Upon first inspection of a Paris apartment I am always stricken by the use of light to create living space. Be it french doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, white walls, or sparse furnishings, it is safe to say (and I say this as someone who has lived in Paris…..the 9th arrondissement to be precise) taille ne compte pas, n’est-ce pas? The answer? No, not when you are the creative French firm Schemaa.
Their fresh renovation of an older, 322 sq.ft. apartment shows a certain je ne sais quoi in its elegant simplicity. Dominated by an alternating-tread staircase with included storage this storage-rich apartment features a number of space-saving elements.
Using some of the same elements as an earlier TTL post on “stair porn” the staircase in the Schemaa apartment is made up of varying sized cupboards allowing the rest of the room to look airy and minimal. The grain pattern of the steps and other furniture elements suggest birchwood it is more economical and therefore more feasible to say each of the built-in strips is a finished yellow pine. Of course the floor is something a either a bit more exotic or simply dressed up with a pickling or whitewash finish.
At the base of the stairs (or to the right…whichever you prefer) is a rather large mirror which serves to reflect the light coming in from the oversized windows. Such a detail gives the illusion of a much larger footprint to the room. To fill the floor or allow for dinner parties in the space a dining table is also featured in the apartment that disassembles when not in use and mounts securely on the wall.
To note is the use of orange as an accent color in all areas but most obviously as the kitchen backsplash (NOTE: the two images above are mirrored for example purposes). This orange theme extends to coat hooks, tiling, dining stools, and lighting.
Perhaps the remaining question is where the stairs actually lead to. As if stolen from a page in the Moulin Rouge screenplay they ascend to a quaint loft bedroom complete with star-gazing skylights. The original, rough-cut, wooden beams visible in the rafters lend that old world charm to the entire apartment paying homage to both the detailed craftsmanship still present in the apartment as well as the age of the structure.
Even though its size clearly makes this a tiny house or rather micro-apartment, it is also the use of space and the multi-function of built-in furniture items that make it a clever and practical home.
Could you live in such a minimal space?
Does the absence of clutter make you think the Schemaa space is cold?
Today I wanted to share one of the people who will be bringing a tiny house to the Conference. In just two weeks our early bird pricing closes on the Tiny House Conference, after October 1st tickets will go up to full price. More info at the website: www.tinyhouseconference.com
269 sq. ft. does not seem the most advantageous space for any sort of theme in design. In fact, it seems barely enough space to eat and sleep. Yet somehow designers and architects like Alan Chu are finding playful and inventive ways to give a fresh and fluid look to small spaces.
Separating the micro apartment into a 2-story unit the blueprint allows for an open floor plan with the kitchen and living space on the bottom floor. This isn’t at all unlike the basic premise of a tiny house trailer. The similarities continue when moving to the bedroom (and bathroom) which is situated on the second floor and accessible by a spiral metal staircase. This plays in directly to the steadily revisited argument of loft -vs- no loft and steps -vs- ladder arguments in the tiny house community. Chu’s space – named Apt 1211 – also owes much credit to the large window that literally floods the apartment with daylight and natural ambiance. On to the theme of the apartment though.
The custom cabinetry takes on a look for industrial or warehouse crates which all at once keep the design fluid and organized. The boxes were built from certified wood pine and feature red interiors. Because all storage spaces including those for media, clothing, and kitchen items, all use the storage crate look even though they range in size they keep a continuous look and feel. To top it off the flooring on the second floor is made with reclaimed demolition wood truly incorporating the warehouse aesthetic.
There are some elements that seem less obvious than others in the apartment. One is the framework itself. The second floor seems to hover and lack a certain amount of traditional framing while the downstairs flooring is cement without any mention of whether or not the apartment is on the ground floor or has additional supports for weight integrity above the downstairs unit.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance of the entire unit though is the absence of hardware on the storage containers. It seems as if doors open using finger holes and hinged doors open just by pulling the door and drawers seem to have a notched out handle, all giving a uniform and clean look.
Do you prefer a mixed cabinet look or do you like the themed approach?
Would you build with cabinets that lack traditional hardware?
Some of you have heard already, but myself and Macy Miller have launched a podcast called Tiny House Chat. We already have a few episode up and you can listen to it on iTunes through the podcast app or on the website.