Meet the 21st-century version of the romantic Paris garret. It belongs to a lucky young screenwriter, who was still a student when she moved in. And, thanks to Anki Linde and Pierre Saalburg, the husband-and-wife team behind LSL Architects, her 26-square meter (approximately 280-square-foot) space is a now compendium of inspired tight-living solutions.
“The apartment is in a four-story, 18th-century building in the buzzing heart of the Sixth Arrondissement, steps from Bon Marché,” reports Linde. “It was situated on two floors, but the top story was so cramped in height we decided to demolish it and create a new ‘floating’ mezzanine above the kitchen and living area, leaving a double-height space on either side.” The architects sectioned off this new bedroom loft with block-shaped storage cupboards that form a playful and practical barrier. They also introduced a postage-stamp kitchen built from a combination of Ikea and custom parts. And slotted in what just might be the world’s most charming dish cupboard.
Katrin Vierkant, courtesy of LSL Architects.
Kitchen and Living Quarters Above: The front door opens to an all-in-one living space. Those floating white squares overhead are the backs of the double-duty dressing area cupboards that section off the new mezzanine. “The fact that you can see through the cabinets into the mezzanine creates a sense of volume and space,” says Linde. Above: The designers transformed an old bed into a sofa by draping it in a large Linen Tablecloth and pillows (including the Pollen Yellow Linen Cushion Cover) from Merci, which is currently holding a big sale. The long-haired sheepskin came from a brocante in Normandy. The exposed rafters support the mezzanine, and, like the floor and stair, are whitewashed to enhance the sense of space. Above: Tall, new wood-framed, double-glazed windows from Bignon were added at each end of the room. The tiny kitchen is built into a niche next to the entry: “Distinct spaces blending in with each other,” says Linde. A closet on the same wall provides the apartment’s full-size hanging storage. The Acapulco Chair is from Made in Design (find more in 10 Easy Pieces). Above: The zinc-topped vintage dining table is paired with a School Bench and stacking stools from vintage industrial furniture shop Five Francs. Most of the lights, including the Warehouse Pendant over the table and the kitchen’s Porcelain Sconces, are from Zangra. The square light switches are Jung’s LS 990 design available in 63 Le Corbusier colors. Above: The kitchen is 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) from end to end and has an under-the-counter fridge. The architects paired Ikea staples—cabinet frames, stainless steel Grevsta doors, and a white sink and faucet—with a custom plywood counter hand painted with waterproof “parking floor paint.” They made the leather pulls themselves from an old belt (we’ve done this, too; see DIY: Vintage Belt as Cabinet Pull and 10 Easy Pieces: Leather Cabinet Hardware.) The overhead cabinet doors are painted MDF: “The shelves are wall-hung, but we left space around the doors, so it looks like they’re floating.”
Above: An inset vaisselier (cupboard) with decorative cutouts on the door holds tableware—and carries on the architects’ theme of floating squares and rectangles that lend the space lightness. The slim cast-iron radiator is the Neo Georgian from Paladin of England. Bedroom Mezzanine Above: A ladder-like tapered stair leads to the sleeping loft. Above: Under the eaves, the bed is separated from the a dressing area/TV lounge by a platform. The flokati-style shag rug matches the one in the living room and is from Ikea. Above: The dressing cabinets—which also serve as the mezzanine parapet—have handles made from an old belt and are fitted inside with shelves or hanging rails. The architects outfitted the new metal-framed, double-glazed skylight from Cast P.M.R. with a clever, DIY felt blind.
Above: Idea to steal: To keep out the light when sleeping, the owner rolls down the felt shade and snaps the leather straps in place at the bottom of the window.
Floor Plans Above: The living room and kitchen floor plan. The new bathroom is tucked opposite the mezzanine stair. Above: The mezzanine is a combination sleeping loft, dressing area, and lounge.
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