Instead of concealing the raw concrete on the ceilings, the homeowner decided to turn it into a highlight of the home.

It is in the bohemian 20th arrondissement of Paris that interior architect Chadi Abou Jaoude found a space he would transform into his personal refuge.

The exterior of the building, which dates back to the 1980s, didn’t initially convince the creative mind. What made Abou Jaoude take the leap was the organisation of the apartment itself — especially its outdoor area, as he has taken to gardening a lot lately.

As in all big cities, finding a home with a terrace is almost an impossible task, even more so when it comes to old buildings. Abou Jaoude was persistent, however, and after a long search period, he found the right one.

The simple design of the stairs and handrails allow them to blend in with the brutalist design of the home.
The simple design of the stairs and handrails allow them to blend in with the brutalist design of the home.

3-Storey Apartment in Paris: 75 sqm (or 807 sq ft)

Spread over 75 square meters, this apartment is accessible via the third floor and is distributed on three levels. “You enter directly in the living space, then you go down to arrive to the two bedrooms with a bathroom and an independent toilet while you go up to the terrace,” describes Abou Jaoude.

Terrace overlooks Paris cityscape

Overlooking the roofs of Paris, the terrace is where the magic happens. “I designed the dining area and kitchen in the veranda,” he says. Ideal for gathering friends and enjoying a breath of fresh air in the middle of an urban environment, this space is a true gem surrounded by greenery.

The conception phase — as always is the case for Abou Jaoude — raised an infinite number of questions.

The main entrance opens onto the main living area, with stairs leading up to the terrace and down to the bedrooms.
The main entrance opens onto the main living area, with stairs leading up to the terrace and down to the bedrooms.

More Freedom When Designing Your Own House

“I am doing, undoing and redoing the project in my head until finding the combination I prefer,” confesses the interior architect, who usually becomes almost obsessed during this period of the project. And having himself as the client didn’t make things easier.

The bedroom, draped in white, creates a contemporary atmosphere.
The bedroom, draped in white, creates a contemporary atmosphere.

“You have more freedom when you design for yourself,” says Abou Jaoude.

“There are not many constraints but at the same time I didn’t want to create an apartment that would look like a showroom. I was just aiming at shaping a cosy retreat where I can feel good and host.”

The homeowner’s love for the exposed concrete in the apartment can also be seen in the bathroom.
The homeowner’s love for the exposed concrete in the apartment can also be seen in the bathroom.

Apartment Came With Raw Concrete Ceilings

Once the work started, the interior architect discovered a true treasure while scratching the surfaces, namely raw concrete ceilings, and walls in a very good state. “The apartment originally missed a lot of charm and character so this material allowed us to give it a brutalist and modern touch,” says Abou Jaoude.

On the floor, he opted for a light raw oak parquet while the rest is mostly white. Very few colors (such as gray, beige or black) were used throughout in order to highlight the spirit of the concrete in every nook.

A hanging shelf showcases the homeowner’s collection of figurines.
A hanging shelf showcases the homeowner’s collection of figurines.

Brutalist Furniture

A mix of IKEA, designer, and customised furniture pieces

For the furniture, Abou Jaoude mixed different styles. For example, the IKEA kitchen combines with a Nero Assoluto granite countertop, a custom designed dining table, Eames chair, a pommel horse and a Constanzina lamp.

In the living room, a Pianca sofa dialogues with the coffee tables made with reclaimed wood pallets, an armchair and ottoman by VITRA, the Parentesi hanging lighting fixture by Castiglioni and a series of figurines, among other elements.

“It is a warm, functional, simple to live, happy and unpretentious apartment,” says Abou Jaoude.

The restrained use of colours in the home adds a certain edginess to the interiors
The restrained use of colours in the home adds a certain edginess to the interiors

Searching for a new house

Even if this home has all the components that the interior architect dreamt of, he is already thinking about what is next.

“I’ve never stayed more than three years in the same apartment. This is so exciting to discover a new neighborhood, find new habits, create a new visual world.”

For this nomad at heart, not feeling attached to a place is a gift that continues to give him free rein to his unlimited creativity.