A Seaside House in France Gets a Wonderful Wood-Wrapped Remodel

A Seaside House in France Gets a Wonderful Wood-Wrapped Remodel

By Kate Reggev
This Bordeaux home connects to the outdoors through warm, natural materials and a carefully organized layout.

Multidisciplinary French and Portuguese firm Martins | Afonso Atelier de Design renovated this home in a charming French town known for its unique location surrounded by forests, salt marshes, and the ocean. The residence, at around 3500 square feet, is surrounded by a garden and located next to the sea, so opening the home up to the outdoors and creating strong visual and physical connections was paramount.

The home's palette begins with fresh white walls that reflect daylight. Cream undertones instead of white lend a sense of warmth to the space.

The palette continues with natural materials like solid oak, which is native to France, and terra-cotta floor tiles, which are typically found in the region. Dark blue and black furniture, upholstery, and light fixtures complement the lighter tones of the white walls and wood.

The home's layout is organized around two living areas and an open kitchen/dining room. This central space connects to other parts of the home with solid oak pocket doors.

The design team renovated about 1000 square feet of the home, and sought to maintain a sense of warmth through material selections. Red terra-cotta tile floors can be found throughout most of the home, with the exception of certain areas (like the living room) that feature original wood flooring.

The open kitchen faces a wall of above-counter windows that let in plenty of light. The dining table maintains the material palette of wood and black.

Shop the Look
Vitra Prouvé Standard Chair
After opening his own workshop in 1923, Jean Prouvé began producing furniture of his own and collaborating with some of the best-known French designers of the day, including Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand.
Backdrop Miami Parasol Paint
Soft, warm, pale yellow.
Chilewich Stitch Placemats, Set of 4
Over the years, Sandy Chilewich has expanded her tabletop collection with both natural and synthetic materials in varied textures and colors.

Windows are deeply recessed into the home's original masonry walls, which are thick and solid. Martins | Afonso Atelier de Design opted to clad the frames of the windows with wood and create sitting nooks that take advantage of this depth.

Most other spaces incorporated wood as "a common denominator within each room of the house," says the firm. In the kitchen, wood cabinetry echoes the open shelving in the adjacent dining area. The same wood is also used to frame window openings in the kitchen and other areas.

The kitchen is streamlined and modern, with a black seamless backsplash, a minimalist faucet, and a wood-clad vent hood.

The wide windows in the kitchen allow for views while the residents are in front of the sink or cooking at the long countertop.

Complementing the wood cabinetry is a black countertop with an integrated drainboard and a black backsplash. Black downlights with brassy interiors tie in to the brown tones of the wood. The use of wood throughout the project creates a consistent, warm design language.

One wall of the entry area and the second living room is entirely clad in solid oak. Here the material forms a minimalist but natural backdrop for a seating area with wall-mounted lighting fixtures.

Martins | Afonso described the project as one where "everything was conceived in detail so that each architectural element finds its way, and where each sequencing and framing both highlights what previously existed and also gives it the stamp of united togetherness."

Every detail was considered—from the door hardware to subtle reveals around panels of solid oak.

Based in both Bordeaux, France and Covilhã, Portugal, Martins | Afonso Atelier de Design was established in 2016 by Mickaël Martins Afonso. The office specializes in interior design projects, art, furniture design, and photography.

The plan allows light to flow from one area of the house to another. It also provides views from the entryway to the back of the home.

Old meets new at this corner of the living and dining area, where an original mantle with a decorative profile sits comfortably next to open wood shelving with minimalist detailing and a soft yellow chair.


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