Room Tour: An Awkwardly Shaped Living Space is Cleverly Reworked
This family spent 10 years in a poorly configured apartment until professionals offered a bespoke solution
After seeing the agency Atmosphères Design’s expertise in transforming tricky layouts in several stories on Houzz, they contacted interior designers Patricia Coignard and Audrey Pacaud. Their help would be life-changing.
Who lives here? A couple with two teenagers
Location Paris, France
Property An apartment built about 20 years ago, located on the third and fourth floors overlooking the street and garden
Project duration 2021 to 2022
Size 55 sq m
Interior designers Patricia Coignard and Audrey Pacaud of Atmosphères Design
Budget €115,000 (around £101,500)
Photos by BCDF Studio
Two blocks containing service ducts, an entrance cupboard and a toilet were the main elements. Aside from a structural nib wall by the kitchen, there were no partitions against which to place furniture.
Finishes also showed signs of significant wear, such as the cracked flooring and waxed-concrete island.
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Although a softer colour palette – light-coloured wood, white and pale grey – was chosen for the living area, the designers suggested opting for bolder tones in the entrance to create a visual separation.
“We paired an anthracite unit with metallic champagne paint to mimic the strong presence of the aluminium on the room’s door frames,” Audrey Pacaud says. “We also painted the ceiling in Gris Plomb by Ressource for a box effect.”
Rotated by 90 degrees, the island frames the bench seat with shoe storage inside. The other side also has a breakfast bar. “It was a specific request from the owner, who wanted a bar area/breakfast nook with a high table,” Patricia says.
To use the space in the best way possible, the U shape was preserved and finished with an island that extends into the bench seat. The designers doubled the amount of storage, as some units go up to the ceiling and the lower cabinets now have drawers installed for even more space.
“The passageways are still convenient: 107cm along the window and 87cm across the kitchen,” Audrey says.
“A pale tone was chosen to add light, whereas the wooden [units] above exude warmth,” Patricia says. She decided to bring in the wood to complement the long-standing wood panels between the windows, which were kept and restored.
Find all you need to know about starting a kitchen renovation in our planning section.
“The Mondrian-style aluminium posts match those on the existing windows,” Patricia says. “We provided a fairly high frame to integrate a splashback and limit views of the kitchen from the living room.”
A Bora induction hob with an integrated extractor fan was installed to solve the issue of the old, unattractive hood. This appealing and convenient solution circumvents the problem of mounting an overhead hood.
“We wanted this curved shape to highlight this zone and counterbalance the straight lines all over this modern property,” Patrica says. “To achieve this, Audrey [and I] had to plan the kitchen installation ahead. It was completed at the very end during a dedicated project meeting. We had to draw the actual size of the kitchen blocks on the floor, so we could place the tiles in advance and not make mistakes in the final result. A brass section marks the transition between the two flooring textures for a perfect finish.”
“We replaced them with very light curtains and added three double blackout curtain sections, all made to measure by our upholsterer with quality textiles. You can close one or more sections when it’s sunny,” she continues. “The family love films, so [this means] they can also watch during the daytime.”
The new cabinetry – comprising the TV area, office and storage – was made to fit comfortably under the beam on the left to reach the floor-to-ceiling window and give the impression that the room had been extended.
The L-shaped sofa was originally a very dark grey, which darkened the living room. It was replaced by a premium model made in Italy.
The owner wanted a working space that could be tucked away in the evening. This integrated desk does the trick nicely. “We added sockets for the computer and phone and included a wooden shelf and metal inserts to store letters,” Patricia says.
As philosopher Gaston Bachelard once said, “Our home is our corner of the world.”
The lesson is clear: don’t wait until a badly configured property disrupts your day-to-day life before consulting a design professional.
Which ideas would you take away from this clever renovation? Share your thoughts in the Comments.