A tour around a stylish flat where classic features meet bold colours
White hinged doors, high ceilings, and dramatic wall paint colours — this is how the elegant flat of Faiza Bouzenoune, CMO of Convidera GmbH, looks like. In 2017, we had the pleasure to get an inside look into her stylish loft apartment. She now lives in a new personalised space with her partner.
Here, she has created an elegant and unique oasis of well-being where every detail, from the colour palette of the walls and sockets to the conveniently located cooking island, was thoroughly thought out.
Let's find out what inspired the design of her new home.
“When we saw the opportunity to move to this pre-war jewel in the same neighbourhood, we naturally could not resist”.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: Dear Faiza, we visited you back in 2017 in your old home, a modern loft apartment in the Cologne's Südstadt. You now live in a beautiful old building. What has changed in your living situation?
Faiza: I very much enjoyed my first home story with the G-Pulse Team. A lot has changed since we last talked. My partner and I moved together early this year, which motivated us to explore new options in the city.
I have always loved the freedom and the creativity that come with living in lofts, but we were excited to start afresh and design our own living space together. I have always been in awe of the Cologne classic buildings as they remind me of the Haussmannian architecture in Paris. Naturally, when we saw the opportunity to move to this pre-war gem in the same neighbourhood, we could not resist.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: Your furnishing style has also evolved. Dark walls, coloured accents, velvet: What inspired you and how would you describe your own style?
Faiza: When you move from a 200 m2 industrial open space to a compartmentalized 5-room flat in an old building, you know you will have to rethink a few things. For both of us, less has always been more and timelessness more important than any passing trend.
We favour honest and noble materials, functional details, minimalistic lines, and visual harmony. Our new home still has that contemporary touch with the same blend of strong classic pieces. But you are right: The overall atmosphere has changed as it is now a reflection of who we are as a couple. The flat has a truly beautiful aura—as most old buildings do. We decided to flatter its architectural constitution by rethinking our colour palette and throwing some marble and velvet elements into the mix to give it more warmth.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: We did notice the rich colours you used for your various rooms. Can you tell us something about your colour concept?
Faiza: Absolutely. We made the bold decision to move away from white and use a distinctive but timeless palette of deep paint colours to highlight the elegant features of the flat. We picked dramatic hues with blue, grey, and green undertones from Farrow & Ball that harmonize well: Hague Blue, Down Pipe, Green Card, and De Nimes.
We wanted to give each room a personality and use colours that support their functional purpose as well. The dark Hague Blue of the bedroom is a perfect sleep ignitor. The daring Down Pipe grey in the living room works as a fabulous canvas to our art and designer pieces, and in the bathrooms for a dramatic effect. For the open kitchen, we picked Card Room, a masculine and contemporary grey green that contrasts with the naturally cool stone floor. With hindsight, it was a bold move, but we are quite happy with the overall effect.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: We already know from our last visit that you have some selected design classics that are very important to you. Has something new moved in in the meantime that has become a favourite?
Faiza: I inherited from my partner a gorgeous wooden sideboard from a Dutch Designer:
A very simple and graphic piece of furniture which I love. We decided to invest in only 2 key pieces this year: A new couch and a few coffee tables. We immediately fell in love with a modular velvet green couch designed by Edward Van Vliet and some Scandinavian black marble side tables. These were the first pieces we purchased jointly as a couple and for that reason, they will always have a special place in our heart.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: In which room do you spend most of your time?
Faiza: The kitchen grew into my most used space in the past 7 months, despite my poor cooking skills.
I like its central-hub location within the flat, its spacious counter which I turn into an office space whenever I work from home, and the strategic promiscuity to the fridge, the teapot, the door communication system, and the terrace.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: Switches and sockets from the Gira E2 series were already installed in your apartment. You have replaced some of them with the Gira Esprit Linoleum design line. Why this line? What do you like so much about it?
Faiza: Believe it or not, I paid attention to the switches and sockets when I first visited this flat. This is how detail-obsessed I can be. I was relieved to recognize Gira as I have been a loyal fan of the brand’s quality and design edginess for over a decade. All the rooms were already equipped with the Gira white E2 series, which in the larger spaces worked beautifully with the elegance of the white French doors and disproportionately large white window frames.
But in the more private sections of the flat, the dramatic colours of the walls called for a more subtle choice. I wanted a style with a clear design and natural materials that blend well in the contemporary interior. The Gira Esprit Linoleum-Plywood design line was the obvious choice really. I love the fact that I could find the exact hues to match the bold colours of my bedroom and bathroom walls (The Gira Esprit Linoleum-Plywood Navy and The Gira Esprit Linoleum-Plywood Anthracite). The natural wood frame is reminiscent of the wooden flooring which gives a feeling of harmony to the rooms. It is the little details like these that really make the difference to me.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: You control music via Alexa. Are you planning to install more smart technology?
Faiza: Using Alexa for various simple tasks proved fun and convenient. I certainly find smart technology and the comfort and convenience it brings fascinating and empowering. The idea of having a smart control unit I can use to adjust the lighting, blinds, stand-by switches, and room temperature with my smartphone is quite tempting. We are giving it some thoughts but have no concrete plans yet.
The G-Pulse Editorial Team: Anyone who loves interior knows that furnishing an apartment never ends. What else would you like to change or what ideas would you like to implement in the future?
Faiza: As a design enthusiast, I did not think I would easily say that, but I would not change a thing in the foreseeable future. My partner and I feel really connected to the flat as it is now, and we would like to enjoy it as much as we can without anticipating future changes. Having said that, I would not hesitate to consider acquiring some B&W photography artwork if the opportunity presented itself.
Do you like this pre-war stylish apartment? Would you be willing to use so much colour in your living space too? Let us know in the comments section below.