living room, where custom steel-and-glass windows open up the apartment and add visibility and light between spaces. Muted blues and grays in pastel tones keep the space feeling soft, cool, and relaxed, while the Conran Pembury sofa, La Redoute tables, and Petite Friture pendants keep it feeling clean—and far from overcrowded.


2) Joseph Dirand's Chic Abode

Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 3 of 12 - The Paris kitchen of architect  Joseph Dirand features stylish chevron floors in oak and two-tone cabinetry—one paneled with traditional pulls, the other modern and hardware-free—in a light gray and a patinaed brown. An elegant, sculptural faucet and unusual, geometric pendants and ceiling-mounted light fixtures ensure that the space feels modern.

The Paris kitchen of architect Joseph Dirand features stylish chevron floors in oak and two-tone cabinetry—one paneled with traditional pulls, the other modern and hardware-free—in a light gray and a patinaed brown. An elegant, sculptural faucet and unusual, geometric pendants and ceiling-mounted light fixtures ensure that the space feels modern.


Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 4 of 12 - The effortless elegance in Dirand's bedroom is mainly due to the combination of sandy gray walls, an upholstered headboard, and traditional paneled window shutters. When the shutters are open, natural light streams in and the bright white of the bed linens help reflect daylight into the space.

The effortless elegance in Dirand's bedroom is mainly due to the combination of sandy gray walls, an upholstered headboard, and traditional paneled window shutters. When the shutters are open, natural light streams in and the bright white of the bed linens help reflect daylight into the space.

Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 5 of 12 - On the top floor of the Parisian department store Marie sixtine lies a flat for special guests of the store that's decked out in a cool-yet-homey way. Luxe textiles on the chair, rug, and carpet—as well as the artwork on the paneled chair rail—create a tactile feel. 

On the top floor of the Parisian department store Marie sixtine lies a flat for special guests of the store that's decked out in a cool-yet-homey way. Luxe textiles on the chair, rug, and carpet—as well as the artwork on the paneled chair rail—create a tactile feel. 


Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 6 of 12 - The bed is encased in a birchwood cocoon that looks out to grand French doors that open up to the city beyond. One wall is covered with a floral textile that brings out the calming shades of blue and gray in the space, and the bed area can be partitioned off with floor-to-ceiling curtains.

The bed is encased in a birchwood cocoon that looks out to grand French doors that open up to the city beyond. One wall is covered with a floral textile that brings out the calming shades of blue and gray in the space, and the bed area can be partitioned off with floor-to-ceiling curtains.


4) Monochromatic Color Schemes by Septembre Architecture

Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 7 of 12 - In the 11th arrondissement, the elegance of wood chevron floors, delicate crown molding, and ceiling medallions is balanced by stark white walls and ceilings and a select few pieces of furniture, allowing the white French doors and views to the outside to take priority.

In the 11th arrondissement, the elegance of wood chevron floors, delicate crown molding, and ceiling medallions is balanced by stark white walls and ceilings and a select few pieces of furniture, allowing the white French doors and views to the outside to take priority.


Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 8 of 12 - The white walls, ceilings, and decorative crown moldings continue into the kitchen area, where light gray cabinets and a medium gray floor covering highlight the marble of the tabletop and backsplash. 

The white walls, ceilings, and decorative crown moldings continue into the kitchen area, where light gray cabinets and a medium gray floor covering highlight the marble of the tabletop and backsplash. 

Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 9 of 12 - A blend of old and new marks the renovation of this apartment in Paris, where historic wood beams were painted white to emphasize their texture, and wood veneered cabinets were selected for the kitchen. Even the vintage Thonet dining chairs are paired with a more contemporary glass dining table.

A blend of old and new marks the renovation of this apartment in Paris, where historic wood beams were painted white to emphasize their texture, and wood veneered cabinets were selected for the kitchen. Even the vintage Thonet dining chairs are paired with a more contemporary glass dining table.


Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 10 of 12 - The subtle palette of white and wood is broken up by pops of color and pattern provided by the collection of the homeowner's artwork, which is strategically placed throughout the space for maximum impact.

The subtle palette of white and wood is broken up by pops of color and pattern provided by the collection of the homeowner's artwork, which is strategically placed throughout the space for maximum impact.

Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 11 of 12 - In the home of artistic director Jean-Christophe Aumas, the designer presents his collection of pieces as a mixture of vintage and contemporary classics, showcased in a traditional Parisian apartment. Pops of color on doors or paneling enliven the typical French architectural elements, while the rustic chevron floors keep it from feeling too fussy or over-the-top.

In the home of artistic director Jean-Christophe Aumas, the designer presents his collection of pieces as a mixture of vintage and contemporary classics, showcased in a traditional Parisian apartment. Pops of color on doors or paneling enliven the typical French architectural elements, while the rustic chevron floors keep it from feeling too fussy or over-the-top.


Old-World Charm Meets Modern Finishes in These 6 Parisian Apartments - Photo 12 of 12 - Aumas created a series of vignettes throughout the apartment that are playful and unexpected, mixing fun elements with practical and historic details. Here, an original marble fireplace is paired with a disco ball, a stuffed fawn, and firewood that's selectively been painted in bright colors.

Aumas created a series of vignettes throughout the apartment that are playful and unexpected, mixing fun elements with practical and historic details. Here, an original marble fireplace is paired with a disco ball, a stuffed fawn, and firewood that's selectively been painted in bright colors.

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