Interior designer Isabelle Heilmann has used glazing and level changes to turn a former textile workshop in Paris into an open-plan apartment with a dedicated home office.
The owners of the property on Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud asked Heilmann’s studio Epicène to rationalise the interior and create a space for home working while maintaining the apartment’s quirky layout.
The existing loft featured several impractical and dilapidated spaces including a cramped bedroom and three mezzanines with low ceilings that were once used for storing rolls of fabric.
Heilmann removed some of the existing structures and introduced changes in floor height to delineate the new spaces while adding internal windows that retain a visual connection between the rooms.
“Using differences in level and glass partitions allows you to demarcate the different living spaces while allowing light to circulate,” the designer told Dezeen.
“Now, from the moment you enter, you have a global vision of the volume of the apartment,” she added. “It’s a way to have a very open plan without the disadvantages of the loft.”
The partitions enclosing the existing bedroom were removed and a platform built in their place now contains a home office housing two workstations and a wall of library shelving.
Two of the mezzanines were also demolished, leaving just one beside the entrance that was transformed into a room for gaming and accommodating overnight guests.
Throughout the interior, Heilmann sought to preserve the spirit of the old workshop that had attracted the owners to this space. The raised platform recalls the height changes of the old mezzanines, while geometric sculptural elements evoke the original layout.
“The partitions and interlocking shapes of the old workshop have been simplified, but we find this play of asymmetrical cubes in the shape of the headboard or the glass partition between bedroom and living room,” she explained.
“The industrial spirit is also suggested in the choice of lighting fixtures or the sobriety of the bathroom tiling.”
Examples of the recurring geometric motif include a series of cubic volumes containing cupboards and storage niches on either side of the steps leading up to the platform.
An asymmetric window creates a bold feature that connects the living room with the new bedroom, where a stepped headboard creates shelf space for books, paintings and objects.
The kitchen is located opposite the office platform and features a simple L-shaped layout that slots in underneath the mezzanine and windows.
The cupboard units have birch plywood doors and a marbled Corian worktop that complements the minimal, industrial look of the interior.
A full-height glass-and-steel wall that was part of the original workshop was carefully preserved and now separates the living room on one side from the kitchen and dining area on the other.
A door in the central glass partition leads into the living area, where a swing suspended from the ceiling makes the most of the room’s height.
The owners wanted a blank canvas for showcasing their collection of vintage objects, so walls and floors throughout the apartment are painted white to provide a muted, minimal backdrop.
The scheme also aims to create a playful, relaxed and creative atmosphere evocative of 1960s modernism, with classic pieces such as Achille Castiglioni’s Snoopy lamp and an Enzo Mari print providing pops of colour.
In the bedroom, a yellow-painted door and green bedspread catch the eye, while a bright green door in the dining space conceals a WC with a sink set against punchy pink cement tiles.
The bedroom features a large dressing area with cupboards made from birch plywood, which is housed in a space previously occupied by a bathroom.
The main bathroom offers a playful take on the geometric theme used elsewhere in the apartment, with its geometric sink clad in rounded tiles from French firm Pop Corn.
Isabelle Heilmann studied at the École Boulle in Paris before founding her agency Epicène in 2018. The studio designs public and residential spaces that combine a minimalistic sensibility with a love of colour and characterful statement pieces.
Other Parisian home interiors that have recently been featured on Dezeen include an apartment with a wine-red kitchen and another that was designed to resemble a “chromatic jewellery box”.
The photography is by BCDF studio.