Tech Tour: Studio in the Heart of Paris
Name: Jason Whittaker & Alain Bisotti
Location: Studio apartment near the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Years Lived In: Just renovated for short-term rentals.
It looks like we’ll be going overseas today to the romantic city of Paris. Here, we’ll tour a shining example of modern-elegance and a laid-back, yet smart incorporation of design and function to a small space. While WiFi, mirror radiators, and miniature speakers make up only a portion of the tech found, it’s a fun little peek into thoughtful living without over-complicating the bare necessities of wires and electronics.
My/our style: we wanted cosy but not prissy, clear but not empty.
Inspiration: Tapas bar meets Designer’s Guild meets A Space Odyssey during happy hour.
Favorite element: I had to fight the contractor to keep the original parquet which was hidden under lino and concrete, and needed major restoration. It was worth it.
What Friends Say: one of them hates the PVC mountain scene in the kitchen but I think it shows we don’t take ourselves too seriously (and it only cost 10 euros).
Biggest Embarrassment: not realizing that designer sinks from Italy will not arrive in a week (more like three months).
Proudest DIY: Erm, I composed the window box. That’s about it.
Biggest indulgence: glass divider between bathroom and kitchen. Expensive, but a great way to maximize light.
What’s your philosophy on integrating technology into your living space?: It has be small and incredibly simple to use.
Best Advice: stick to your guns when you’re sure. Be ready to compromise if you’re not. Sounds easier than it is.
Favorite Source: Anne Gelbard. Almost any of her haute couture wallpaper or fabrics would have looked great.
Biggest Challenge: fitting a kitchen and bathroom into just 7 square meters.
The spiel: “We wanted to invest in an apartment to rent out to visitors to Paris for a few days or a couple of weeks and instantly loved this tiny, run-down studio for its location (right next to the Pompidou Center) and quiet, cobbled courtyard.
There were some problems though. It was tiny (17m2), had no toilet and needed a lot of work. So we borrowed enough money to buy and renovate it, found an architect, got the ambitious plans drawn up, found a contractor and started to construct the designer boudoir!
The original kitchen was split into a kitchen and bathroom, maximizing space by integrating appliances and keeping the natural light from the window by separating the two rooms with a huge piece of opaque glass that also doubles as part of the shower cubicle.
The strong graphic element of the cement tiles – and contrast of modern black kitchen and white bathroom – were meant to set off the warm, cuddly atmosphere we wanted for the main room. Subdued lighting, warm furnishings and velvet curtains make you feel at home, and the dense purple and gold wallpaper – the main focus for the room – changes color as you move around.
It was tough fitting everything in, and a bit more space would have allowed us to put in a proper table, but we love the place and our first guests seem to as well! Plus, being in the heart of Paris does have its advantages…”
- Sony DAV-IS10 surround sound system with iPod dock
- Sony flatscreen TV
- wi-fi and cable TV via Free
- innovative mirror radiator by Verelec
- mostly Artemide
- kitchen light ‘Drink’ by Rotaliana
- ‘Unico’ (and it’s great) by Bedeve Salotti
- original antique parquet (renovated)
- custom-designed cement tiles from Mosaic Del Sur
- glass ‘console’ table – Cinna (www.cinna.fr)
- ceramic gold side table “Palette” by Pascal Mourgue for Cinna
- shaggy brown rug with gold highlights a surprise find at otherwise very ordinary chain store Saint Maclou
- wallpaper and custom-printed curtains by Anne Gelbard (tel. +33 1 43 14 60 10)
- cushions by Habitat
- vase by Domestic