Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek Architects

  • Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    The past and present are artfully united, offering solace from the city in this meticulously renovated Haussmann-style Parisian home in the city’s 16th Arrondissement.

    When famed creative Barbara Boccara of covetable fashion label Ba&sh enlisted the expertise of Belgian-based architect Nicolas Schuybroek, to transform a once dated and starkly decorated apartment for her and her partner to escape to, she gravitated towards Nicolas’s authentic and understated approach.

    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    Custom crafted Obumex kitchen cabinetry in a gunmetal finish and countertop cast in sandblasted Chambolle stone evoke an artisanal appeal within the kitchen.

    Barbara approached Nicolas with her ideas of crafting an inviting home that was both natural and artisanal – an aesthetic hallmark that underpins Nicolas’s work. Her brief called for a new era and, with it a calming space that captured the grounding essence of a minimalist retreat to counterbalance her busy jetset lifestyle.

    Aligned on delivering a single vision for their project, Barbara and Nicolas worked in synergy together, with Barbara’s respect for the creative process and passionate involvement allowing for greater depth and understanding during each design phase.

    “While we wanted to make the original charm of the apartment visible again, we also had to find a way to create easy circulations and introduce tactile materials.”


    – Nicolas Schuybroek

    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek
    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    In the dining room, a custom table made from Afrormosia wood is paired with Grass-seated chairs in walnut and Danish cord by George Nakashima Studio. A small lithograph by Jan Schoonhoven (1976) features above the dining table, while a rare circa 1950s ‘Hanakago’ vase by Iizuka Rokansai sits atop.

    Overlooking the leafy avenue below with views towards the Arc de Triomphe, the light-filled apartment was hiding most of its original architectural details and in need of a new, modern chapter. “While we wanted to make the original charm of the apartment visible again, we also had to find a way to create easy circulations and introduce tactile materials, which you don’t usually experience in a typical Parisian apartment,” Nicolas reflects.

    With its classical bones still intact, he looked to restructure and rebalance the volumes of each room and introduce a quiet sense of luxury. Changes to the home’s layout were straightforward but profound; the kitchen was relocated from the back of the apartment to the front to allow more space to transform a once confined corridor into two walk-in closets and a utility room, while all ceilings and walls were restored back to their former glory.

    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    A plush, oversized Living Divani sofa in Belgian linen and concrete coffee table by Kalou Dubus (2019) reflect contemporary design. They feature alongside collected pieces by iconic midcentury design legends including Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Serge Moille and Jean Royère.

    Strong but understated material elements were introduced. Walls were finished in a cloud white textured clay, the sandblasted Chambolle sandstone kitchen benchtop is the colour of rich soil and the wide-plank oak floors throughout have been treated to echo a worn farmhouse floor. Applying a ‘one metal, one stone, one wood, one wall finish’ approach to the interiors Nicolas explains, “All these materials are close to each other, colour and texture-wise, and as a whole, create a soothing harmony”.

    Reflective of Nicolas’s signature design, distinctive artworks and objects by local and global artisans deliver authenticity to each space where balanced rustic elements sit alongside buttery-soft textiles, sculptural centre pieces, and a mix of iconic custom and collectable vintage furniture. “The idea was to extend the rough, tactile materials through the furniture and the artworks,” he says.

    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    Clay-finished walls and Serge Mouille Antony sconces create a sense of quiet sophistication in Barbara’s bedroom. The bedroom is also home to Dan Pollock’s solid cedarwood stools (2014), a Charlotte Perriand Méribel chair, vintage Jean Touret and Artisans de Marolles desk and Domestikator lamp (2018) by Atelier van Lieshout.

    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    Nicolas’s eye for texture, surface and shape mean that each item has been carefully considered in its placement. Lighting pieces such as the Raku Yaki ceramic wall sconces by Emmanuelle Simon and Lampadaire Grand Totem by Serge Mouille sit alongside an iconic 280 Zig Zag chair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina and Chandigarh chairs upholstered in linen by Pierre Jeanneret.

    Hallmarked with an evocative arrival of creative disciplines, this Parisian apartment offers its equally creative homeowner both respite and an inspiring deep-dive into texture, light and art. Nicolas has ensured that each space sits at ease with an elegant, everyday life in Paris.

    This feature originally appeared in est magazine issue #43.

    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek
    Paris Apartment by Nicolas Schuybroek

    A sculptural Half Box Chair in petrified wood by Rick Owens makes a gallery-like statement in the entrance space. A pair of Raku Yaki ceramic wall sconces by Emmanuelle Simon are a nod to modern French design, while Nicolas’ Belgian influence is revealed through Harold Ancart’s work ‘Perfect Idea, after You Have No Idea’ (2014).

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