Houzz Tour: A New Layout Maximises a Home’s Stunning Views
The secret to this beautiful design? Incorporating the home’s breezy surroundings and gorgeous sightlines
Already residing in the neighbourhood and on the lookout for a larger space, they jumped at the chance to buy this two-storey, 1930s building, which the previous owners had recently renovated. They knew right away that its location near Valmer Park was their dream spot, but the renovation was not to their taste and they planned a complete revamp. They knew the perfect professional to take it on: interior designer Chrystel Laport, who had just bought their previous home.
Who lives here? A family with two teenagers
Location Marseilles, France
Size Three bedrooms and three bathrooms; 200 sq m
Date completed December 2018
Interior designer Chrystel Laporte of Un jour d’avril
Landscape architect Élodie Wehrlen of Côté Outdoor
Budget €200,000 (around £172,850)
Photos by Gabrielle Voinot
Since the terrace was the only place where they could easily eat outdoors, she reimagined it to make it more than just a dreary passageway. She put in a shady pergola, which echoes the graphic lines of the staircase. She also inserted a wide window with a low ledge, which looks out from the office.
The black railings foreshadow the plan for the window frames, most of which were left as they are for budgetary reasons, but will be replaced at some point in the future.
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However, the couple didn’t like the layout of the home, seen in this original floorplan: they weren’t fans of its cordoned-off entrance hall or the long living room, and were unimpressed that the door of the toilet opened into the dining room. As for the décor, which had been put together with a large dose of plasterboard and tile, they thought it lost the home’s soul.
“I also paid attention to the home and looked at its plan in 2D. I always worked from the existing space and examined its lines of sight to create a surprise,” she says. As a former graphic artist, she’s always attuned to the best framing. So, for example, the staircase was modified so it would not open out facing the entrance.
To make up for the cramped entrance, she sought to capture the gaze of anyone entering and draw it towards the back of the room.
The cooking area on the island is equipped with a large induction hob with a hood, and overlooks the living room and its east-facing window through a glass divider.
Chrystel designed the kitchen around cupboards from Leicht. The worktop is a compact laminate that matches the cupboards.
The feel in the kitchen is soft and minimal, contrasted by the high black metal stools and some of the appliances. This contemporary décor might have felt clinical, but it’s warmed by touches of wood and zellige tiles in the splashback. The hand-made Moroccan zelliges are also a reference to the Mediterranean culture that inundates the city.
Note that the door to what had previously been the washroom is now located opposite the glass divider. The little room was converted into a laundry and storeroom.
Lined in oak, the picture window frames this magnificent view like a painting. It’s become the focal point of this room and hasn’t failed to attract attention on social media.
“Since I published a photo of this spot for contemplation, people have asked me to reproduce it in many projects, but this has never succeeded as well as here, except in places where the view is, like here, extraordinary,” she says.
The large bathroom was reattached to the last room. To shorten the hallway that had crossed the width of this storey, the locations of the room and the bathroom were swapped.
Even the fixtures, the frame of the shower divider and the hollow join of the vanity unit were decorated in black to elegantly underscore these boxes on a blank page.