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New Paris Style: A Mother and Daughter Afloat

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jul 19, 2014 01:09 AM
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by Margot Guralnick last modified Jul 18, 2014

Presenting our third great houseboat discovery of late: architect Valérie Mazerat's stripped-down, industrial-chic barge in Paris that she shares with her young daughter, Margot. We found it in New Paris Style by Danielle Miller, a book that chronicles how the city's creative class lives. The book offers a satisfyingly voyeuristic look into 27 pied-à-terres, houses, lofts, and ateliers. But we keep turning back to Mazerat's quarters, an old Dutch barge converted into a houseboat. A wreck when Mazerat took ownership, it's now a study in domestic simplicity, done up in a palette of earthy, straight-from-the-Seine colors. Of the Parisian life afloat, Mazerat told Miller: "It's another world, which takes you far away from any semblance of the everyday. There is a sense of freedom that you don't get living ashore, and time definitely slows down." Join us for a leisurely look. Photographs © Richard Powers , courtesy of Thames & Hudson.   Above: The boat's main cabin was added by a previous owner who grafted a 1920s train carriage onto what had been a working Dutch barge built in the early 1900s. Mazerat, whose credentials include designing interiors for Merci (see Paris's Most Exciting Shop ), shored up the vessel and re-created it in her own image: simple furniture, a moody palette, and a rigorously edited collection of essentials—"you just can't be frivolous." Above: The boat (the second vessel with a canopy on the deck) is moored at Bassin de l'Arsenal, a marina on a canal with views of the Place de la Bastille. And to add another romantic wrinkle,  Valérie  Mazerat's architecture practice is in a boat that's docked a short stroll away. Above: The living room/dining room—almost entirely rebuilt by Mazerat—retains its train car feel. The family's dining table overlooks twin daybeds that flank a wood-burning stove. In a space where every inch is precious, book shelves are inserted over the windows. The Butterfly Chair is from a trip to Morocco. (Learn about the history of the Butterfly Chair in our recent Object Lesson .) Above: A Christmas decoration from Merci tops no-nonsense steel shelving.  Above: Mazerat inserted a compact galley at the front of the barge. Its fittings and the dining table are custom built of steel, a practical choice and a nod to the craft's industrial past. The chairs are vintage Arne Jacobsen. Above: Mazerat unified the interior of the boat by painting it a rich charcoal gray. She masterfully uses the warm walls to set off eye-opening dashes of color—citrine curtains here, a purple dishcloth there. Above: On warm nights, mother and daughter sleep on the deck on folding daybeds under a canopy. The linen on the beds is from Caravane . For similar mattress toppers, see Summer Slumbers: Hedge House Bedrolls . Above: Yes, we all want this room. It belongs to Margot, and it's kitted out with a winning trio: pale pink bed linens, a  sheepskin rug,   and a porthole window. Note Margot's riding helmet on a hook.  Above: The ships' head is decorated with vintage travel mirrors and souvenirs from Morocco.  Above: A portrait by photographer Serge Anton hangs above a 1950s Danish desk with an Arne Jacobsen chair. Above: New Paris Style by Danielle Miller, photographed by Richard Powers, is available from Thames & Hudson for $40. Photograph courtesy of Thames & Hudson. Have you seen our other houseboat posts? This Modern Houseboat in Berlin is available for overnight getaways. And if you like the look of The Ultimate Houseboat in NYC , go to our Steal This Look: The Summer Clubhouse . To see our posts on other worthy design books, go to  Required Reading . And if you don't yet have a copy of Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home, buy it  here .  More Stories from Remodelista The New Dutch Modernism Time to Vote: The 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards Design Sleuth: Enamelware Indoors






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