Name: Amélie and John Martin of 410 Architects
Size: 1600 sq/ft + separate office space of 650
Years lived in: 7
Amélie and John live and work in a converted model-making warehouse in the East End that they have transformed into a split-level two-bedroom for themselves and their toddler son Leo. John is an architect and everything from the industrial kitchen to the divider in the main space were recuperated from clients. "John's a real hunter gatherer," says Amélie, a Swiss graphic designer who has lived in London for 12 years.
They share office space with a small staff in a large, airy space at the front of the building that was once a garage. In the back, they have carved two bedrooms out of the lower floor and sacrificed floor space on the already spacious top floor living room/dining room in order to create skylights that flood the lower floor with natural light. "It's always bright in here," says Amélie, "even on a dull day."
They sandblasted the bright yellow and dark blue paint from the walls to leave exposed brick and ceiling beams. They cut up laminate desks left by the factory to build long shelving in the living room and kitchen.
The industrial refrigerators in the kitchen were recuperated from one of John's bankrupt cafe-owning clients and the industrial kitchen from a client who was remodeling. In the bedroom, a framed dried flower from their wedding and a piece of art John made from an old shoe factory mold decorate the wall, and they have built in storage above the bed. And Leo has a cool baby's room with fat orange shelving covering one wall to keep his toys organized, and a sheepskin rug.
The weathered vintage furniture compliments their slightly rough-edged style. Throughout the flat they have installed Renzo Piano lights that John bought in bulk at a furniture auction. And they have scattered original Robin Day sofas that once lived in the Barbican Centre in every room. "They're quite battered," Amélie says, "but we love that so many people have sat on them over the years."
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. If you have an idea for a European house tour, please write kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com