interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: bridgette comazzi + ivan duval

by anne

welcome to the parisian home of the creative couple bridgette comazzi (creative director of the crave-worthy fashion brand comptoir des cotonniers) and ivan duval (part of the duo behind the quirky, clever line, atyypk).  they’ve been in this traditional haussmann style apartment in the 10th arrondisement of paris – along with their twin 10 year olds – for two years now.  not much has changed since moving in (they shot these pictures a month after move-in), and they love the size of the apartment as they prefer to keep the space rather than filling it with too much furniture and decoration.  adding further charm is the mix of wood and concrete floors it came with, which lead bridgette and ivan to coin the term “haussmanian loft” for their home’s look. click HERE for additional, full-sized images. {thanks ivan and bridgette!}anne

[above: Living room. (45 square meters). The fireplace is currently working which is nice- and the lack of a mirror on top of it gives the room an atmosphere of the countryside rather than the city.  The bear skin is from Atypyk, it’s a huge doormat actually. One of the biggest item we’ve created.(200×225 cm).]

The cushions come from India, old green boxes were used in the textile industry.

Rusted frames come from letters of a very hold hotel in Paris, I found in the street close to the flat when it was demolished. Arty but still not “Art” we prefer them to stay on the floor rather to be hang on the wall.

CLICK HERE for the rest of bridgette and ivan’s sneak peek after the jump!

Kitchen… Mostly Ikea for the furniture improved with a thick teak board (4cm), Atypyk for all the cutting boards and salad wrenches, Smeg for electrical appliances, 70’s Scandinavian chairs from my parents. We always dreamed of having a Spanish ham hang on the ceiling. I put the hook and our dream came true.

Entrance. No window in this room, but as the apartment is full of natural light all day long. It allows us to use a pretty unusual dark grey. Chairs come from an old French theatre. Ivan did the red painting on the top of the radiator.

The Leisure area is an extension of the living room. It holds our TV and cd/dvd/book collection (except the fashion ones which are in our bedroom), and as of late, our piano (not shown on the picture). The window leads on to the balcony.

Our bedroom. East oriented. We wake up with the sun light. We turned the frames around to give the room a monastic feel. Two windows lead on a balcony where we used to put plants and flowers.

Bathroom : 100% authentic 1930’s style. No decoration there yet… Still looking for the smart idea. Till then we keep it white. One day, we’ll have time to think about it.

Our children, Malo and Célestin’s bedroom. Spring cleaning on the picture.

Corridor and Matador… From the entrance, it leads to bathroom and kitchen. Painted with chalkboard paint, the wall allows all of the family to deliver tender messages to each other (or for our friends to thanks us for the good meal they had)… We used to ask friends from all over the world also write “Bienvenue” in their own languages… (we pay careful attention not to remove it when we clean the board). The Poster comes from an African Artist- it’s adhered to the wall with black tape used by photographers.

Suggested For You


  • With the exception of the matador and (Superman? The Ambiguously Gay Duo?) there is no art in this house. It looks SO bare. Things are just dying to be put on the walls. It has to be my least favorite design method ever.

  • While I appreciate the messiness, it doesn’t actually feel quite lived in. I think it is the gray tones throughout and the cold light.

    A giant doormat in the bedroom? I don’t find that an intriguing concept myself.

    This place is dying for some color and some texture. A faded purple velvet chaise lounge, plz?

    I wonder if there is any additional color now than from these pictures from 2 years ago.

  • Such a beautiful apartment, filled with nothing. I get not wanting to clutter it up, but it just looks sad and bare and dark.

  • not feeling this one, at all. apartment has nice bones (ie. the floors) but looks like a construction site.

  • the architecture in this space is beautiful and the floors are as well, but that is about all that this space has going for it. it looks as if someone moved out and the apartment is waiting for it’s new tenants to move in and decorate it. it actually is quiet depressing, sorry, i’m just not feeling this sneak peek.

  • Moroccan zelliges would look great in the bathroom. I love this place because it looks both lived in and creative.

  • What a fantastic flat. I don’t think it’s the lack of things on the walls that leaves me a little cold on the decor here. I think it’s the stuff piled all around the edges of all the rooms. It makes it look like it’s in the moving stages – in or out. Maybe it would feel different in person.

  • This is one of the most refreshing sneak peeks I’ve seen to date! I’ve always wonder what these sneak peeks would look like if they just took pictures as is, not after they spent too much time spiffing it up and removing clutter or any real evidence of people living there!


  • The apartment itself seems to be gorgeous, with those floors, fireplace and the big windows.
    Regarding the decoration, well, it’s not my type at all.

  • i agree. one of the best. wonderfully unassuming–and unamerican in its freedom from stuff, stuff, stuff

  • do not feel this at all. feels too dark, too cold – it is hard to believe kids live here.

    • frances

      i think some phrasing was lost in the translation from french to english. i’m going back in now to check on re-wording things.


  • Ah … hah … my dream is always to be able to hang those delicious Spanish ham in the kitchen. I wonder how long will take you finish it?

  • I love the mood of this place. It does feel a bit ascetic, but it doesn’t bother me a bit. I only can imagine how those high ceilings, tall windows, and beautiful warm floors transform when the natural light gets in.

  • Sorry friends, but this is one of the most depressing apartments I’ve ever seen. It’s messy, and just…sad. All that (bad shade of) grey and dead wood and rusted metal objects. Sheesh! I feel like I need to find these people and give them a hug.

    • anna

      just a quick note- all wood you see in homes is “dead”. i understand not liking floors that aren’t shiny and new looking, but these floors aren’t any more “dead” than any others ;)


  • What color gray is that in the bedroom? I’ve been looking for a not-blue, true-gray and that’s perfect!

  • Absolutely hands down my favorite sneak peek ever. To the commenters who are claiming that it doesn’t look “lived in”: I think maybe you’re mixing up “lived in” with “painstakingly arranged”. Of course it’s wonderfully “lived in” – a bit messy, a bit unfinished. I love it. All that space – on the floor – on the walls – is so chic, so elegant… so confident. It’s perfection. So inspiring.

  • i’m a little on the fence about this one. it feels a little like “ha! we have such great architecture we don’t even have to try to decorate.” however, that might just be jealousy talking since i have no architectural detail or history at all where i live.

  • This home has amazing floors and details. I feel that as far as decor… everyone has to do what works for them. I do love the kitchen…so french!

  • This apartment has such potential. Beautiful architecture! But, I don’t get their style at all. I understand not wanting to have clutter, but this look is ridiculous (at least to me). It looks as tho the family fled from the apartment and left behind either what they couldn’t take or just didn’t love enough to take with them. Sad ) :

  • I don’t often comment, but oh man. Yes – it’s good to see lived in, but oh…it feels so unloved and half done…and such a beautiful, beautiful apartment. Here in Tokyo, I dream of such space and such windows. The other Paris apartment sneak peek is so so much nicer, yet not overstuffed or overdone.

  • Hahah – P.S. – when I saw the first pic, I thought it was going to be a before and after… :P

  • Agreed…the architecture is beautiful. The interior design, however, is lazy & lacking. It could be spectacular and deserves such. Not my favorite either.

  • When I was looking at these images, even before reaching the comments I thought, “Wow, this is going to polarize the readership,” and it turns out I was right. Across the board people seem to love it or completely hate it.

    I think the real issue is that the space is a lot less self consciously cutesy than is typical on the site, and good riddance as far as my personal taste is concerned (though there is certainly a place for cutesy, and many of the houses presented here do it about as well as possible). On the other hand, this apartment is self consciously “not-cutesy,” and in this way seems just as precious. The comments reaction is more an issue of audience than anything particular to the apartment — perhaps this would have been a more natural fit on The Selby.

    I have to admit I’m sort of unmoved by this space, but I don’t feel like it really needs anything. It seems very pure in concept, if a little rigorous in its sloppiness. I think there’s some serious post-rationalizing going on with the text — I totally buy not hanging the rusted panels in the dining room (and even for the stated reason), but later, “We turned the frames around to give the room a monastic feel,” smacks of BS. This is the one instance that seems to speak more to just having unpacked and leaning works glass-to-the-wall to avoid a break.

    This is way, way to long, but props for Comptoir; my friend Anna and I followed the line closely for quite some time. Really admire the work. Pretty apartment.

  • Again, another 3/4’s empty French apt. Yes, the architectural details are lovely but otherwise it’s bleak and empty. French does not always = chic.

  • Such restraint. I would never be able to stop myself from trying to “improve” upon such a naturally beautiful space. It’s like a supermodel before she puts on her makeup. I guess the fact that the owners are very busy helps keep the styling/rearranging/painting to a bare minimum.

  • the architecture of the apartement is wonderful, I also love the floor. But for me it feels like not quite lived in or just in the process of moving and that makes it kind of cold for my taste.

  • It’s so so cold…
    Sorry but I couldnt imagine live in such appartment.
    It seems empty of furnitures but above all, empty of life. sad

  • Obviously, the openness and lack of “decoration” will be appreciated according to one’s personal aesthetics. Personally, I kind of like it. But what feels odd, as I look at the photos, is that I have this nagging question as to whether the apartment owners are almost making of fun of design*sponge by submitting these photos. Good or bad, there does not seem to be a lot of “design” in terms of intentional visual arrangement. It has the feeling of a sly critique of those of us who are fans of interior design. Such a critique may be valid, but it’s a strange thing to encounter on a design-devoted site.

    • i have to say, i am LOVING the discussion happening under this post. and thank you to most everyone for keeping their comments in a civil tone.

      90% of the homes we run in this column are homes we’ve sought out- and this is one of them (you wouldn’t believe the amount of emails anne and amy send out each week looking for great homes). i’m a big fan of atypyk, so anne and i were curious to see what their home looked like. when we got the images in, there was definitely a discussion between our team about whether or not this would go over well with readers.

      while this space lacks a lot of the ornamental decoration we tend to favor in home tours, something about the austere minimalism really grabbed me. i’m a fan of interiors that feel weathered and romantic, and for me, this space fills that niche. it may borderline on “empty”, but the floors and patina on the walls really grabbed me as having so much character.

      that said, i can see how people don’t enjoy this as much as other homes. it’s a definite 180 from what we normally post- but i was really curious to see if any portion of the audience would respond to this the way that i did, and i was glad to see that some did.

      we obviously won’t focus on homes like this as a regular feature, but i think sometimes it’s nice to see a home where the owners felt no need to “add” to the existing architecture.

      i’m disappointed in people who’ve felt the need to read into this that these people are somehow sad or lonely or lacking creativity- if you look at their professional work you’ll see that they’re certainly not lacking any of those traits. but the reason i love looking into artists homes is to see a) do they surround themselves with their own work or other pieces of inspiration or b) do they choose to let their space be a visual respite from the inspiration and work they must constantly be around in their dayjobs. in this case, it’s the latter. and i love that.

      in understand its not for everyone, but i thank everyone for having a discussion about this, rather than completely devolving into a “i hate this!!” comment rant ;)


      • Hi, what a great post, even after all those years, I ask the same as Solrun does here in the comments, who is the artist of the poster (matador)? I am currently in Paris and would love to purchase it if possible.
        Thanx, Mariella

  • ok it’s Paris and… doesn’t mean it’s a great flat ! No, I don’t like it, it’s empty, the few furnitures is not even nice. Ohhh 1st time I’m desapointed with a Design Sponge’ prensentation :( :)
    Hello from Geneva/Switzerland

    • corrine

      no one’s saying “it’s paris, so it’s good”. just wanted to clarify. it just happens to be in paris ;)


      • Hello Grace, could you please tell me where the Matador poster can be bought, or who makes it?


  • I’m finding the mixed reviews on this sneak peak very interesting. I for one think this is one of my favourites, I like the dull greys and the patina of the floors and rusted metal frames etc. I think it might just be the difference between American and European taste. We in Britain tend not to like interiors that are too ‘perfect’, preferring a slightly more lived in aesthetic, my clients are always asking me for ‘worn, lived in’ fabrics. As someone who works in the interior design field in London, I find the garish colours that are often used in ‘sneak peaks’ and ‘before and after’ a little too harsh compared to the muddier, dirtier colours we use over here. We would never use ‘kelly green’ or what we call ‘American green’ for example, it just doesn’t suit the milky light here and we find it far too garish. To each his own.

  • I love the matador poster (& the way it’s attached)! A lovely apartment, a city I’d love to see sometime. Thanks for posting.

  • I just want to say thanks to Grace and her team for making Sneak Peek Monday a day I look forward to. I love looking at all the homes that are featured…even if they are or are not my taste or style…I always LOVE looking at the different things people choose to do with their space. Also, how kind of this family to open up their home to all of us!

  • Love the floors! I’m glad that they saved them. And I love the mix of the modern and old–it’s always an great eclectic look when done right.

  • Although this is not my style at all, I can appreciate the ascetic beauty of it.
    I wonder do though, how such a very grey and seemingly dark space would psychologically impact children?
    But perhaps I’m just projecting.

  • Grace: ‘we obviously won’t focus on homes like this as a regular feature’
    Possibly the most exciting sneak peek yet, purely for the comments it has been generating, and more importantly for the questions it asks about the nature of ‘home’. We each have our own history, prejudice, preference, and our responses to someone else’s home reveal our preconceptions. Should home be a mausoleum of memories, gathered over time, reassuringly present and on exhibit to reassert our identity? Can a home which does not use every inch of space to constantly remind of ‘who we are’ challenge us to shape the future afresh every day? Can this website overstep the boundary of offering beautiful decorating ideas? This sneak peek is a welcome challenge to rethink the preconception that ‘home’ must be a mirror image reflection of oneself. Home is also a process, in flux, like a personality. It could be said that personal identity can be strong enough to simply not need an ordered, reassuring, cosy, colourful place to call home, and that some personalities thrive in such an environment. I hope the editors of sneak peek continue to offer us snippets like these, which offer real possibility for thought. Keep it up.

  • I am one of the few people in the middle on this one. It reminds me a bit of something Abigail Ahern would do but without the attention to detail. The floors are amazing and the “bones” of the apartment are great. I think one reason I like it is that because it is so “undone,” I can imagine moving in and putting my stamp on it. The combination of stark walls and cluttered floors is weird, though. The whole thing does seem a little soulless, although I am sure that is not the case in real life.

  • I don’t get all the comments about a lack of clutter. I see it everywhere. On the coffee table, piled up on the floor next to the sofa, next to the fireplace…

    While there are few things I like here, it largely feels transient to me. I can’t imagine living somewhere for two years that still looks like you just moved in.

    I look to these house tours for ideas and inspiration to use in my space. None of that here.

  • Love the lack of things on the walls. My house is full of the pictures people have given me but if you don’t have art you love than why put any art at all. Living surrounded by kids I also love an apartement with children that has not been taken over by children. Everything in a house does not have to revolve around the children..I am a teacher, they will adapt and find their own entertainement. A lot of the child centered decorating feels forced and commercial to me anyway. Love the gray colors, love the floors.

  • One of my least favorite sneak peaks. Lack of color and the walls are so empty. I don’t like the rusted frames in the dining room, something more colorful is what this dining room needs. And the boxes on the floor next to the couch in the living room? Not really stylish.
    As a non French also living in Paris I see many apartments like these here – lacking color, except for black, brown, white and grey. The apartment is great though and has lots of possibilities.

  • I’ve been trying to convince my boyfriend we need theater seats and a chalkboard.


  • After reading all the comments in here and looking back to the photos I would like to add: I was so taken by the space and features that i didn’t realised about the decor so much. If I had this flat I would do so much with it, it currently look as it is a work in process and that is what probably is as this photos were taken just as this family moved in. But knowing their clothing line, very simple and neutral I can see how this flat and decor match their creative work.
    I like it anyway…

  • I too have read all the comments and think that one of the main reasons people out there want to clutter up this apt and/ or find it dark and gloomy is simply a cultural difference. I have lived on both sides of the pond ( aka the Atlantic). I was born in Europe & lived there for many, many years. However I am an American citizen and now live in NY ( not that anyone cares) and European living (at least for now- still) is much more about quality rather than quantity. This includes quality of the light,( which is AMAZING in Paris), the paint , the age of the floor, the moldings , the details etc., etc. I think the apt is STUNNING; it remains understated and chic and screams intelligence. Sadly ( don’t shoot me) if an average American would get their hands on this place the only thing one would notice is the incredible ability to find, buy and display ( not always so well either) mounds of useless trash and sadly if new then usually made from some kind of hideous petroleum based product. The French are not Walmart shoppers, nor do they base their successes and failures in life on which sale they were able to attend or what 20% off coupon they could use!!! This goes for the rest of Europe too ( though sadly Britain has lost it’s stiff upper lip and seems to be looking more like mini America land) And for all of you out there who might feel like attacking me now.. I like the States very much. I have a successful business here and there is no other Nation in the world that will pull out the wallet faster when someone or another country asks for help. The united states should be known for their generosity if anything. Love Design Sponge too!! Fabulous Stuff.

  • Hi I hope someone will see my comment, in the last picture is a poster from a african artist, who is it? I have seen this poster many times before, where can I buy it? Many thanks, Solrun.

  • I love the mood of this place. It does feel a bit ascetic, but it doesn’t bother me a bit. I only can imagine how those high ceilings, tall windows, and beautiful warm floors transform when the natural light gets in.

  • I love that it is calm – and relaxed. Many more minimal places are uptight.
    The US/EU discussions (it is nice how polite most people were & are being) are funny – are they the only styles of decor available?
    The most important thing about a home is that it is how the people who live there want it, & this seems to be the case.
    There is no right way to do things, even if everyone you know does it the same way. This has inspired me to concentrate a bit more on space, and continues my fascination with darker interior colours, which many people claim cannot be done with the strength of light here in Melbourne (Australia) –