When Le Pigalle opened in 2015, around the corner from my old apartment in Montmartre, it instantly became my hangout. Many urban hotels aim for cult status with locals. This one delivered precisely because it didn’t—and still doesn’t—feel like a hotel. The lobby, with its terrazzo floor, functions more like a giant café, with sober red velvet banquettes, bentwood chairs, and really good espresso and natural wine. Near the front door, bathed in daylight (when there is any in Paris), is an oversized deep-brown marble table surrounded by mismatched vintage chairs that say, I’m good for meetings if you must. Or for cruising the branding consultants and graphic designers squeaking past in interesting sneakers if you like. “We wanted people to come in and say, ‘Wait, there are rooms upstairs?’ ” says Hugo Sauzay, 34, one half of Festen, the interior design team that gave Le Pigalle the feeling that
Tudor-style bungalow homes from the 1940s with small kitchens and disjointed flows are fairly common in northeast Portland, and the one that JHL Design was hired to renovate for a family of three was no different. But rather than seeing problems, the Portland-based interior design firm saw possibilities: original mahogany woodwork, original hardwood doors, and small details like intact picture rails in the formal living spaces. So, together with Thesis Studio Architecture, the team worked out a plan that added only 150 square feet to the footprint—but through what JHL Design principal Holly Freres calls “a rearrangement of space” made the home feel significantly larger.
The first step was to reconfigure the entire main floor, which contained a narrow kitchen and two bedrooms at the back of the house. The bedrooms, Freres explains, “monopolized access to the private,