Ever tried to book a mini-break in Paris? Several hours into the internet trawl through sumptuous five-star hotels you can’t afford and Airbnbs that look like an outpost of IKEA, and you could be forgiven for abandoning the search. But there is another way: Pied A Terre.
A series of luxury apartments with superlative design credentials (think: 1960s Gae Aulenti chrome dining chairs and 1970s Hans-Agne Jakobsson brass wall lights), Pied A Terre launches this week with four properties at three locations in central Paris, and seven more slated to open later this year. Combining the concierge service and clean linens of a top hotel with the charming mix of flea-market finds, signature design pieces and good books that convey a stylish local’s taste, each space has been conceived to showcase the work of an up-and-coming architect.
The Brussels-based rising star Adrien Meira, for instance, has designed a serene, largely green space on Rue Saint-Honoré. Meanwhile, the duo behind Paris-based studio Necchi Architecture, Charlotte Albert and Alexis Lamesta, are the brains behind an ’80s-tinged two-bedroom townhouse nearby, known as the Tuileries residence. “We want to have places that feel like homes, but not so much that you feel like an intruder—more that you’ll have surprises with the artwork,” explains Pied A Terre co-founder Andrea Bokobsa. “At the same time, we want to provide a top-quality hotel experience.”
Step into the Tuileries residence, its walls painted a soothing pale pink (or “rose arroche”), its joinery a glossy burgundy, and you’ll never want to leave. Nibble a fresh croissant at the Pierre Frey-upholstered breakfast nook that recalls the work of legendary Paris decorator Andrée Putman. Luxuriate in the giant built-in bed inspired by Jean Prouvé, with a custom steel light by the London-based designer Eliot Barnes. Head upstairs, and you’ll find a cozy living room punctuated by vintage red-velvet Polish club chairs and a Bram Van Velde lithograph. Then wander into another bedroom with an equally giant bed facing a vibrant green, Jean-Michel Frank-inspired coffee table, recovered safari chairs that make use of a zingy zebra-print fabric, the floor carpeted in luxurious mushroom-hued wool. The bathroom has a Prada vibe—all ’80s shiny aluminum hardware and glossy black-and-white tiles.
“The downstairs bedroom was inspired by Giorgio Armani’s 1980s apartment, the bathroom is a little bit Serge Gainsbourg,” says Bokobsa, who sources the furniture and artwork for the apartments himself, in partnership with the lead architect (and informed by consultation with his mother, a former designer for Baby Dior and Bonpoint with superlative taste). Bokobsa, 31, was born in Paris but studied real estate in the United States, coming up with the Pied A Terre plan as part of his thesis. Together with his co-founder Nathaniel Glas, he aims to give visitors to the City of Light an authentic Parisian experience—complete with trendy restaurant suggestions (he recommends the upstairs dining room at Racines and the noodles at Kunitoraya) laid out in elegantly spare style in city guides designed by art director Pierre-Alexis Guinet.
You’ll need to book quickly: Copenhagen-based designer Stine Goya and Swedish influencer Fanny Ekstrand Tourneur are already on the client list, and slots are filling up for 2022. After all, that’s what happens when the only piece of IKEA you’ll find in these exquisitely quirky apartments is a hard-to-find vintage ’90s floor light designed for the Swedish megabrand by Jan Wickelgren.
This story was originally published in Vogue.com.