- Posted on , by David Bjørngaard
There are important lessons in rhythm and thematic repetition which one can learn from this Parisian apartment: lessons of color, material and detailing. Or one can just fall in love with this modernist update on an apartment, blessed with boiserie wall paneling and parquetry floors and furnished with a mix of 1950’s vintage and modern design.
I appreciate the use of color throughout the house, with a French Grey being the constant. The mood ranges from a quiet intimacy in the grey & camel living room, to moody in the grey & red dining room, to vibrant in the Cerulean blue kitchen, and calming in the blue-grey bedroom. Color is used to reflect the way we inhabit each space: relaxing, entertaining, cooking and resting. Color is used to stimulate each activity, and engage the mind.
Working for years at Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, people assume that I don’t like color. White lab coats; white office; white homes. But the truth is that Orlando likes color, and I like color. I like almost all colors, in different amounts and applications. My seven years at ODADA further developed my understanding of the nuances of color and its’ appropriate application. I like to experiment, and I like being bold with color. And through my career I have learned restraint with color. Select a color palette, define a rhythm of use, and don’t stray to far from this path. This is what this Parisian home does well.
The trick is keeping balance. If you use a lot of one color, you need to off-set this with other materials and color. This is one of the first lessons in color theory. Here the red Jean Prouve dining table and chairs is balanced with Cerulean blue of the kitchen. A nice Corbusien juxtaposition. With the kitchen closed off, the main living area is shades of grey, camel and muted reds. A quieter vocabulary.
I personally love the Cerulean blue of the kitchen. This shade of blue stimulates the mind, and sets the mood. Despite the electric power of the color, I would venture that this kitchen would be ill-defined and dull if it were not for the photograph, which gives reason to this color selection for the cabinets.
Several architectural details are repeated. One detail is wood framed openings, evident in the island pass-through (does anyone remember the kitchen in I Love Lucy…from reruns, off course!) and master bedroom open shelving/night stands. Repeating this vocabulary reinforces the intent of the designer, creating a sense of purpose. Things just start to make sense…of course it should be designed like this! Another repeated detail are “knob-less” cabinets, of which I am a fan! This keeps surfaces clean (here eliminating about 20 pulls in this kitchen) which translates into less stuff for your eye to catch on. In the master bedroom below, you barely notice that the doors and drawer in the bedside cabinets.
Even Ikea knows about “knob-less” cabinets. Here the Ikea bleached oak vanity with integral sink could have been designed specifically for this home, and feels custom with the addition of a custom mirror/shelf made to match. It’s little details like this, which don’t have to be expensive to execute, which really raise the bar in design.
David Bjørngaard, May 2015