This 550-Square-Foot Apartment in Paris Feels Both Industrial and Lush

Another curved partition separates the bedroom from the study with an organically shaped opening that evokes a stylized entrance to a cave. “The concave partition and the rounded opening make it possible to integrate a long L-shaped desk that slips into the curve,” Pauline says. It’s an architectural trick that also serves to visually enlarge the bedroom. “Neither space feels small when you’re in them—instead both are comfortable.” This treatment of space gives the apartment a unique quality that Pauline emphasizes by playing with its different materials. “Because when it comes to squeezing four distinct spaces into three ordinary volumes, it’s the interplay of materials, along with the curved partitions, that defines each area without ever being gratuitous.”

The use of curves allowed the space to be worked in the manner of “modeling clay,” as Pauline stated, freeing it from the limitations of the existing layout. The entry to the office from the bedroom is treated like the stylized mouth of a cave. Color, plaster, waxed concrete, wood, and chromed steel create supple lines that are unique and intriguing, soothing and relaxing. The stained oak desk is a custom design.


The 550-square-foot apartment has an abundance of colors and a variety of materials, yet none seem gratuitous. Pauline knows what she’s doing. She started with a palette of pastels—pink, violet, and beige. For her, color served “as a soft material.” While the walls are off-white and the ceiling white, she introduces a play of shadows and reflections to create a “cocoon” feel and uses different textures to visually multiply the apartment’s different zones. The final result creates different volumes and perspectives, as well as connections between spaces through elements, like concrete running from one room to the next, and stainless-steel fixtures found in both the kitchen and the bathroom, with additional stainless-steel details found throughout the unit. When the eye wanders, there are reminders of different materials and colors. Pauline’s design has a way of enlarging the space that almost works like a contemporary trompe-l’œil.

The walls of the bedroom, and most of the rooms in the apartment, are off-white. A wall lamp sits atop a cabinet (USM), like a metal sculpture. The yellow color of the USM piece complements the ochre bedspread and the purple and green of the desk.


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