Required Reading: Petite Apartment Inspiration from French Interior Designer Marianne Evennou

Interior designer Marianne Evennou, our French doyenne of color, composition, and small-space living, has just published her first book.

Un Intérieur à Soi (loose translation: “A Place of One’s Own”) is a compendium of her signature moves—interior windows, exposed beams, duo-toned walls, bonbon box-sized kitchens, and black Bakelite light switches—that dazzle us over and over.

Marianne may have go-to design tricks but she applies them with a freshness and excitement every time. Today, we’re spotlighting a favorite Paris apartment for a client named Sabine, an artist and businesswoman in her forties who Marianne describes as having “une idée à la minute.” At each of their preliminary meetings, Sabine arrived with macarons from Ladurée and their “soft but not cutesy colors: pale pink, almond green, and pastel blue” became the starting point for the makeover:  “luxurious and carefree,” it’s also a pocket apartment that, as Marianne puts it, “has all the big stuff.” Join us for a tour.

Photography by Grégory Timsit, courtesy of Éditions de La Martinière.

set in an 18th century building in the marais, the 35 square meter (approximat 14
Above: Set in an 18th century building in the Marais, the 35-square-meter (approximately 376-square-foot) apartment was completely reorganized: “we removed all the small, dark rooms to open the kitchen and bedroom to the living room thanks to interior windows.”

The entry, shown here, has a wainscot patterned with Antoinette Poisson Buisson de Roses wallpaper and a bleached parquet floor with radiant heat. Marianne puts tight quarters to work: the pink tiled floor defines the kitchen, and the bedroom is on the other side of the glazed wall. Scroll to the end for the updated floor plan.

a triptych collage by artist franck evennou, marianne’s husband and 15
Above: A triptych collage by artist Franck Evennou, Marianne’s husband and a frequent contributor to her projects, hangs over a linen-upholstered bench with a pleated skirt. The apartment’s “underpinning of black,” Marianne says, keeps it from “falling into sentimentality.” Serax makes the low steel Black Coffee Tables.