Visit the Colorful and Open Apartment of a Young Parisian Creative

pPortrait of Jonathan Wray seated on a Gaetano Pesce sofa circa 1990 and Julien Sebban. The curtains and carpet are by...

Portrait of Jonathan Wray seated on a Gaetano Pesce sofa circa 1990 and Julien Sebban. The curtains and carpet are by Uchronia. 

How does a young “it” architect on the Parisian scene weather a year of ups and downs? By getting creative, of course. Julien Sebban, age 27, is the founder of the creative collective Uchronia, where he has his fingers in everything from art to fashion to architecture and whatever might fall in between. Naturally, his home is not only a reflection of his interests but of a new and evolving approach to what it means to work. 

Located on the first floor of a classic Haussmannian building in Montmartre, Julien’s 1,011-square-foot apartment is anything but traditional. After returning to Paris from London about a year ago, Julien and his partner, Jonathan Wray, also a creative director, decided to completely rethink the classic Parisian floor plan. What was originally a traditional three-bedroom became one big room with six windows facing a beautiful garden.

The idea was to keep the majority of the apartment as the “public” areas, with the living room, office, library, showroom, dining room, and kitchen on one side and the private quarters on the other. “We now have just one big room of 70 square meters, which is unusual for Paris,” Julien explains. “We removed everything and separated the public areas from the private ones. We did a lot of work when we moved in, but kept the kitchen and bathroom in their original places.”

pThis is our comfort zone the showroom and the casual room. Its a place to read and have a drink says Julien. Its...

“This is our comfort zone, the showroom and the casual room. It’s a place to read and have a drink,” says Julien. “It’s colorful, funky, and playful, and at night it becomes a light show with all sorts of colored and shaped lights.” The sofa is by Gaetano Pesce and the lithography on the right is by artist Guy Yanai. The carpet, curtain, and coffee tables are by Uchronia, Wave. On the mantel is a vintage radio; the lamp to the right is IKEA Stranne. 

The entire space is full of Uchronia designs and productions. “My office is here and my showroom,” Julien continues. “All the pieces we develop, like furniture and lighting, are here and also a selection of curated items we offer, like purchases from the flea market.” And though the space is eclectic, there is one recurring visual inspiration: waves. Julien admits with a giggle, “I am obsessed with waves. This flat is an ode to the wave. The entire flat!”

Julien developed the concept for Uchronia while studying for his architecture degree at the Architectural Association in London. Uchronia means “a space without time,” and the creation of the studio involved personal studies on how sleep affects his life. Since completing his degree he designed Créatures, a 100% vegetarian restaurant with an urban garden on the roof of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. He is now getting ready to open another restaurant, this time in the Musée National d’Art Moderne, where he will also update the museum bookshop.

When asked about his dream projects, Julien pauses, and then almost whispers, “I want to do more public projects. I want to give access to a larger public and I want to design spaces which have an impact.” Big ambitions for a young architect, but at the rate he’s going, all is within reach.

pThe spot where the research and sourcing takes place is full of prototypes and lights for their various projects and...

The spot where the research and sourcing takes place is full of prototypes and lights for their various projects and clients. The chairs are by Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij.

pOur meeting and dining room where we host clients and friends for informal meetings is the centerpiece of the flat says...

“Our meeting and dining room where we host clients and friends for informal meetings is the centerpiece of the flat,” says Julien. The table is by Dirk Vander Kooij and the assorted chairs by Vander Kooij, Jean Royère, vintage, and a Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel armchair for Cassina. The curtain is Uchronia “Wave Falling Sun.” 

⚒ Do It Yourself

Don’t be shy. Mix and match different dining room chairs around the table. It makes the setting lively, fun, and a topic of conversation.

Mix it up. Take a cue from Julien and make up a carpet of different carpet samples—it’s an unusual way to treat the traditional floor covering. As most designers say, the room starts from the ground up!

Experiment. Try personalizing your bookcase. Julien painted his library bookcase to “uplift” it a bit. He suggests spray paint or gluing cork or plastic mirror on the shelves.

Stick it up. To add pops of color and design interest, put graphic works directly on the wall (not necessarily framed), as in Julien’s bedroom. 

pThe sofa by Gaetano Pesce is circa 1990 the globe stand by Dirk Vander Kooij. The carpet curtains and coffee tables are...

The sofa by Gaetano Pesce is circa 1990, the globe stand by Dirk Vander Kooij. The carpet, curtains, and coffee tables are all Uchronia designs, and the armchair is a prototype for a Japanese restaurant in Paris designed by Uchronia called Onii-San.

pThe bedroom faces a garden. On the walls are prints by Uchronia a Jean Royre chair an orange lamp in Murano glass and a...

The bedroom faces a garden. On the walls are prints by Uchronia, a Jean Royère chair, an orange lamp in Murano glass, and a small table by Dirk Vander Kooij.

🛍 Shop It Out

All products featured on Architectural Digest are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Garage shelves, $128, Amazon 

Barrel Chair, $3,347, Cassina

IKEA Stranne Lamp, Etsy 

pI found this piece at a garage sale in the Perche region of France. It was a unique piece made as a student work by an...

“I found this piece at a garage sale in the Perche region of France. It was a unique piece made as a student work by an unknown designer,” Julien says of the green cabinet. “This piece really sums up the spirit of Uchronia.” Other pieces in this area are a green armchair designed by Uchronia for the Paris museum project, vintage ceramics, Santa and Cole red lamp by André Ricard, carpet by Pedro da Costa Felgueiras, and Tahiti lamp by Ettore Sottsass. Vallauris ashtray, white ceramic prototype, and small table by Uchronia.

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