Once an uninhabited and dirty attic space, Villa Saint-Michel was transformed by Nicolas Bossard into a bright, compact and fluid space.
Built in 1880, this apartment near Montmatre Cemetry in Paris had been abandoned and left to waste away, however the structure and framing was still strong.
Architect Nicholas Bossard started by reinforcing and modifying the structure in order to create a staircase and an attic space alongside a separation wall to allow for a private kitchen, accessed through a brightly painted high yellow arch with integrated storage. Beams are exposed along the ceiling, which when combined with the arch way provides instant character.
In the kitchen, the contrast between the white beams and the Burgundy stone with exposed bricks is a real feature! Bossard wanted to magnify the original wall by giving it a uniform base. It brings elegance and atmosphere to the room.
The kitchen is generous for an apartment of this size and includes a fridge, dishwasher, full oven, white cooktop, and lots of storage. The mirrored splash back cleverly creates a feeling of space.
The main living area brings together many of the key principles of small home design, light materials, soft edges and the use of mirrors combine to create a space that plays larger than its small footprint. The staircase has been designed to take up minimal space, doubling on itself and providing a sculptural point of interest to the living area.
Light materials, mirrors and a sculptural staircase create a breezy room
The bedroom and bathroom are upstairs. Both are able to fit in the small upstairs space as the client was happy with a compact bedroom. Light from both a window and a newly installed skylight allows plenty of natural light to enter and painted burgundy storage and an arched niche create continuity with the living area below.
A spacious dressing room has been created in a section of the wall in the bedroom. It offers storage while hiding the chimney flues.
The bathroom a spacious and minimalist room with marine echoes. The walk-in shower is separated by a partition that incorporates the beams of the original frame. The green tile is designed to evoke water-colour fish scales.
Taking abandoned, forgotten spaces and turning them into desirable and liveable homes is the core of what we at Never Too Small care most about. Bossard agrees,
“As our population is growing and the property price continues to grow in Paris, small footprint apartments offer an alternative for many people in terms of affordability. Architects have a role to play in this challenge, so these small spaces can be synonymous with high quality of life and experience!
Images by BCDF studio