LOVE at first SIGHT
Instead of boy meets girl, this is a story about architect
meets architect and... their first home together.
The art of mixing
The dresser, the mirror, the tray, vase and lamp are from an antique shop. The chairs (next page) are from Ikea.
Anna and Fran are architects and we have been invited to see the house that is the first that they have worked on together. “It’s very much ours!”, they tell us. And, without a doubt, they feel it. Although now it is cool and bright, it is a complete transformation from what is was before. Anna recalls “my mother found the house about 5 years ago and we bought it and determined to restore it. It had incipient beauty with two terraces and windows with shutters, but it was derelict and had no power, water or indeed internal staircases. It was total chaos”. Fortunately, the two of them had dedication and great illusion for the project. As Fran explains, “we designed and rebuilt the loft reinforcing the entire decking and we greatly enlarged it. We added beams and we opened the attic windows. We recovered the windows that open onto the terrace as well as the interior doors from an old house.” Fran is particularly pleased with how the new staircase and the top floor has been integrated into the existing structure of the house. “It was worth all the effort - the result is that our house feels as though it has always been like this, which I feel is an achievement given what we started with!” he says with a sigh of relief.
Anna has turned both terraces into peaceful havens, and she has really turned them into additional rooms, which the couple use a lot. As well as the all weather sofas and a lounger, she has placed a coffee table and a side table in one to give the impression of a living area. In the other, she has transformed it into a relaxed dining area. She has cleverly made use of the existing structures, and has begun planting trees and shrubs that will gradually turn these areas into truly atmospheric terraces.
They painted the whole house a warm white and they decided on a decoration “that would transmit freshness, with lots of light and green outside.” The style is relaxed, with modern sofas but with the contrast of some antique pieces dotted around. The high beamed ceilings, also painted white, add to the feeling of space and peace. The contrast with the washed wood flooring is striking, and the house evokes a feeling of tranquility. “We really wanted the house to be a place where we could unwind and for it not to be some kind of show house” says Fran.
e really wanted the house to be a place where we could unwind and for it not to be some kind of
What is their favourite room? Fran speaks for both of them - “We think that it has to be the kitchen. We initially wanted an open kitchen, but we were worried about the fumes and those kitchen smells! So we came up with the solution of the hatches that we can open or close, according to the occasion. Well, actually, thinking about it, we also love the terraces, and the staircase ... in fact we just love the whole thing!” The kitchen is a real working kitchen, and the bar stools in front of the hatches allow the couple to have a more relaxed meal instead of the formal meals on the terrace. The house is functional and yet elegant and its versatility is what the couple really respect. Although this first project together has been a success, the couple are not planning another restoration for a while - “we will concentrate on the day jobs” laughs Anna.
The lounger, next to the bookcase, is from Affari. The bookcase, the stairs and the new doors are the work of a local carpenter.
The attic had no windows and so the architects decided to create a second floor with windows opening into the attic and the new bathroom.
The roof’s tongue and groove integrated drawer units were made by a local carpenter.