Philippe Harden may not work in theater or film, but the designer—known for his minimalist-with-a-twist aesthetic—is a master of special effects. Proof of this abounds in the Montmartre, Paris, home he was tasked to renovate in 2015. The central staircase, built from scratch to unite what was once two separate apartments, begins with seven oak steps that appear to float in midair. Ascending further, visitors find themselves in a narrow stairwell painted black (a literal “black hole,” as Harden calls it), only to emerge on the second story, bathed in natural light thanks to the addition of large interior windows. “I wanted to create a surprise,” Harden says.
There are more, seemingly at every turn.
Outdoor furniture from Danish brand HAY transforms a deck into a second dining room—and plays off the kitchen’s dark green walls.Photo: Philippe Harden
Harden initially planned to fill this narrow sitting room with scaled-down furniture. “Then I thought, Why not the opposite?” he says, selecting another HAY piece for the job. “Let’s put the biggest sofa in the smallest room.” The result: Limited clutter and a luxuriously large place to lounge. Glass doors bring the outside in.Photo: Philippe Harden
Bold color appears in unexpected places: army green in the kitchen; peacock blue in the dining room; a flash of bubblegum pink in a shelf of vinyl records, a touch so subtle it could pass for an illusion. In the bathroom, the ceiling and upper portion of the walls are painted a soft gray, just for fun. (Typically, Harden explains, ceilings are white and walls carry the color—”but I thought, Let’s create a little contrast and do the opposite.”)
Because of its abundance of natural light, the kitchen can handle a dose of dark color (including a black GUBI light fixture). “The green is a reference to the vegetation outside,” Harden explains.Photo: Philippe Harden
Harden incorporated understated references to 1930s design throughout the home—a popular look in France these days, he says. Here, a brass Flowerpot fixture illuminates the dining area; on the banquette, a patterned Jim Thompson fabric adds a subtle trace of Art Deco sophistication.Photo: Philippe Harden
There’s more to the designer’s choices than just whimsy and wow factor, though. Joining two apartments proved to be no small feat, especially considering their relatively diminutive proportions. With just 430 square feet to work with on the ground level and 645 on top, Harden dug deep into his bag of tricks to craft a design that was both fluid and functional. The area beneath the “floating” stairs was kept empty to maximize space and hide storage. Windows and glass doors were installed to invite sunlight in. And, since the renovation required the rearranging of several rooms—a bedroom became a living room, a living room became a bathroom, and so on—a few pieces of custom furniture helped balance unusually sized spaces.
An adjustable WO & WÉ chandelier brings brightness to the apartment’s shadowy stairwell, a space Harden refers to fondly as “the black hole.”Photo: Philippe Harden
Evoking the '30s again, Harden covered the back wall of the master bedroom in gold geometric wallpaper by Au fils des Couleurs.Photo: Philippe Harden
If there’s one rule to borrow from the designer’s book, however, it’s to follow your intuition. “You have to do what you feel,” he says. “When people are afraid to use color in their homes, I tell them that there are no bad colors. Sometimes people say that if you have a room with a low ceiling, you should avoid dark colors and paint your ceiling white to open the space. These things are not true.” Forget the old ideas, he continues. “If you want something, just do it.”
A large mirror elongates the upstairs living room, a space built for reading, watching TV, and—thanks to a generously sized sofa bed—hosting out-of-town guests. Interior windows and a glass door ensure that natural light floods the upstairs hallway.Photo: Philippe Harden
“I wanted to reference the past but in a minimal and contemporary way,” Harden says of the bathroom, which features a '30s-inspired mirror and retro cement floor tiles alongside clean, frills-free cabinetry.
Source : https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/philippe-harden-paris-apartment-surprise-at-every-turn