A Dark and Moody New Kitchen in a Historic Paris Apartment

If most kitchens are dressed in the design equivalent of everyday wear, Philippe Harden’s T1 project qualifies as black tie. The Paris architect was commissioned by an old friend to update his childhood home in a stately turn-of-the-19th-century apartment building in the Marais, original details worse for wear but intact.

Wanting a sympathetic top-to-bottom refresh, Harden’s clients—he has a web agency, she works for the French ministry—asked Harden to rethink the layout, opening up spaces and creating “fluid new connections and perspectives.” In response, Harden created a combination cook space/dining area as the center of the action in what had been a very grand bedroom—and turned the original kitchen into a bedroom.

The space gracefully combines new cabinetry and appliances amid the existing carvings and ceiling friezes. Harden also cast the room in a surprisingly dark and glamorous palette.

Is it time for us all to consider shades of brown, black, and white in our kitchens? See what you think.

Photography courtesy of Philippe Harden Architecture.

an island divides the kitchen from the dining area in the front. &#8\2\20;m 12
Above: An island divides the kitchen from the dining area in the front. “Most of original details have been preserved but the accesses to the room changed,” explains Harden. “The original entry is now the fridge and coffee niche [shown left].”

To make the kitchen more salon-like, Harden avoided over-the-counter cabinets, inserted a picture rail, and paired the induction cooktop with an out-of-sight downdraft vent.  architect philippe harden project t1 marais apartment kitchen/dining room. 13Above: The cabinet fronts and gallery shelf are American elm with a dark stain and “a very resistant finish,” supplied by French brand Oberflex. The veined countertops are Brazilian Breccia Imperiale Quarzite from Antolini,  “harder wearing than marble and ideal for kitchens,” says Harden. 

The architect also had a hand in the styling: The framed photographs are his own, taken at the Teatro Reggio in Torinom Italy. We like seeing art and table lamps in the kitchen: check out The New Art Gallery

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