Cover The living room features a sofa set, a coffee table and side tables from Porada, as well as a Gilles Caffier lamp and the Borghèse bench designed by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance for La Chance

French interior designer Stéphanie Coutas took inspiration from the fifties by decorating this 19th-century Parisian home with plenty of colours and mid-century flair

When it comes to interior design, there are cookie-cutter homes, and then there are dwellings that have a little something special. This property definitely falls into the latter camp.

Located on the famous Avenue Foch in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, the three-storey house was built at the end of the 19th century by Alphonse Hardon, superintendent at the Suez Canal Company, which constructed the historic Suez Canal. Hardon named the structure Villa Said after Mohamed Said Pasha, a governor in Egypt, to thank him for his help with the canal’s construction. Avenue Foch, meanwhile, is home to mansions and palaces alike, while the private gated street the property sits on is surrounded by townhouses and embassies.

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The client commissioned Stéphanie Coutas of French studio SC Edition to transform the shell into a comfortable yet sophisticated nest. “The client was looking for an interior designer who could incorporate a unique spirit into the house,” said Coutas. “Our signature is predominantly custom projects, in which we utilise new materials and pay very close attention to even the smallest details.”

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Since the client granted Coutas free rein over the entire design, she opted for a Parisian style with a vintage 1950s touch. “There was a lot of structural work to be done because the home was previously split into four different flat units,” she recounted. “Our first mission was to revert the house to its historical roots—an authentic Parisian hotel particulier.”

Coutas emphasised the quintessentially Parisian qualities of this abode—the Haussmannian structure, white mouldings, and floor-to-ceiling wooden windows with their beautiful bronze hardware. The fifties vibe was achieved through the colour palette, which is dominated by orange, pale green and yellow, with plenty of American walnut wood.

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This home’s clever interplay of colour and texture is evident from the moment you step indoors. Beyond the entrance are two living rooms on each side. “One is where you can spend time with friends and family, and the other one is more like a library where you can read, write, or play backgammon and chess,” explained Coutas.

The first space features a bright yellow artwork and rug that mingle with the Borghèse bench designed by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance for La Chance. The second is a more formal affair, with deep blue shelves displaying a variety of curios, an aluminium coffee table, and a backgammon table by Giobagnara. 

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The ground floor also features the spacious kitchen and dining room, which overlook the garden. A 10-seater dining table by Eichholtz is perfect for entertaining. A turquoise mirror above the table echoes the turquoise bar chairs at the bespoke marble-topped kitchen island. The socialising can continue either in the kitchen or through the glass doors in the garden.

There’s also a guest bathroom and even a hammam in black and white marble. “We usually like to add different functionalities to the houses we design,” said Coutas. “Adding a hammam and spa for relaxation was a great touch that the client loved.”

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The master bedroom, master bathroom and gym are located upstairs, while another level above that floor incorporates two guest bedrooms. “We often suggest having a gym room if the space allows it and it corresponds to the client’s lifestyle,” said Coutas. The master bedroom features solid oak flooring, glossy wooden cabinets and beige curtains, while connecting with the other spaces in the home via colourful accents like the yellow and teal silk cushions. The same can be said for the reading nook between the two guest rooms, which features a yellow armchair by Dooq and yellow pouf by Eichholtz that mingle with a striking geometric throw by DAC Rugs.

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Each level is connected by a stunning spiral staircase covered in carpeting by Roger Oates. “While the home has a beautiful architectural structure, the vertical circulation meant that we needed to make sure all floors were connected in the best way, to ensure the space was maximised and as fluid as possible,” shared Coutas. “We did this by using a combination of bright colours throughout the house and utilising the carpeting on the stairs to provide an overall link.”

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Artworks provide the finishing touch. Throughout the property, vivid pieces by French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely and other artworks acquired from Kaezar Gallery grace the walls, showcasing SC Edition’s modus operandi of mixing custom pieces with exquisite art and antiques. The result is a home that is a head-turner, both inside and out.

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