Paris architect Philippe Harden likes to work on a human scale. Paying close attention to “materials, proportions, and colors that let you feel good,” he creates rooms that are minimalist but also intimate and tailored for living. Case in point: this one-bedroom apartment in an Art Deco building close to the Eiffel Tower that Harden remodeled for a man who works in publishing.
Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, the architect reorganized the 592-square-foot space: The former kitchen was turned into a TV room, a closet became the kitchen, and the bedroom fireplace got replaced by a wardrobe—all of which now revolve around a central living area with a new hearth. Join us for a look at the many ways Harden artfully makes the most of every inch.
1. Paint a recessed area a darker shade to create depth.
Framed by Farrow & Ball Wimborne White walls, the niche, painted in Farrow & Ball Green Smoke, gives the room added depth and visual interest. “Green is complementary with the brown wood of the floor,” notes Harden. “Dark colors are interesting because they change color according to the different moments of the day.”
2. Choose versatile furniture pieces.
Harden’s advice for arranging a room is to do it by instinct: “Forget about the rules; think with your feelings.”
3. Position a round dining table in an unused corner.
4. Keep sight lines unobstructed.
5. Use mirrors to enhance a sense of space.
6. Unite spaces by using a single flooring material.
7. Install wall sconces whenever possible.
8. Use pocket doors.
Another graceful detail worth noting: The living room’s built-in bookshelves turn the corner and continue in the bedroom. The shelves, which are painted a Farrow & Ball taupe, are evenly spaced and sized to fit the owner’s literature collection; his art books go in the living room niche.
9. Splurge on luxe materials in the tiniest space.