Paris apartment taken by Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside

When Antonin Roy inherited a grand apartment in Paris, he continued the old familial home’s narrative by remodelling it to express a new generation – with help from his family and friends. 

This is the story of family and friends in Paris; of a grandmother who leaves her home to her grandson Antonin Roy, a professional photographer, and his choosing to live there with his young wife, Elisa, and their daughter, Léontine. It is also a story of growing up and moving forward; how this home is remodelled with the help of Antonin’s long-time friend Samantha Hauvette and her partner Lucas Madani, co-owners of Hauvette & Madani design studio.

As students, Antonin and Samantha lived as roommates in a section of the apartment. Back then, neither imagined that one day they would radically transform the place in the roles of client and designer. ‘In this salon, we celebrated birthdays and anniversaries,’ recalls Antonin, ‘so choosing to live here has meant continuing a family tradition. However, I wanted to modernise the atmosphere and imprint [our] style on it.’

Antonin Roy and his wife and son in their Paris apartment taken by Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside. Antonin inherited the apartment.

The renovation created a two-level apartment, where traces from the period in which it was a hôtel particulier are still evident: an entrance stairway leads directly to the kitchen, painted are ned stone blue. From here, you pass into the dining room, which maintains a traditional feel (despite its modern furnishings); the supper table is set in front of a hearth. A grand living room completes the first floor. During renovation, the living room ceiling, blackened over the years, was revealed to be decorated with a magnificent fresco of a cloud-patterned sky. It was a lovely surprise. The sky is repeated on the walls of the dining room as a tribute to it.

Although the room hierarchy does not follow a traditional scheme, accessing the apartment through the kitchen is like entering its domestic heart – you immediately feel right at home. The design is custom Hauvette & Madani, combining natural oak, Carrara marble, and wood that has been painted the same colour as the walls. Ornamental elements include cubic-patterned floor tiles and an abstract, black steel stair railing.

On the upper floor, the bathroom has received the most attention: there is a large bathtub in Carrara marble, twin wash basins (also in marble), a shower and wood- framed mirrors. The spacious bathroom serves as a sort of antechamber to the bedroom, which is decorated in a contrastingly minimalist style.

Non-conventional choices have personalised this fascinating home, reflecting the tastes of a photographer who works in fashion, who loves family memories, who prefers vintage and designer furniture with a predilection for pieces by the Bouroullec brothers, and who, together with his wife Elisa, wanted to render the young family’s home functional.

Paris apartment taken by Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside.

The end result is a home that succeeds in expressing modernity without betraying memory. This has been achieved by rationalising the spaces, respecting a desire to mix different moods and conserving whatever beauty time has spared. ‘The home found us,’ says Antonin. ‘It was our decision to continue the family history within its walls.’And so, as Antonin says, this is‘a story with a happy ending’.

Text and Styling: Chiara Dal Canto, Photographs: Helenio Barberra/ Living Inside