This Designer’s Attic Apartment in Paris Always Glimmers With Light

The phrase that best describes Rudy Guénaire’s apartment is flooded with light. “Our first summer living here, when we’d have breakfast we’d wear our sunglasses,” he says with a laugh. “Now there’s an awning and it’s even nicer.” About three years ago, the French designer and his wife, Raphaële, bought the Paris penthouse, which is just over 1,000 square feet. Their daughter Madeleine had just been born and they found this spectacular home online. When they looked at the photos, they immediately realized that it must have once been an artist’s studio. “We knew that if we removed the ugly ceiling, a skylight would open up—thanks, Google Earth.” It was an ideal apartment for Rudy and his family because for this designer, there’s no more important element in a great design than natural light.

A few years earlier, at the age of 25, he spent five months in the United States trekking through the Rocky Mountains from the Mexican border north to Canada, sleeping under the stars every night—it was an experience that left a lasting impression. When he got back to bustling Paris, he was looking for “a place where we could find quiet in the midst of our crazy city and our crazy lives and simply look up at the sky.” This also indirectly explains why the designer who is known for his colorful and expressive interiors limited himself here to a palette of creams and browns. “The light is the most important element of the design. Right now, at the end of the day, it’s spectacular. The living room changes color every minute.” Rudy prefers to watch this spectacle from the sofa. In the evening, he will watch another show from the banquette in the dining area: The Eiffel Tower sparkles in a different color every hour. “It’s magical!”

The living room on the upper floor has a ceiling of restored skylights. Sconce by Casati & Ponzi, bamboo coffee table, and the radiator is from a 19th-century factory in Lyon.


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