Where Paris Meets New York: A Chic Black-and-White Apartment

published Aug 7, 2017
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Sixty square meters (that’s 645 square feet) isn’t really that small for Paris, but by American standards, it’s still on the trim side, which means there’s a bit to be gleaned here for making the most of a small(er) space. And there’s also the fact that this apartment is incredibly beautiful, which should suit you no matter what size home you live in.

This apartment, in Paris’ Le Marais, is the home of photographer Matthew Brookes. After buying the place, Matthew, together with his architects, made the decision to tear out everything except for the floors, the ceiling, the chimney, and the outer walls. He then built the apartment back up with as few walls as possible, creating a large open space. He wanted his home to have the feel of a Paris apartment, but with a little of the rustic charm of a New York loft. The floor plan (which unfortunately is not available) must be very efficient indeed, because in addition to the large living room, with a lofted bed for guests, there are also two small bedrooms.

With a designer’s eye, Matthew has filled the apartment with textured, antique pieces that complement the space’s rustic feel. The two exceptions are the crystal chandelier and the mirror over the fireplace, which add a touch of glam and, by contrasting with the rest of the space, help to draw the eye upward.

The simple, neutral colors of the space (just black and white and natural wood tones) lend the apartment a feeling of cohesiveness and calm, while the very minimal amount of furniture (just a sofa, coffee table and a desk) gives it a spacious feel. (Admittedly, the extra-tall ceilings help a lot with that. Oh, to live in Paris!) By keeping the prints to black and white, Matthew has created a gallery wall that shows off his work but doesn’t visually clutter the space.

The apartment’s rustic charm extends even to the small bathroom, where a stone sink and an antiqued mirror add touches of character. You can see the whole place, including the two bedrooms, at Elle Decor España.