A furnished studio that makes minimalism beautiful Interview with XiaoTing Sun, rue Coq Héron

Words: BAF Photos: Alice Duriez

A narrow street of Paris’ 1st arrondissement. An elegant interior design, filled with natural light.
This studio is not the owner’s first try: now familiar with interior design and furnishing, she has already bought and tastefully renovated several apartments in Paris.
Having a passion for decoration, and architecture in general, is the common trait of all the Parisian owners we like to portray.
In this furnished apartment, with its perfectly mastered art of minimalism, an elegant spotlight shines on what really matters.

Owner In Paris - furnished studio in Paris' 1st arrondissement
The owner, who decorated and furnished the apartment herself

Tell us about your background and your passion for decoration and interior design.

I am not a professional interior designer. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay in gorgeous design hotels when travelling with a family friend. These trips have cultivated my interest for beautiful things. After buying my first apartment, I instantly decided I wanted to turn it into an attractive, functional property that would be as beautiful as a hotel.
Life has made it possible for me to make several real estate transactions on apartments that I designed and decorated myself, along with the support of architects. Each new project is a journey. From the hunt for that rare gem, to working with an architect on the interior design, preparing a decoration brief, participating in site meetings and setting up the final supplies, I devoted myself to this project and had a lot of fun too along the way. Being praised for the interior design of my apartments by buyers and real estate agents is highly encouraging. So I started to buy decoration magazines and tried to get a better feel for good ideas in interior design. Friends have also asked me to decorate their apartment. One thing leads to another, and I ended up setting up a partnership with two friends for real estate transactions and my favourite part, decoration. I have become totally addicted to decoration. The more I do it, the more I want to do!

Why did you choose this apartment? What are its best features?

This 215 sq.ft.) studio was initially part of a two-bedroom (645 sq.ft.) apartment. The apartment’s unique feature was its landing with two doors. I decided to make a studio apartment and a one-bedroom apartment out of it mainly for financial reasons. The one-bedroom apartment is my home and the studio I rent helps with the loan repayment. That’s its prime advantage.
Another feature is its lengthwise layout, which makes it easy to furnish. Having three windows along the outside wall, rather than at the back of the apartment, made it easier. This way, I could divide each living space while maintaining its depth. That is its second asset.
Thirdly, the room looks onto the quiet and bright open courtyard.
The building is quite prestigious and ideally located. You can always give an apartment a makeover but you can’t change its location or the quality of the building. That is the last, but not the least important aspect when it comes to investing in real estate.

How would you describe the style of this apartment?

Functional and minimalist. Black and white with golden and wooden details for a cosy atmosphere.
I decorated the apartment myself. I found inspiration in many forms of art, like Art-Déco or 1970s’ style.

How long did the renovation work last and what were the constraints?

The work took a little over six months. During the renovation, the architect realized the toilet had to be placed opposite the shower because of where the water columns are located. So that’s why there is a shower with glass wall separating the section with the bathroom and open kitchen.

What do you like about this neighbourhood?

I like how quiet it is at night and how close it is to stores and restaurants of all kinds.

What advice would you give for a successful furnished rental and decoration?

My advice would be to pick the main colour first, a light one preferably, and then another two or three for accessories.
+ beautiful lighting
+ white linen
“Less is more” according to the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Studio apartment for rent

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