A Big LITTLE Nest is in fact the name of the project we’re about to have a look at. It’s a small apartment located in the historical center of Bordeaux, in France. In 2014 the apartment was redesigned and refurnished in an effort to make it more functional and to update its style.
The project was a collaboration between Mickael Martins Afonso and L’Atelier miel. It was a real challenge working with a studio apartment that has limited floor space and making it look bright and spacious. However, some of the existing features were of great help.
Giving a small space the comfort and functionality of a large home is not easy. In this case, the fact that the apartment had a total of 10 windows was a great advantage. That meant it benefited from all orientations and had views on all sides. Also, it meant that were was a lot of natural light to enjoy and make the most of.
Being such a bright space definitely helped and to emphasize this brightness even more the designers chose to paint the walls and ceilings white. That created a cohesive and minimalistic look but also meant that some sort of contrast was needed.
To make the spaces feel warm and inviting, the designers chose to preserve and reuse the existing chestnut floors. Their golden color gives the décor a really charming look, creating a very pleasant and welcoming ambiance.
Wood is the main material used for furniture throughout the apartment. It’s also a means to strengthen the atmosphere and to create a cohesive and harmonious environment with balanced contrasts and natural elegance.
Part of the challenge was also to optimize the space and to manage to fit all the necessary functions without making the apartment feel tiny or cluttered. The space was planned using two large units. One is positioned along the wall in the living room, sitting on a raised platform with lots of storage inside.
It integrates a geometric bookcase with open and closed compartments and below that there’s a desk and a series of large storage modules on casters. The desk is mobile as well. It can be positioned perpendicularly to the wall unit and this also allows it to serve as a dining table.
The second unit is placed along the opposite wall and it incorporates the laundry facility, the kitchen and the staircase. The staircase offers a great example of space-efficient design. It has lots of storage built into its structure, including a generous shoe rack.
The kitchen is accessible from all sides and all of the appliances are hidden, maintaining a clean and simple look. It gets plenty of light through the windows and it was optimized to be user-friendly and practical while also looking modern.
The staircase leads to the upper level where the private zone is situated. Here, the bedroom and bathroom spaces are just as bright as the rest of the apartment and share a similar décor, with wooden furniture and golden chestnut floors. The bathroom features a combination of wood and marble and this creates an elegant and refined décor.