Paris apartment

Sophie Dries renovates a Parisian apartment from the Haussmann era

French architect Sophie Dries combined a pair of mid-19th-century Parisian apartments in a design that combines street art and color blocking.


The apartment was previously two separate houses, built during the great reconstruction of Paris by Haussmann. The renovation sees them reunited in a 100 square meter residence for a family of four.

Dried designed a new layout for the property, with the entrance hall, hallway and kitchen at the center of the floor plan. Where possible, the doors have been opened and the spaces have been simplified, to make the property more spacious.

“We had to respect the Haussmannian spirit of the moldings, the fireplace and the parquet, but with a contemporary and new plan”, explains the architect.

“The Haussmannian style has been refined and uncluttered, in order to introduce minimal lines better suited to a modern family.”

Paris Marais apartment living room and dining room by Sophie Dries

Different color palettes have been chosen for different rooms, creating striking contrasts with the period details, which are painted in plain white.

In some areas, flashes of color are provided by textiles, like curtains and rugs, while some rooms feature brightly colored walls. But in each case, the colors are chosen to match the artwork on display in the space.

Customers are art collectors, with a particular interest in street art, so works by Banksy, Invader and JonOne are dotted throughout.

“Customers really love the color, so we had the opportunity to play around with it,” Dries told Dezeen. “We decided to have wall colors taking into account the strong pieces of art in each room.”

Apartment Paris Marais kitchen by Sophie Dries

The kitchen features a bold use of color blocking. Dark gray cabinets stand out against a soft red background, which spans the walls, floor, ceiling, and countertops.

On the other side of the space, under a watercolor by the Venetian painter Giulia Andreani, a custom-made bench frames the octagonal table that Charlotte Perriand designed for Les Arcs.

Apartment Paris Marais kitchen by Sophie Dries

An arched door creates a geometric detail that is reflected in the shape of a gray lacquered stool designed by Philippe Starck.

“We really wanted to mix vintage pieces from the 50s to the 90s, with contemporary furniture like the bespoke bench,” Dries explained.

“As in the architecture of an old building, the furniture must be used by a contemporary family, so it must be functional,” she continued. “This is not a museum”.

Apartment Paris Marais kitchen by Sophie Dries

In the new open-plan living and dining area, the walls are left white so the hardwood floors can stand out, but some elements are chosen in hues of yellow, red, and gold.

Mid-century classics – like Eero Saarinen’s tulip marble table and a set of Hans J Wegner chairs – are accompanied by dyed linen curtains, straw inlaid coffee tables, and a pair of dyed vases. violets.

Paris Marais apartment parental bedroom by Sophie Dries

The master bedroom has a teal colored wall that matches another painting by Andreani. Other features include a screen hand painted by artist François Mascarello and sculptural concrete bedside tables.

There are two children’s rooms, for which Dries chose a strong shade of yellow. Wooden furniture is present, including a vintage desk and a small rattan armchair.

Paris Marais apartment children's room by Sophie Dries

Dries, 33, founded his studio in 2014. His work spans architecture, interiors and design. Past projects include a collection of ceramic and metal vases with branded exteriors.


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