Paris apartment facing Père Lachaise by Atelier Varenne in Dwell

Before & After: Elegant Arches and Curves Shape Up a Fusty Paris Flat: The apartment had potential with windows looking over the city’s biggest green space, so a young couple traded out its old rugs, wallpaper, and tight floor plan. Dwell, May 23, 2023.

Paris apartments with open views are hard to come by, so when Pierre Vérité and Allira Swick found one with three rooms of south-facing windows overlooking the verdant landscape of Père Lachaise cemetery, what also serves as the city’s largest green space, they knew they’d found something special. And there was more to love: antique chandeliers, plaster medallions, and wood paneling. Yet the apartment had not been updated since 1963 by its most recent inhabitant, a woman in her ’90s.

Pierre and Allira wanted to preserve some of its antique charms while making it their own. "We wanted the apartment to reflect Pierre and I, our tastes, and also how different we are as people and see how that could marry together, with me being Australian and him being French," said Allira. As a native of Western Australia, Allira gravitated toward earthy, matte, porous finishes that hearkened to a warm outdoor climate. Pierre envisioned a clean modern vibe animated by historic details.

Interior architect Asma Florençon of Atelier Varenne took cues from their different sensibilities, iterating the flat’s finishes and adding new ones to create something that felt whole. "It was a matter of putting different things together in a way that brought out the best features of the space, but with an added layer of what the couple were bringing to it with the next chapter of their lives," Florençon says.

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