Home Tour | Appartement Commandant by Emmanuelle Simon
A “hidden treasure” in Paris’ 16th arrondissement becomes a local family’s inner-city sanctum.
An artistic Parisian couple with three young children turned to French-Israeli designer Emmanuelle Simon to help write their next chapter. With a practice spanning architecture, interiors and product design, Emmanuelle’s portfolio is a culmination of sophisticated, highly resolved projects.
Emmanuelle and the clients chanced upon the perfect blank-canvas apartment – unimposing on the outside and full of promise on the inside – on the ground floor of a typical Parisian-style building. “A genuine hidden treasure” is how Emmanuelle describes the encounter. Prioritising privacy and conviviality, she has realised the clients’ aspiration for an inner-city sanctum. “To know the family is settled in a place that suits their way of life and will accompany them over a long period of time – that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Emmanuelle and her team had to completely reorganise the original layout to tailor the apartment to the family’s needs. This predominantly involved connecting the living spaces to improve flow and adding private nooks and alcoves to inject a sense of cosiness. “I tried to envisage the apartment as if it were a serene temple, with both communal and private spaces revolving around a central walkway,” Emmanuelle says. Tall arches – like those which separate the living and dining spaces – were essential to achieving this.
Realising a Place of Refuge
True to her design approach and style, Emmanuelle opted for a natural, refined material palette of brushed oak, stone and vegetal fibres. These textures are complemented by crisp whites, soft beiges and sandy neutrals; a colour palette that functions to soften and warm. The designer has mixed some of her pieces – the Baba chair, Nomad sofa and Raku-Yaki lights, for instance – with vintage and one-off pieces by the likes of Pierre Paulin and Charlotte Perriand. The various paintings and sculptural pieces are from artists that she loves herself and recommended to the clients.