The light house

In­ter­nal win­dows and care­fully placed mir­rors make this home ap­pear big­ger and brighter

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

How to make your home feel big­ger and lighter us­ing sky­lights and mir­rors

When ar­chi­tects Is­abelle Juy-lott and Matthieu Lott pur­chased this flat in the heart of Paris, its 35-square-me­tre floor­plan suited them per­fectly. How­ever, the ar­rival of two chil­dren – Arsene (now eight) and May (five months) – made things a bit too cramped. The cou­ple pur­chased the at­tic and a fur­ther small space above the build­ing’s com­mu­nal stair­case to ac­com­mo­date the new mem­bers of the fam­ily. To lighten the rooms, they built a glazed sec­tion into the floor of the sec­ond storey and placed mir­rors op­po­site win­dows to bounce light around. Still only 90 square me­tres, this home now gives the im­pres­sion of be­ing much big­ger.

ED

This apart­ment in the Rive Gauche, south Paris, mea­sures only 35 square me­tres, but it makes up in in­di­vid­u­al­ity what it lacks in size. Ar­chi­tect Rodolphe Par­ente de­signed the in­te­rior for a 38-year-old prac­tic­ing Bud­dhist, who lives alone, and the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind it is as idio­syn­cratic as the space it­self. ‘I was asked to cre­ate a place evoca­tive of the danc­ing dwarf’s red room in the TV se­ries Twin Peaks,’ he says. ‘The owner is a huge fan of David Lynch and wanted an emo­tional and vi­brant in­te­rior.’

Sit­u­ated on the sixth floor of a tra­di­tional build­ing, the apart­ment is a spec­ta­cle of red floors, con­crete walls and glim­mer­ing brass that re­places the orig­i­nal pe­riod mould­ings, par­quet and brick. ‘Be­fore the ren­o­va­tion, this space was a very typ­i­cal Parisian flat, and we com­pletely changed the at­mos­phere,’ says Rodolphe.

The apart­ment is sep­a­rated into two dis­tinct ar­eas – the first com­prises the kitchen and liv­ing room, and the sec­ond, the bed­room. A small bath­room di­vides the two, act­ing as a vis­ual de­mar­ca­tion be­tween pri­vate and pub­lic spa­ces.

The un­usual mix of ma­te­ri­als were key to the suc­cess of this Par­ente’s de­sign. The shiny, wet-look red ma­hogany floor, de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with French wood floor­ing ex­pert Os­car Ono, ➤

‘WE AP­PLIED TWO COATS OF COLOUR TO THE WOOD TO CRE­ATE THE IN­TENSE RED SHADE, THEN ADDED A SHINY RESIN LAYER FOR A SU­PER-GLOSSY EF­FECT – I WANTED A WET-LOOK FLOOR’

runs through­out the space and is off­set by the stain­less-steel bath­room and brass fur­ni­ture. The apart­ment also makes ex­ten­sive use of con­crete – as a fin­ish­ing coat over the walls and ceil­ing, and also for the book­shelves and the doors of the kitchen units. The raw­ness of the ma­te­rial pro­vides a vivid con­trast to the metal ac­cents and pol­ished floor. ‘I like to mix tra­di­tional and mod­est ma­te­ri­als with pre­cious de­tails, and to com­bine glossy and matt or pat­terned and min­i­mal fin­ishes,’ says Rodolphe.

The home­owner’s re­quire­ment for a large book­case – dif­fi­cult to ac­com­mo­date in such a small space – was achieved by in­stalling a float­ing con­crete shelv­ing unit that is part ar­chi­tec­tural state­ment, part sculp­ture. Build­ing the shelv­ing was a tech­ni­cal chal­lenge as the empty book­shelves alone weigh more than a tonne – they are sup­ported by an in­vis­i­ble struc­ture built into the wall. This fea­ture is not the only func­tional el­e­ment in this home that makes an un­ex­pected state­ment. The boxed-out pil­lar in the kitchen, which con­ceals elec­tri­cal wires, has been clad in brass, turn­ing a ne­ces­sity into a fo­cal point. It’s now one of the first things you no­tice when you step in­side. ‘I de­signed it to catch the light – it’s like a lit­tle ray of sun­shine,’ says Rodolphe. rodolphe­p­ar­ente.com

ED

‘I WAS ASKED TO CRE­ATE A PLACE EVOCA­TIVE OF THE DANC­ING DWARF’S RED ROOM IN THE TV SE­RIES TWIN PEAKS. THE OWNER IS A HUGE FAN OF DAVID LYNCH’

This pil­lar, which con­ceals wiring, has been clad in re­flec­tive brass, help­ing to bounce light around the apart­ment The green mar­ble and brass ta­ble, de­signed by ar­chi­tect Rodolphe Par­ente, was in­spired by the ring worn by the dwarf in Twin Peaks. The arm­chairs are 1960s de­signs by Gae Au­lenti for Prisunic (try 1st Dibs). The floor light is also a vin­tage piece, by An­drée Put­man Stock­ist de­tails on p185

Built into the wall to max­imise floor space, the float­ing con­crete book­case weighs over one tonne

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