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Here's the deal: a top floor with an attic, 78 m² of floor space (48 in ‘real’ terms) and a family living space to be created. If interior architect Nicolas Payet likes to say yes to challenges, the renovation of his new flat was certainly one to tick that box. Six months of work later, the result is quite something. Between storage units that make the most of all available ceiling height, and an exercise in bold and colourful style, the founder of Marn Agency has both challenged and made use of the space in the most wonderful way we could have imagined. Here is a guided tour of the details we are inspired by. Let’s show you around!
As soon as you step inside, you're in the thick of it: colour. Often ignored, rarely taken full advantage of, the corridor takes centre stage here, inviting you to step inside and discover the architect's world. "Whilst colours are always present in the projects my agency produces, here I wanted to encourage the use of contrasting shades". Fresh and luminous, a sky blue stretches throughout the space, which really opens it up. Our Green 09 - Leaf is the main element that adds depth, highlighting the plinths and the rounded edges of the arches. In the distance, the ochre chimney really stands out against the rest of the space.
A wall, a challengingly-shaped ceiling slope and a family kitchen to install. Mission impossible? Not for Nicolas! “I really took advantage of the fact that the flat has a sloping roof to use low units and create a functional layout.” No available space wasted, the sink module is also fitted with cupboards. The island is made up of 6 Ikea cabinet frames, with the hobs and appliances on one side and easily-accessible cupboards for storing crockery on the other. The result: a generously proportioned kitchen that sets the tone right from the start.
What really makes an impression on us is the daring use of colours, which oscillate between vintage influences and a modern spirit. Nicolas has explored this approach thanks to a two-tone colour scheme. "Similar to the blue we see in the corridor, I chose this pastel blue for its "formica" look. As for the Plum fronts in natural walnut that adorn the central island, nothing rivals them for adding that 60-70s touch.” As for the finishing elements, the architect likes to transform these into visual assets: painted in Leaf green, the island's skirting boards and the beam become bold statements. Painted in blue, the light switch really stands out. Bold, and brilliant!
Although Nicolas has succeeded in combining a low ceiling with a perfectly planned kitchen, this room goes above and beyond its practical purpose - to us, it’s a beautiful piece of design. The secret lies in a few carefully chosen details, including the use of our U-Shape fronts. With no visible handles, they instantly create minimalist designs, whilst creating flow in the space. A simple floating shelf in walnut, completed with a brass mixer tap.It’s totally the right balance
Recognise this? Rather than throwing away the leftover natural walnut finishing panels, Nicolas has used them to decorate the alcove in the hallway, installed in the space an old door used to occupy. It’s a simple trick that limits waste and creates a real storage space, adding to the retro character of the flat.
With its rustic wood, antique chairs and custom-made earthenware fireplace, the atmosphere of the dining room is reminiscent of Charlotte Perriand's aesthetic approach. "In each room, I like to create a surprise, to tell a new story.” Nestled between the end of the corridor and the entrance to the parents' bedroom, every inch of this space has been thought out: behind the table, a custom-made bench fits perfectly, and limits the space taken up by chairs. The glass roof, set into the wall, offers a beautiful opening for natural light. The key word here is always: optimise.
The bathroom is no exception: the sloped ceiling is always there. However, there was no question of doing without a bath or a linen cabinet, nor of doing without bold colours that enhance the shape of the space. By placing the wax-coated tiles from the bathtub to the ceiling, Nicolas has created a hammam-worthy space, which also serves to protect the beam from humidity. This has an organic atmosphere to it, enhanced by the mix of two-tone tiles and the bright blue of our Electric facades, behind which are hidden washing machines and other appliances. We love it!
Always keen to make the most of even the smallest corners created by the sloped ceiling, while keeping in mind the overall look of the room, Nicolas had custom-made mirrors created to cover the wall here. These mirrors both adapt to the limitations of the space and also echo the multiple arches which we see throughout the flat. He creates a bold design here, from the stripes on the splashback, to the shape of the basins and, as a small additional touch, the blue switch that matches the Electric fronts of the linen cupboard.
In his bedroom, Nicolas used our Green 06 - Olive colour to create an intimate atmosphere. Our doors and finishing panels cover an entire wall with the full-height wardrobe. To match, the textured elements of the custom-made headboard are painted in the same colour. To add to this, a set of carefully thought-out details that Nicolas has brought to life with two bright colours: Klein blue on the wall and mustard yellow in the alcoves. A final touch that adds to the charm of this room is the exposed beam, its wood reworked to its natural state.
This is the headache of most shared children's rooms: how to combine a common space, whilst creating distinct areas. For Nicolas, the solution, also stated by his two daughters, can be summed up in one word: colour! In sunny yellow and bold coral, the two custom-made headboards define Mila and Liv's respective spaces. What if they get bored? One quick brushstroke, and it's all changed!
AAnother major challenge for Nicolas was: how to maximise storage when faced with minimal space. As in his bedroom, where the wardrobe lives on the highest wall of the room, he has once again optimised every available inch here. A finishing panel hides one side of the wardrobe, but it also creates a place for the mini desk and the bookcase. From the fronts to the wall, our Red 03 - Blush shade creates harmony and subtly contrasts with the white walls and parquet.