Architect Chadi Abou Jaoude was first charmed by the terrace at his Parisian triplex. The architecture? Not so much. “The apartment is located in a typical 1980s building with tiled facades and blue and pink walls. It wasn’t very pretty actually. The building is sorely lacking in charm and very far from typical Haussmann-style Parisian apartments with fireplaces, moldings and parquet,” Chadi recalls. As demolition began, he discovered raw concrete walls and ceilings in fantastic condition, resulting in a brutalist vibe that highlights the eclectic decor.
In designing his home, Chadi was quite creative with the layout. The kitchen was first located near the entryway, with a small adjacent living room. They opted to move the kitchen to the roof, enlarging the living space and also upping functionality–having the kitchen next to the terrace is more convenient for entertaining and outdoor dining. The dining table is a solid wood tray that Chadi designed himself. “It weighs as much as a dead donkey,” he laughs. For seating, there are two black Eames chairs, while a pommel horse found at a local flea market serves as a bench.
The living space has an oversized PIANCA sofa and an Antonio Citterio chair and ottoman from Vitra. There’s a cowhide rug atop oak parquet flooring and two generous bay windows. Here, he artfully blends flea market finds with the streamlined Italian furniture. The coffee tables were old industrial pallets for the SNCF, while an old carpenter’s workbench is used as a desk at the entrance.
Though the staircase is original, Chadi made it more sexy by removing the guardrail in favor of a handrail against the wall and painting it black. Downstairs are two nearly identical bedrooms with monastic decor, and a shared bathroom in the same style as the rest of the home: black, white, and concrete.
Even after an extensive transformation, the terrace still is Chadi’s favorite space. “It is quite small but just divine,” he smiles. “In Paris, it is not at all easy to find a terrace, as most old buildings have zinc roofs! I can spend entire days gardening and taking care of the plants, a real pleasure. Paris is a very dense and stressful city. Relaxing on this terrace at the end of the day is pure happiness.”