A Tiny Parisian Loft Strikes Industrial Vibes With a Surprising Material Palette

Black steel accents and exposed oriented strand board redefine a tiny Parisian apartment with high ceilings and tons of natural light.
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French architect Florent Chagny renovated a one-bedroom, top-floor Paris apartment with a lofted bed, taking advantage of everything that the existing space had to offer.

Originally constructed around 1830, the apartment hadn’t been renovated since the 1990s, and it featured an oversized, unusable fireplace and a spiral staircase. However, the space had a lot of potential with its very high ceilings, abundance of natural light, historic exposed wooden beams, and structural window elements. 

The apartment is located on the top floor of an 1830s building in Paris' 5th arrondissement.

Two dormer windows provide plenty of daylight for the open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room.

Chagny decided to keep the existing layout, with the kitchen and living space on the lower level, and a lofted bedroom and closet on the upper level. The modular kitchen features oriented strand board cabinets, black countertops, a black backsplash, and select furnishings with the same finishes.

A black steel staircase with integrated storage leads up to a lofted bedroom

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Oriented strand board, a composite material made of chips of wood pressed and glued together to form a strong type of plywood, is not a material that is typically exposed. However, the material is budget-friendly and offers visual warmth and a pattern that makes for a playful and industrial palette.

The flooring and cabinets are all clad in oriented strand board. The engineered wood is not typically used as a finish, but it is durable and cost-effective.

A portion of the countertop slides out to serve as a table, while storage below functions as seating.

The kitchen also features a countertop island on casters that can slide out for use as a dining table with a bench made of oriented strand board. The existing spiral staircase was not the best use of the space, nor the safest, so Chagny replaced it with a black steel staircase with open treads and integrated shelving.

The lofted bedroom echoes the materiality of the level below: OSB, black steel, and a splash of bright blue.

The new stairs lead up to a glass and steel partition that allows the bedroom to be closed off from the area below, while still bringing in light from two dormer windows. The lofted space features exposed wooden beams painted white, oriented strand board cabinets, and a custom bed frame. A skylight above the stairs, and another in the vestibule and closet area, ensure that the upper level receives enough sunlight. 

The bedroom closet features sliding oriented strand board doors and black hardware.

The apartment measures just under 540 square feet. Natural light streams in from two dormer windows and skylights on the upper level.

Black countertops echo the color palette of the steel staircase and bookcase.

A bright blue feature wall strikes contrast with the texture and color of the oriented strand board and black surfaces. The storage piece is custom-made.

The bedroom is located in the apex of the gabled roof, where original structural beams are exposed.

Integrated shelving provides ample storage along one wall.

A section drawing highlights the varying ceiling heights in the space.

Related Reading: Built on a Budget, This Belgian Cabin Is Straight Out of a Fairytale

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record, Interior Design: flca

Project Team: Marion Bernard and Florent Chagny

Photographer: Camille Gharbi

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