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    Uchronia founder designs own home as “love letter to French craft”

    Glossy walls, ruched curtains and oversized flower-shaped cushions characterise this eclectic 1970s-style Paris apartment, designed and owned by Uchronia founder Julien Sebban.

    Called Univers Uchronia, the apartment is in the city’s 18th arrondissement, close to the Uchronia office – a Parisian architecture and interiors studio known for its bold application of shape, colour and reflective surfaces.
    Julien Sebban designed Univers Uchronia as his homeSebban designed the dwelling as his home, which he shares with his husband and Maison Royère artistic director Jonathan Wray.
    The Uchronia founder created the apartment as an extension of his studio – “it’s truly a manifesto of our universe,” he told Dezeen.
    Colourful interiors anchor the apartmentSebban worked with local studio Atelier Roma to create all the walls and ceilings, which are either lacquered and glossy or made of matte pigmented concrete, respectively reflecting or absorbing light throughout the day.

    Finished in hues ranging from cloud-like pale blue to lemony yellow, the walls and ceilings complement the poured-in-place resin floor that spans the apartment and features a bold motif that “waves and moves in relation to the architecture”.
    A metallic island features in the open-plan kitchenThe home is anchored by a predominantly pink living space, which includes Uchronia-designed pieces such as low-slung interlocking coffee tables made from walnut burl and orange resin.
    Translucent and gathered pink curtains were paired with a geometric vintage bookshelf and a blocky but soft sofa finished in purple and orange.
    A bespoke onyx dining table was created for the home”The apartment is very colourful with ’60s and ’70s inspirations and a mix of our contemporary pieces and vintage objects,” said Sebban.
    In the open-plan kitchen and dining room, a veiny Van Gogh onyx table was positioned next to a metallic kitchen island, illuminated by a blobby seaweed-shaped table lamp.
    Ornamental jellyfish decorate the home officeA portion of the otherwise orange wall was clad with tiny, mirrored tiles. Reflected in the gleaming ceiling, the tiles have the same effect as a shimmering disco ball.
    Opposite the dining area is Sebban and Wray’s home office, characterised by a bright orange, built-in day bed topped with silk flower-like cushions and a wave-shaped backrest.
    The dwelling’s bathrooms follow a similar designAbove the bed, ornamental jellyfish were suspended like planets against a constellation of gold stars, which decorate the ombre orange and yellow wall that nods to the colour-drenched interior of the city’s Cafe Nuances – also designed by Uchronia.
    The dwelling’s bathrooms follow a similar design. Accents include dusty pink alcoves and ceramic tiles depicting underwater scenes, as well as a lily pad-shaped rug and a mirror resembling a cluster of clouds.

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    “The apartment defines the codes we have tried to develop at Uchronia over the last four years,” concluded Sebban.
    “It’s a play on colours, textures and materials, and a love letter to French craft.”
    Univers Uchronia is “a love letter to French craft”Uchronia was named emerging interior designer of the year at the Dezeen Awards 2023. The studio previously renovated a Haussmann-era apartment for a pair of jewellery designers with multifaceted furniture pieces created to mirror the appearance of precious stones.
    Various architects have designed their own homes, such as John Pawson, who created this minimalist second home in the Cotswolds in the UK.
    The photography is by Félix Dol Maillot. 

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    Bernard Dubois designs Canal Saint-Martin hotel to feel “far from Paris”

    Belgian architect Bernard Dubois designed bespoke 1970s-style wooden furniture and interiors for the revamped Bouchardon hotel in Paris, which references mountain hotels.

    Located in the Canal Saint-Martin district of the French capital, the Bouchardon is an aparthotel containing 11 suites. Every apartment has its own kitchen and dining area.
    Each suite has a private dining areaThe entire building has been rebuilt and Dubois was appointed to create its interior, which he wanted to provide “both refuge and an intimate feel,” the designer said.
    “The place is inviting, showcasing wood, brown fabrics and green carpeting,” Dubois told Dezeen.
    Wood panels line the walls of the corridorsAt first, Dubois designed the entire project in wood, before deciding to introduce a material palette of contrasting textures, using lacquer on some pieces to add gloss.

    This shiny element balances the various wood textures.
    While pairing opposing finishes, Dubois aimed to keep the space cohesive by using the same colour palette throughout.
    “Coherence is all about finding common grounds between references – [to] create a family with shapes and materials referencing different periods and contexts,” he said.
    Yellow soft furnishings and custom lamps also feature throughout the spaceDubois designed all of the furniture specially for the space and had them manufactured by two millworkers.
    The architect also designed all of the interior architecture details for the Bouchardon.

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    As part of this tailor-made approach, Dubois created a focal point for each bedroom using statement headboards made from terracotta.
    The terracotta-coloured headboards are uniquely shaped for each room and “evoke the 1970s in both their shape and glossy lacquer finish,” Dubois said.
    The bedrooms each include a unique large statement headboardDubois also took cues from the aesthetics of mountain hotels combined with American cinema references.
    “The concept of this space was to break away from conventions, far from Paris,” he explained.
    “You can imagine opening a window in the morning and suddenly discovering a landscape reminiscent of Twin Peaks or Colorado.”
    The aim was to give visitors an experience evocative of a ski holiday.
    “The colours and materials evoke mountain hotels, with carpeted hallways and entrances where one can hear the warm muffled sound of ski boots,” Dubois added.
    A rail-like wooden partition separates the bedroom and living areaDubois studied photography before moving into architecture and set up his eponymous firm in 2014.
    For this project, he borrowed from the principles of photographers William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, known for their simple compositions and highly saturated photos respectively.
    Dubois describes his design approach for the Bouchardon, and more broadly, as “creating universes”.
    “Designing is all about creating stories, universes,” he said. “Like a film-maker, a photographer, it’s about digesting references and coming up with something different that, although rooted, creates its own identity and its own story.”
    Other projects from the studio recently featured on Dezeen include a Parisian clothing store that features nods to nightclub interiors and a yellow-bricked store for skincare brand Aesop.
    The photography is by Ludovic Balay.

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    Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy combines glass bricks and walnut for first store

    Bottega Veneta’s creative director Matthieu Blazy has designed the brand’s Avenue Montaigne flagship store in Paris, which is dominated by walnut wood fittings and glass bricks.

    The 800-metre-square shop features industrial, square glass blocks integrated into the floors, ceilings and walls, creating a geometric grid which diffuses light throughout the store.
    Glass bricks feature on the walls, floors and ceilings of the storeWalnut wood panels frame the textured glass blocks. The same wood was used in transitional spaces for a spiral staircase, curved corridor and for statement details like a display table and wooden columns.
    The interior design aims to balance volume and scale throughout the space – from blown-up elements, like the wooden details echoing the woven leather “intrecciato” reminiscent of Bottega Veneta’s handbags, to the thousands of glass bricks.
    Walnut panelling echoes the brand’s famous intrecciato woven leather techniqueThe store in central Paris is the first designed by Blazy, who has led Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta since 2020.

    According to the brand the store’s design aims to “celebrate Italian craftsmanship with a modernist sensibility”.

    “Woven” leather sofas and chairs are positioned in the spaceWithin the space, enclaves of soft seating and carpeted dressing rooms create smaller areas, contrasting the wide open stretches of glass brick in the main store.
    Sofas and chairs were styled in giant woven leather panels, also echoing the “intrecciato” technique Bottega Veneta is famous for in their handbag design.
    A spiral staircase leads to a second floorThe woven pattern is echoed in the carving of walnut tables and columns. Wool carpets and mirrored clothes rails complete the interior scheme for the open-plan space.
    The front door of the shop features a unique glass handle by the Venice-based Japanese glass artist, Ritsue Mishima.
    The store’s entry door features a bespoke glass handle by Ritsue MishimaOther retail design recently featured on Dezeen includes James Shaw’s installation of a jumbo foot in London Camper store and a “sensual” Ferragamo store by Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen.
    The photography is by François Halard.

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    Paris duplex by Johanna Amatoury references architecture of Greek islands

    Harnessing soft whites and gently curving plaster forms, interior designer Johanna Amatoury has brought a holiday-house feel to this apartment in the peaceful Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

    The duplex belongs to a couple who work in real estate and their three young children – a globetrotting family with a particular love for the Greek islands.
    Interior designer Johanna Amatoury has renovated a Paris duplexAmatoury designed their apartment as a homage to the region’s vernacular architecture.
    “Because of their love for this part of the world, we arrived in this apartment and imagined a holiday house feeling, using warm and textural materials – very unlike typical Parisian apartments,” she told Dezeen.
    “We worked with mineral materials, textures and raw colours in the apartment to provide depth and achieve the desired ambience.”

    Curving plaster-covered surfaces feature heavily in the entrywayThe design of the home was also shaped by its layout, arranged over the ground and first floors of a large 1980s building that opens onto a small garden.
    This encouraged Amatoury to model the apartment on a single-family house.
    The design draws on the vernacular architecture of the Greek islands”We wanted to imagine it as a house, to create a more outside-in atmosphere, increasing all the size of the windows,” she said.
    “The apartment is on the garden level, so my guideline was to open as much as possible to the outside and the planting there.”
    Violetta marble tables anchor the living roomThe apartment’s whole floorplan was reworked in order to create a living room, dining room and kitchen that all look onto the gardens outside.
    The staircase was relocated to a more logical location close to the entrance, while upstairs the space was completely reconfigured to create four bedroom suites.
    Artworks reflect the Grecian theme of the interiorAs a homage to Greek island architecture, Amatoury used Roman plaster to soften the forms within the apartment, particularly in the entrance hall.
    “We used warm, textural materials including lots of softly curving and tactile plaster finishes that give the space a sculptural look,” she said.
    “Roman plaster is a very ancient technique that has a mineral appearance with a smooth, soft and slightly glossy finish, which catches the eye and dresses the wall through classic mineral colours while also embracing brighter nuances.”

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    In the kitchen, smoked walnut timber cabinetry is paired with splashbacks and worktops made of Navona travertine.
    Set in an otherwise open-plan space, the area is enclosed in glazed panels.
    “The family entertains a lot and cooks a lot, both the parents and the children,” Amatoury said. “As a result, it was necessary to be able to close off the kitchen while maintaining this visual openness.”
    The kitchen is enclosed by glazed partitionsMuch like a window, the glazed panels feature curved grilles and are set on an oak base that creates a visual link with the built-in oak banquette upholstered in white boucle wool.
    “We create a lot of benches because they’re so practical, incorporating storage chests, but most importantly for their cosy appeal,” Amatoury said. “Benches introduce a mix of fabrics and through these fabrics, the space becomes more welcoming.”
    Amatoury fashioned an oak seating banquette for the dining area For Amatoury, the furniture edit was a balancing act between creating a “harmonious yet eclectic atmosphere” that blends sophistication and comfort.
    Taking a central role is the curving sofa in the living room, which is upholstered in off-white linen and paired with monolithic Violetta marble tables.
    A staircase leads up to the second floor”Its design not only provided a focal point but also added a touch of elegance and softness to the space,” she said.
    “The curving shape offered a sense of flow and organic grace, enhancing the room’s visual appeal. The choice of off-white linen contributed to a serene ambience here, promoting a feeling of openness and lightness.”
    The upper level houses four bedroom suitesAmatoury, who has worked on several residential and commercial interiors across Paris, says she was tasked with the project after the owners admired a home she had completed for friends of theirs.
    “They liked our work and especially the warmth we bring to our projects, almost like a cocoon,” she said.
    Other residential interiors in the French capital that have recently been featured on Dezeen include a loft apartment in a former textile workshop and a Haussmann-era flat that was restored to its “former glory”.
    The photography is by Pierce Scourfield.

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    Brasserie des Pres draws on the vibrant history of Paris’s Latin Quarter

    The storied location of this brasserie in Paris inspired interior studio B3 Designers to fill the restaurant with tasselled chairs, disco balls and other flamboyant decor.

    Brasserie des Pres is set in Paris’s Latin Quarter, which was a hub of creativity throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, its cafes filled with artists, publishers and prominent writers including Ernest Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre.
    Brasserie des Pres’s ground-floor dining space features red-panelled walls with decorative tilingLondon-based studio B3 Designers aimed to infuse this same buzzy ambience into the quarter’s latest eatery, undeterred by its awkwardly narrow interiors.
    “Brasserie des Pres has a very unique floor print and we’ve used the existing architecture to create layers of dining experiences,” the studio said. “We’ve created a feeling of community and delight, a welcoming backdrop to the great food served here.”
    Built-in shelving transforms walls on the first floor into a cabinet of curiositiesLush with greenery, the exterior of the restaurant features a striped orange awning and classic Parisian terrace seating.

    Once guests step inside, they find themselves in a large dining room with red-panelled walls, inset with mirrored shelves that display an assortment of shapely glass vessels.
    Decorative tiles depicting limes, lemons and oranges are incorporated at the top of each panel.
    Guests can also relax in the top-floor lounge, which houses a rich selection of vinyl recordsTables throughout the room are dressed with white linen cloths and bijou brass lamps, nodding to the table set-up of the Latin Quarter’s traditional eateries.
    Guests also have the option to sit at a high marble counter that directly overlooks Brasserie des Pres’s bustling kitchen or enjoy a drink at the bar, which is fronted by velvet-lined orange stools.

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    More dining space is provided on the first floor, where the shelves along the walls are filled with antique books and candelabras to mimic the worldly look of a cabinet of curiosities.
    Finally, on the top floor of the restaurant is a lounge-style space where guests can relax while selecting tracks from the brasserie’s vinyl record library.
    A crimson-red bar hides behind a curtained doorwayA curtained partition can be drawn back to reveal a secret bar, complete with a mirrored ceiling. From its centre hangs a cluster of disco balls, enclosed by a circular neon sign that spells the word groovy.
    A plush, crimson banquet winds around the periphery of the space, accompanied by matching tassel-backed chairs and marble tables.
    Even the toilets at this level are finished with eccentric details including a pearl-laden chandelier that droops above the washbasin  and surreal gold-framed paintings that depict the eyes of “unsung Parisian anti-heroes”, according to B3 Designers.
    Surreal paintings and a pearl chandelier appear in the bathroomParis’s rich culinary scene is constantly expanding.
    Other spots that have recently opened up around the city include Citrons et Huîtres, an oyster bar that’s designed to resemble a fishmonger, and Chinese restaurant Bao Express, which has a retro interior informed by Hong Kong diners of the 1970s.
    The photography is by Vincent Remy and Joann Pai.

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    Hauvette & Madani restores Haussmann-era Paris apartment to its “former glory”

    Local design studio Hauvette & Madani drew on the Haussmannian history of this Paris apartment to create a gallery-like interior for its occupant’s vast art collection.

    Located in the city’s historic Triangle d’Or, the dwelling previously featured minimalist marble surfaces and gilding leftover from a recent renovation.
    Hauvette & Madani “re-appropriated” the apartment, originally designed as part of Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s famed reconstruction of the French capital during the mid-19th century, to reflect its architectural past.
    Hauvette & Madani added cornices and mouldings to the apartment to reflect the dwelling’s Haussmannian roots”The challenge was to completely revamp the apartment, which had just been refurbished,” said studio co-founder Samantha Hauvette, who designed the dwelling with Lucas Madani.
    “We carried out meticulous research to find the right motifs and decorations to restore the place to its former glory and Haussmannian charm,” she told Dezeen.

    The living room features various artworksThe designers recreated delicate white cornices and mouldings – hallmarks of Haussmannian design – within the apartment, which had been previously stripped of these details.
    This created a considered but neutral backdrop for the resident’s eclectic collection of artwork and a curated selection of furniture “mixing eras and styles,” according to Hauvette and Madani.
    Sarah Crowner designed a bold fireplace for the dining spaceVisitors enter at a small round vestibule clad in straw marquetry – a “common thread” that also features on a pair of curved sofas and a sleek coffee table as well as sliding doors, the main bedroom’s headboard and the dining table.
    The light-filled living room is characterised by sculptural furniture and art pieces, including rounded vintage armchairs finished in a dark green hue and metallic base.
    An amorphous ceiling work by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm was suspended above the sofas, while a deep blue painting by Swiss practitioner Miriam Cahn adds a bold hue to the room.
    “It’s a real living space, where the homeowner shares a lot with her artist and designer friends,” said the designers. “All the pieces have a strong identity.”
    The kitchen balances traditional elements with more alternative detailsFor the dining room, American artist Sarah Crowner created a striking turquoise fireplace, which was clad in a blocky mosaic of geometric tiles and positioned alongside a burnt orange vintage egg-shaped chair.
    “We wanted to take the codes of classicism and break free from them,” explained Hauvette and Madani, who aimed to balance traditional interior details with more contemporary colourful touches.
    A blocky drinks bar was finished in the same design as the kitchen tableContinuing this theme, the designers sandwiched a bright green stove between more subtle, light pink cabinets in the kitchen, which includes a patterned feature wall.
    Blocks of light-coloured timber were stacked by French furniture maker Hervé van der Straeten to create a singular lumpy leg for the kitchen table as well as the base of a drinks bar elsewhere in the apartment.

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    Hauvette and Madani also constructed an in-house sauna for the home, finished in dark wooden slats and tucked behind a bespoke green-hued daybed, made by the designers themselves.
    “We have a strong belief that everything that you love independently will work perfectly once put together,” said Madani, who highlighted the power of trusting your instincts when curating eclectic interiors.
    Hauvette & Madani also added a home saunaSummarising the overall look and feel of the apartment, the pair declared, “it’s Paris Haussmannian style, with a hint of craziness!”
    Hauvette & Madani is not the first studio to renovate a traditional Parisian apartment with contemporary touches.
    Local studio Uchronia recently filled a home for jewellery designers with multifaceted furniture pieces crafted to mirror the appearance of precious stones. The studio also previously added a wine-red kitchen to an otherwise neutral flat in the French capital.
    The photography is by François Coquerel. 

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    Isabelle Heilmann converts Parisian textile workshop into loft apartment

    Interior designer Isabelle Heilmann has used glazing and level changes to turn a former textile workshop in Paris into an open-plan apartment with a dedicated home office.

    The owners of the property on Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud asked Heilmann’s studio Epicène to rationalise the interior and create a space for home working while maintaining the apartment’s quirky layout.
    Isabelle Heilmann has completed the Timbaud apartmentThe existing loft featured several impractical and dilapidated spaces including a cramped bedroom and three mezzanines with low ceilings that were once used for storing rolls of fabric.
    Heilmann removed some of the existing structures and introduced changes in floor height to delineate the new spaces while adding internal windows that retain a visual connection between the rooms.
    A raised platform houses the home office”Using differences in level and glass partitions allows you to demarcate the different living spaces while allowing light to circulate,” the designer told Dezeen.

    “Now, from the moment you enter, you have a global vision of the volume of the apartment,” she added. “It’s a way to have a very open plan without the disadvantages of the loft.”
    A bright green door in the dining space conceals a WCThe partitions enclosing the existing bedroom were removed and a platform built in their place now contains a home office housing two workstations and a wall of library shelving.
    Two of the mezzanines were also demolished, leaving just one beside the entrance that was transformed into a room for gaming and accommodating overnight guests.
    Throughout the interior, Heilmann sought to preserve the spirit of the old workshop that had attracted the owners to this space. The raised platform recalls the height changes of the old mezzanines, while geometric sculptural elements evoke the original layout.
    The kitchen and living room are separated by a glass partition”The partitions and interlocking shapes of the old workshop have been simplified, but we find this play of asymmetrical cubes in the shape of the headboard or the glass partition between bedroom and living room,” she explained.
    “The industrial spirit is also suggested in the choice of lighting fixtures or the sobriety of the bathroom tiling.”
    Examples of the recurring geometric motif include a series of cubic volumes containing cupboards and storage niches on either side of the steps leading up to the platform.

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    An asymmetric window creates a bold feature that connects the living room with the new bedroom, where a stepped headboard creates shelf space for books, paintings and objects.
    The kitchen is located opposite the office platform and features a simple L-shaped layout that slots in underneath the mezzanine and windows.
    A swing in the living room capitalises on the apartment’s tall ceilingsThe cupboard units have birch plywood doors and a marbled Corian worktop that complements the minimal, industrial look of the interior.
    A full-height glass-and-steel wall that was part of the original workshop was carefully preserved and now separates the living room on one side from the kitchen and dining area on the other.
    A door in the central glass partition leads into the living area, where a swing suspended from the ceiling makes the most of the room’s height.
    The owners wanted a blank canvas for showcasing their collection of vintage objects, so walls and floors throughout the apartment are painted white to provide a muted, minimal backdrop.
    A green bedspread catches the eye in the bedroomThe scheme also aims to create a playful, relaxed and creative atmosphere evocative of 1960s modernism, with classic pieces such as Achille Castiglioni’s Snoopy lamp and an Enzo Mari print providing pops of colour.
    In the bedroom, a yellow-painted door and green bedspread catch the eye, while a bright green door in the dining space conceals a WC with a sink set against punchy pink cement tiles.
    The bedroom features a large dressing area with cupboards made from birch plywood, which is housed in a space previously occupied by a bathroom.
    Curved tiles by Pop Corn clad the sinkThe main bathroom offers a playful take on the geometric theme used elsewhere in the apartment, with its geometric sink clad in rounded tiles from French firm Pop Corn.
    Isabelle Heilmann studied at the École Boulle in Paris before founding her agency Epicène in 2018. The studio designs public and residential spaces that combine a minimalistic sensibility with a love of colour and characterful statement pieces.
    Other Parisian home interiors that have recently been featured on Dezeen include an apartment with a wine-red kitchen and another that was designed to resemble a “chromatic jewellery box”.
    The photography is by BCDF studio.

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    Brazilian-informed murals bring character to Parisian restaurant duo Oka Fogo

    Architect Arnaud Behzadi and artist Florence Bamberger have combined French and Brazilian influences to create interiors for a pair of adjoining restaurants.

    Located in Paris’ 17th arrondissement, Oka Fogo is the latest eatery from Raphael Rego, a Michelin-starred chef who is originally from Rio de Janeiro.
    Behzadi designed interiors that aim to capture the spirit of Rego’s cuisine, while Bamberger painted wall and ceiling murals that bring an extra spark of energy.
    Bamberger reinterpreted Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe on the wall of FogoThe two restaurants each have a distinct character.
    Oka, which means “house” in the language of Brazil’s indigenous Tupi people, is an intimate 16-seat dinner-service restaurant with the feel of a grand yet cosy lounge.

    The neighbouring Fogo, which translates as “fire”, is a less formal space that offers a sense of dining al fresco. With an adjoining bar and grill, this 40-seat space is open for lunch and dinner.
    Oka is a 16-seat restaurant with the feel of a grand but cosy lounge”I approached the project as a journey through a house,” Behzadi told Dezeen.
    “I see Oka as a prestigious living room and Fogo as an interior garden.”
    A ceiling mural incorporates references to Brazil’s flora and faunaBamberger’s expressive murals reinforce this approach.
    In Fogo, she has painted a reinterpretation of the Édouard Manet artwork, Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe. The work takes cues from the free-flowing lines of Brazilian artist José Francisco Borgès, resulting in a vibrant style.
    The Oka mural features on the ceiling rather than a wall. This more abstract work is based on Brazil’s flora and fauna, along with objects that represent the nation’s culture.
    The facade combines Jatoba wood with striated marbleBehzadi chose richly toned woods and highly textural marbles for the interior design palette, in a nod to materials favoured by Brazil’s prolific mid-century designers.
    This partnering of stone and wood begins with the facade, where panels of Jatoba wood from the Amazon sit above a plinth of striated Iranian marble.

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    “I decided to interpret a classical style for the storefront,” said Behzadi.
    “It’s a very Parisian approach, using an exotic material to start evoking the interior that you will discover inside.”
    Fogo’s floor is a grid of green marble and travertine tilesInside, decorative wooden furniture and joinery are accompanied by a mix of different stones, including white travertine and various green-toned marbles.
    Other eye-catching details include sculptural wall lights by Behzadi’s former business partner, designer Cathy Crinon, and chairs by the late Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues.
    “There is a clear Brazilian inspiration,” added Behzadi.
    Additional spaces include a private alcoveThe venue also includes an alcove dining space with room for six, featuring a mirrored ceiling and curved banquette in red velvet, and a wine and champagne tasting room with a vaulted ceiling.
    Oka Fogo opened earlier this month. Other recent openings in Paris include Moët Hennessy’s Cravan cocktail bar and oyster bar Citrons et Huîtres.
    The photography is by Claire Israel.

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