July 2nd, 2013 – Under the canopy of an old warehouse, interior architect Grégoire De Lafforest used a dash of imagination to reinvent a Parisian loft, with a new design inspired by nature. Lafforest, who has previously lent a creative hand to brands such as Hermes, Cartier, and Veuve Clicquot, describes the gutted out space as “a warehouse floor with the boiler of the building in the middle.” The architect took one look at the 1,100 square foot loft and re-imagined the space as “a village of six small houses that helped gain volume and life to the space.”
Lafforest, a creative man accustomed to working with such high profile brands on high budgets, had to use some of his low-budget instincts to create the eclectic aesthetics for the Rue Voltaire Loft. The designer decided to mix the old with the new, expensive with the inexpensive, and pops of bright color with muted tones to achieve a playful and sophisticated ambiance.
The two bedroom apartment is comprised of a master suite, children’s suite, a large living-slash-dining room, a kitchen, and bathroom. The kitchen and living room area are located under an A-frame glass ceiling. To highlight this greenhouse effect, Lafforest erected a build-it-yourself greenhouse kit, painted it black, then specified a black Ikea kitchen inside.
In the living room, sits a maritime pine tree. With nature as an inspiration for the design, Lefforest cut and dried the branches, then attached plastic needles to the tree trunk. The architect’s DIY methods of creating interest and beauty in a space proves that a small budget is a mere hurdle that creativity can surely jump.
An eclectic choice of furniture fills the common areas. In the living room, an Ikea sofa sits directly across from Ligne Roset’s stylish Facett Sofa. Lining the walls of the common area is a three foot high wall ledge with framed paintings and illustrations resting on it. Under the ledge are a series of Ikea storage units that have been retrofitted and secured to the wall to function as book shelves.
Gold polka-dots become an exciting feature wall in the children’s room and are paired with minimalistic children’s furniture from Ikea. In the hallway, Lafforest resorted to Ikea again for a basic console table, then added a luxurious slab of Carrara Marble to stylize the otherwise yawn-worthy casement piece. Droog candlesticks and Lafforest’s own “Olab” Lamp sit on top the marble, with an all too intriguing spotted wallcovering as the backdrop.
Photography Courtesy of Grégoire De Lafforest