Located in the commune of Levallois-Perret just outside of the official limits of Paris, this apartment for a close couple is a complete interior renovation, starting from a compact and limited outline. The space was designed by the Paris firm of Betillon/Dorval-Bory, a team faced with numerous obstacles, chief among them being the small amount of natural light that reaches the flat from its two window sets. To keep the diminutive home open and inviting at all times of day, a number of solutions were thought up to properly light it to fit any situation. Multiple stages and colors of artistic light fixtures are meant to be used as the day progresses, enhancing the apartment’s atmosphere overall as well as its individual sections. In addition to lighting, all the decor of the dwelling is pure-white and the ceilings are tall, helping keep it spacious and airy. Space-saving solutions, like a loft-mounted bed and a staircase intersecting the countertops, free up walking space, the last step in expanding this cramped abode into a truly livable house.
Since only one part of one wall of the small flat has any windows at all, the entire interior is swathed in white to maximize natural and artificial light. Most of the opposite wall is dominated by a single long countertop.
Throughout the day, different stages of lighting are employed to create the best atmosphere for the activities at any given time, transitioning from bright white daytime hues to much darker nighttime mood lighting.
The kitchen counter turns into a halfway platform on the ascent up to the bedroom loft, providing an elevated sitting space for relaxation, a glance out the window, or reading.
The stairs follow a floating style, attached only to a single wall.
A platform on which the residents’ bed lies also serves as a ceiling for the bathroom below, though it doesn’t extend all the way to the stairway wall so as to avoid intersecting with important windows.
The border between public and private areas of the apartment comes at the staircase, visually signaled by a half-length wall and a complete change in lighting style. On the far end of the room, the bulbs change from white to orange, signaling the fact that the areas beyond are evening-time spaces.
On the other side of the light wall is a more subtle extension of the nighttime lighting, in the form of two orange-casting wall-mounted bulbs. These bulbs are placed at different heights, mirroring the angled rise of the light strips on the other side.
The stairway is placed just right to intersect with the bathroom counter’s corner, providing enough height for hand washing further down the wall. The silver faucets in the bathroom are some of the only non-white fixtures and finishes in the entire space.
This bathroom serves as a natural place for the yellow evening mood lighting, given its nature as an intimate space and its structure as the shortest, most condensed area of the flat’s floorplan. Those two diminutive bulbs provide more than enough visual accent.
At night, the difference only a couple of light fixtures make is extremely significant.