A Parisian Seafood Restaurant, Swimming in Shades of Blue

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By Aileen Kwun
The creative behind a trio of Rose Bakery Tea Rooms designs a Parisian restaurant devoted to the sea.

At the corner of Rue de Navarin and Rue des Martyrs in Paris's 9th arrondissement, Emilie Bonaventure is riding on the high of a hat trick. Last month, the French interior designer completed a trio of Rose Bakery locations—the latest expansion from the boutique mini-empire with a cult following, founded by British chef Rose Carranini and her husband, Jean-Charles, in 2002. Outfitted with custom wood banquettes, stone countertops, and wainscoting colored a warm, mossy green, the interiors are subtle and modern evocations of a cozy English kitchen, and an update to Rose Bakery's previous canteen-like atmosphere.

As if the three side-by-side projects weren't enough of a charm, just around the corner from them, Bonaventure has just completed a new, fourth project on that same block—this time, it's the third restaurant by chef Franck Navarin and Edouard Bobin, called Belle Maison, named after their favorite beach, and focused entirely on seafood dishes.

A Parisian Seafood Restaurant, Swimming in Shades of Blue - Photo 1 of 5 - Inside Belle Maison, a new seafood restaurant designed by Emilie Bonaventure in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. The eatery is the third venture of chef Franck Navarin and Edouard Bobin, and the designer's fourth project on the corner of the popular Rue des Martyrs and Rue de Navarin, where she also designed a trio of new Rose Bakery locations that opened last month.

Inside Belle Maison, a new seafood restaurant designed by Emilie Bonaventure in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. The eatery is the third venture of chef Franck Navarin and Edouard Bobin, and the designer's fourth project on the corner of the popular Rue des Martyrs and Rue de Navarin, where she also designed a trio of new Rose Bakery locations that opened last month.

Inside, the interiors are similarly serene and spartan, with minimal wood furnishings structuring the two-level, 65-seat restaurant—but Belle Maison's most distinctive design element lies in its color. Swimming in shades of blue, ivory, and grey, its defining feature is a collage of artisanal tile, each hand-painted in alternating geometric shapes in a watery spectrum of deep and marine hues. Placed into a grid from floor to near ceiling, it's a contemporary graphic fresco, and a reference to the craftsmanship of  the Gio Ponti–designed Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento, says Bonaventure. 

A Parisian Seafood Restaurant, Swimming in Shades of Blue - Photo 2 of 5 - A closer look at the hand-painted, ceramic tile fresco on the ground level of Belle Maison. Bonaventure also specified ceramic dishes and tableware from Broste Copenhagen; the Nemea chairs are from Pedrali.

A closer look at the hand-painted, ceramic tile fresco on the ground level of Belle Maison. Bonaventure also specified ceramic dishes and tableware from Broste Copenhagen; the Nemea chairs are from Pedrali.

A Parisian Seafood Restaurant, Swimming in Shades of Blue - Photo 3 of 5 - A set of wall-mounted String shelves, an iconic 1949 design by Nisse Strinning, provides storage for the casual bar, which features stools from By Lassen and wooden countertops.

A set of wall-mounted String shelves, an iconic 1949 design by Nisse Strinning, provides storage for the casual bar, which features stools from By Lassen and wooden countertops.

Concrete floors, custom chestnut-top tables, and deep navy blue Lemea chairs from Pedrali paired with globe pendants from Flos add to the welcoming, oceanic environment without conjuring any nautical kitsch. With this focused emphasis, says Bonaventure, "Everything has a function, every object is carefully and individually chosen." For the French designer, it's three's company—times two.

A Parisian Seafood Restaurant, Swimming in Shades of Blue - Photo 4 of 5 - The hand-painted ceramic tile wraps along the wall and continues up the stairwell. Named after Belle Maison, after the owners' favorite beach, the restaurant is focused on seafood dishes.

The hand-painted ceramic tile wraps along the wall and continues up the stairwell. Named after Belle Maison, after the owners' favorite beach, the restaurant is focused on seafood dishes.

A Parisian Seafood Restaurant, Swimming in Shades of Blue - Photo 5 of 5 - Sixty-five seats are accommodated across Belle Maison's two floors. Bonaventure worked with craftsmen to create the custom chestnut-top tables; the circular wall sconces are vintage.

Sixty-five seats are accommodated across Belle Maison's two floors. Bonaventure worked with craftsmen to create the custom chestnut-top tables; the circular wall sconces are vintage.

Belle Maison is located at 4 Rue de Navarin, 75009, Paris, France. For more info, visit Belle Maison's Facebook page.

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