It is hard to imagine that this home was previously a corporate space. Thanks to the talent of Parisian interior architect Sandra Benhamou – who has Italian and Tunisian origins – it has become an unrecognisable two-bedroom apartment, used as the French pied-à-terre of art-lovers.
Ideally located in the 7th arrondissement on the Rive Gauche (Left Bank), near the charming Rodin Museum, the space is nestled in a typical Haussmann building. Inside, however, Benhamou had to start from scratch to get it back to its former glory. She started by demolishing internal walls and ripping out the false ceiling, a process that revealed beautiful cornices and mouldings that the interior architect immediately decided to restore to their original state.
On the floors, the herringbone parquet brings the warmth and Parisian flair that the homeowners were after. For them, having a timeless and peaceful home was key – and Benhamou made sure to respond to this brief by focusing on a soft palette dictated by the materials themselves. Of high quality but not too luxurious, the travertine and different types of woods – including oak, chestnut, walnut and ebony – adorn the rooms with some variation in tone, from beige to camel to chocolate. The use of lacquer, too, reinforces nods to the ’70s through the apartment’s decoration, which reflects a contrast – yet also a balance – between Haussmann and contemporary features.
In the centre of the home, Benhamou adorned the chimney duct with tinted mirrors for a touch of glamour and a feeling of depth. This element separates two areas. On one side, the living room is furnished with the Sandra Benhamou Dolly armchair-turned-sofa from her Ginger collection, upholstered in Teddy velvet from Pierre Frey. In front of it, two vintage straw lounge chairs by Charlotte Perriand and a hand-carved coffee table by Dan Pollock from Galerie Desprez Bréhéret are placed on the custom-designed rug by Benhamou.
Every corner is dressed with fascinating objects, such as the Japanese stool from WA Design Gallery, an artwork by Edgard Pillet from Galerie Alexandre Guillemain and a piece of tribal art from Galerie Lucas Ratton that stands on the Stool #13 by Guillaume Bardet from Galerie kreo. On the other side, the kitchen with walnut timber cabinetry is illuminated by the I-Model pendant designed by Anour and personalised with an artwork by Douglas Gordon on the wall, while the ornate circular ceiling rose evokes the past.
Having started her career in film before launching her design studio in 2020, Benhamou is an expert in creating visual narratives. This space – as with all those she shapes – is an ode to storytelling.
The discovery continues in the dining room, where a table and bench by Rudolph Condon dialogue with the circular artwork ‘Tambour 124’’ by Latifa Echakhch from Galerie Kamel Mennour and a floor lamp from Galerie Desprez Bréhéret. Soft yet cosy, the atmosphere conveys a true sense of harmony. In the main bedroom, the custom lacquered buttercream headboard complements the taupe grey wardrobe cabinetry, while the Pierre Cardin mirror from Galerie Alexandre Guillemain and an artwork by Tadashi Kawamata are a perfect fit for the space.
Mixing the sophisticated and the raw, this home pays tribute to the free-spirited approach of self-taught designer Benhamou, who is not afraid of breaking the rules to achieve curated interiors with the perfect dose of tension infused with a touch of femininity. Yes, we’ll always have Paris, but only a few understand it properly and succeed in honouring its finesse.