On Paris’s Avenue Mozart, where Haussmannian apartments appear almost frozen in time, there’s one that breathes an impossibly modern air—at least on the inside. “That’s what we were going for—equal parts considered and chic,” says Léa Levy, who purchased the two-bedroom apartment a few years ago with her husband, Alexandre Murciano. “We had been looking for an apartment in Paris for a long time. And when I saw the shape of these windows, I knew we’d struck gold,” says Levy, adding that at the time the apartment was but a bare-walled curiosity with little going for it. “That’s when we roped in Julien. We trusted his design instinct and knew we could count on his zaniness to facelift the flat.”
Of course, with his whimsical signature and flair for the outré, designer Julien Sebban of Paris-based Uchronia was the obvious choice for the couple, and all the more so given that he and Levy (a former fashion coordinator at Vogue France who now works as an independent fashion buyer and stylist) had previously collaborated on the design of one of her shops.
For Sebban, the apartment’s clean lines and matchbox character were enough to want to flip the script. “The first thing that came to me was atypical shapes,” he recalls. “And then waves. Lots and lots of waves.”
What followed was an object lesson in infinity. “I explored the movement and form of the ocean, avoiding any breaks and letting in as much light as possible.” Meandering waves are a common leitmotif, hiding and revealing themselves through this room and that: on the cupboard doors of the kitchen, in the living room’s asymmetrical sofa and wavy-edged carpet, on the sinewy console of the foyer. In the dining room a Van Gogh onyx marble table sits like an elongated figure eight, in a nod to eternity.
Right at the outset, Levy was clear about one thing: color had to be the home’s crowning glory. “In fashion, I’ve always been one to embrace color even when neutrals have been à la mode. I wanted to translate that into the home in a way that was both cool and classy,” she shares. And yet, the home’s color story is informed by more than just Levy’s sartorial savvy. “All the colors were derived from a single slab of marble called Van Gogh onyx, which we found even before buying the place. It was a fun little experiment to try to mirror those tones in all the home’s elements.”
As a counterpoint to the home’s vibrant interior, Sebban introduced a different floor finish for each room. “Levy and Murciano often leave doors open between rooms, so it was important to give each floor its due,” he explains. “Be it marble marquetry, parquet, or carpets with shimmering waves, the floors distinguish one room from another.”
The home is special for Levy and Murciano in more ways than one. “We love that it’s in the center of Paris, but that it’s also just strides away from the Bois de Boulogne. It’s a peaceful oasis with everything you need within walking distance,” says Murciano, admitting that, for him and Levy, the final interior came as a happy surprise. “I remember having this enormous mood board of things that I liked, and Sebban and his team completely elevated the vibe,” says Levy. “It’s impressive how far we’ve come from our original brief. The result is not what we were expecting at all. It’s an adaptation of our vision that turned out even better than the original.”