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10 Easy Pieces: Parisian Designers’ Exterior Paint Picks

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10 Easy Pieces: Parisian Designers’ Exterior Paint Picks

February 19, 2019

If you ask us, the Parisians have got it all. Their interiors are classique, gardens sympathique, and in a city where no building (save La Tour Eiffel) is built above 121 feet, the passing clouds cast pastel-bright shadows on Haussmann stone walls like no where else. Parisians do painterly color rather well, which is why we turned to 10 Paris-based designers to survey their favorite exterior paint palettes. While designers working in Paris are limited to original stone walls and the strict governance of façade color, many have found the perfect shade of black, cream, pale green, or pink to complement the architecture just right. Here’s the full lineup:

“Paris is a bit difficult for outside color because we’re not authorized do change many things,” says Dorothée Meilichzon of Chzon, the designer behind the famed Hotel Panache in the 9th arrondissement. “Stone should remain stone and for the storefronts we use a lot of dark-colored grays because we often must.” Working within these limitations, Meilichzon painted the exterior of Paris’ Hotel Panache in Gris Tokyo CHloading=
Above: “Paris is a bit difficult for outside color because we’re not authorized do change many things,” says Dorothée Meilichzon of Chzon, the designer behind the famed Hotel Panache in the 9th arrondissement. “Stone should remain stone and for the storefronts we use a lot of dark-colored grays because we often must.” Working within these limitations, Meilichzon painted the exterior of Paris’ Hotel Panache in Gris Tokyo CH1 1100 from Le Chromatic de Seigneurie.
At famed Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s Maison La Roche project in Paris, the façade is made up of his original palette restored by the Fondation Le Corbusier. Shown here are the colors Ivory (on the walls) and Cerulean Blue Medium (on the doors); they&#8
Above: At famed Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s Maison La Roche project in Paris, the façade is made up of his original palette restored by the Fondation Le Corbusier. Shown here are the colors Ivory (on the walls) and Cerulean Blue Medium (on the doors); they’re two of the 63 colors available through Les Couleurs Le Corbusier. Photograph by Alexa Hotz from 12 Design Lessons from Le Corbusier’s Maison La Roche in Paris.
A favorite of French designer Camille Hermand for exterior walls is Farrow & Ball&#8
Above: A favorite of French designer Camille Hermand for exterior walls is Farrow & Ball’s Strong White, which she likes to pair with Hague Blue, another F&B color.
“We love to work with pale pink in our interior projects and outside as well,” says Hélène Pinaud and Julien Schwartzmann of design firm Heju. “We used Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster on the façade of our latest shop project in Paris . It’s soft, bright, and matches the Haussmann stone perfectly.”
Above: “We love to work with pale pink in our interior projects and outside as well,” says Hélène Pinaud and Julien Schwartzmann of design firm Heju. “We used Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster on the façade of our latest shop project in Paris [Des Petits Hauts]. It’s soft, bright, and matches the Haussmann stone perfectly.”
Paris-based design firm Septembre works with Farrow & Ball colors most often. Says architect Lina Lagerstrom, the firm has recently used Castle Grey (shown on topmost façade; an archive F&B color but still available at Kent Blaxill), Pavilion Blue, and Hague Blue. Photograph of the Léon Surelevation project in Paris, France by David Foessel courtesy of Septembre.
Above: Paris-based design firm Septembre works with Farrow & Ball colors most often. Says architect Lina Lagerstrom, the firm has recently used Castle Grey (shown on topmost façade; an archive F&B color but still available at Kent Blaxill), Pavilion Blue, and Hague Blue. Photograph of the Léon Surelevation project in Paris, France by David Foessel courtesy of Septembre.
Both the designers as Septembre and Camille Hermand like Farrow & Ball&#8
Above: Both the designers as Septembre and Camille Hermand like Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue as an accent color for its green undertones.
“The subtle use of color on an exterior is a great way to give a house a contemporary edge—especially for traditional th-century Parisian architecture,” designer Camille Hermand explains. “I like to keep things simple and sophisticated with a soft shade of off-white for walls, and a contrasting rich shade of blue or gray on window frames and shutters. Farrow & Ball’s Off Black is a favorite of mine and works particularly well with the cast iron of balustrades.” Hermand also likes to pair Hague Blue with Strong White, two other Farrow & Ball favorites. (Seen here in a project by Hermand, walls are painted Strong White with Off Black shutters.)
Above: “The subtle use of color on an exterior is a great way to give a house a contemporary edge—especially for traditional 19th-century Parisian architecture,” designer Camille Hermand explains. “I like to keep things simple and sophisticated with a soft shade of off-white for walls, and a contrasting rich shade of blue or gray on window frames and shutters. Farrow & Ball’s Off Black is a favorite of mine and works particularly well with the cast iron of balustrades.” Hermand also likes to pair Hague Blue with Strong White, two other Farrow & Ball favorites. (Seen here in a project by Hermand, walls are painted Strong White with Off Black shutters.)
Tom des Fleurs, the fleurist at Bleuet Coquelicot near Paris’s Canal St. Martin, painted his storefront in a bright pastel shade of lavender-blue (his store name after all means “blue poppy”): No. 6 French Lavender from Designers Guild. Photography by Mimi Giboin from Shopper’s Diary: Bleuet Coquelicot in Paris.
Above: Tom des Fleurs, the fleurist at Bleuet Coquelicot near Paris’s Canal St. Martin, painted his storefront in a bright pastel shade of lavender-blue (his store name after all means “blue poppy”): No. 136 French Lavender from Designers Guild. Photography by Mimi Giboin from Shopper’s Diary: Bleuet Coquelicot in Paris.
Designer Philippe Harden prefers Off-Black for exterior trim and doors, as seen here on a project in Vaucresson, a western suburb of Paris.
Above: Designer Philippe Harden prefers Off-Black for exterior trim and doors, as seen here on a project in Vaucresson, a western suburb of Paris.
Most Parisian buildings were constructed of “a chalk stone: calcaire lutétien,” explains architect Anki Linde of Paris-based LSL Architects. “If there was not enough budget to build in stone, buildings were all built and painted with a lime paint to resemble the stone. Thus, all buildings, except a very few, come in a spectrum of whites, eggshell, and beige color, but porch colors can be almost any color. But I tend to link very dark, almost black, high-gloss nuances of blue, aubergine, and green for exteriors.” Linde’s favorite paints are from French brand Argile, designed by artist Pierre Bonnefille. (Shown here is Noir de Rome, an aubergine-inflected black from the line’s Terre collection.)
Above: Most Parisian buildings were constructed of “a chalk stone: calcaire lutétien,” explains architect Anki Linde of Paris-based LSL Architects. “If there was not enough budget to build in stone, buildings were all built and painted with a lime paint to resemble the stone. Thus, all buildings, except a very few, come in a spectrum of whites, eggshell, and beige color, but porch colors can be almost any color. But I tend to link very dark, almost black, high-gloss nuances of blue, aubergine, and green for exteriors.” Linde’s favorite paints are from French brand Argile, designed by artist Pierre Bonnefille. (Shown here is Noir de Rome, an aubergine-inflected black from the line’s Terre collection.)
French designer Marianne Evennou is an expert with color. The exterior paint on her own house (the terrace and garden walls) just outside of Paris is Ressource FC 0. “It reminds me of the barns in Sweden, but also the houses of Luis Barragan in Mexico; a joyful color, very present (but at the same time chic), and not ostentatious,” she says. Photograph by Gregory Timsit courtesy of Marianne Evennou.
Above: French designer Marianne Evennou is an expert with color. The exterior paint on her own house (the terrace and garden walls) just outside of Paris is Ressource FC 019. “It reminds me of the barns in Sweden, but also the houses of Luis Barragan in Mexico; a joyful color, very present (but at the same time chic), and not ostentatious,” she says. Photograph by Gregory Timsit courtesy of Marianne Evennou.

Looking for more on Paris garden and exterior styles? See our posts:

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