Victor Hugo: A Haussmanian Apartment in Paris Designed by Sandra Benhamou
Parisian Interior Designer Sandra Benhamou has recently completed the redesign of a family apartment on the fifth floor of a Haussmanian building, just a stone’s throw from the Place de l’Etoile. The owners, who work in the fine jewellery business and have returned to Paris after living in New York for 20 years, wanted a sophisticated space with a peaceful atmosphere.
Reworking the apartment’s layout, Benhamou transformed the original classic triple reception area into a large living space that includes an open kitchen, dining room, living room and a large office. The majestic entrance has been preserved and restored.
The careful restoration of mouldings and cornices, antique mirrors, stained-glass windows, and period fireplaces serve as the foundation for the apartment’s design. To contrast this bourgeois style, Benhamou created custom-designed furniture pieces such as the Mia sofa from her own Ginger collection, which was inspired by the atmosphere of 1970s American bars. Two custom-designed dining tables in glossy varnished rosewood, as well as walnut and brass bookcases, are combined with Brazilian and Italian vintage design pieces and a collection of contemporary art.
The beautiful curation includes lighting by Angelo Lelli and Fontana Arte, armchairs by Marco Zanusso, coffee tables by designers Erwan Boulloud from Galerie Glustin and Dan Pollock from Galerie Desprez Breheret, a sideboard by Joaquim Tenreiro, a desk by Franco Albini and paintings by Gideon Rubin from Galerie Karsten Greve.
Benhamou used 1980s-era materials like patinated brass and polished stainless steel, which echo the Santos de Cartier universe, and mixed them with exotic woods like teak and rosewood, travertine, and tinted mirrors. The variety of materials allows for a contrast of matte and shine, opacity and transparency.
The spectacular kitchen in aged nickel and stainless steel with a central island dressed in very unique travertine scabas is the living room’s masterpiece.
Benhamou’s love of muted colours is evident throughout the apartment, where a palette of sand, soft grey and cream is punctuated with warm walnut and tactile surfaces. The overall effect is one of understated grandeur, elegance and serenity.