Step into another one of our designer apartments by the well-known Interior Architect, Martine di Matteo, featured on HGTV’s House Hunters International with Adrian Leeds. The episode relates the amazing transformation of a neglected “depot” -- a storage unit (!) -- into a brilliantly-designed and charming studio with a mezzanine and attention paid to the smallest details. We've named it the "Le Petit Loft de Paris."
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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
A New Build
Back Patio, Soon to Be Planted
Luxurious Master Bathroom with a View
Master Bedroom, with a View of Nice
Master Bedroom, with Lots of Storage
A View on the Apartment from the Upper Level Study
Photo of the Marché de la Libération by ProvenceGuide.net
Study on the Lower Level
Study on the Upper Level
View of Nice from the Upper Level
Living Room/Dining Room
The saying goes: "Better to be in the ugly building looking at the beautiful building, than in the beautiful building overlooking those that are ugly."
This isn't necessarily true for two of our friends who recently moved to Nice and who purchased a large apartment at the top level of a very contemporary building...because the building itself is quite acceptable as contemporary buildings go, but it lacks the charm of the classic Niçois buildings over which it looks...and it was well worth it.
The couple spent quite a bit of time determining that Nice was the perfect respite from New York City to transition into a semi-retirement home with all the bells and whistles the Riviera could offer. Then, they set out to find the perfect apartment and found it in what was a concrete shell at the time, under construction, completely open to change of which they took advantage.
Located north of the Nice Ville station steps from the Tram line, it might have not been quite as central as living in the Carré d'Or district, but it's a part of the city that is void of tourists and near lots of great amenities such as the Marché de la Libération. With the Tram at their doorstep, they can travel anywhere without a car, but because the building was a "new build," a closed parking garage was part of the bargain. This is one of the advantages of a new building as the older buildings rarely have parking possibilities.
One of the couple is a seasoned architect who knew just how to turn an uninteresting floor plan into a dynamic one. The original plan of the penthouse apartment on two levels, known as a "duplex" in France, was for a three-bedroom family apartment with two bathrooms. There is a large terrace on the living room side and another 'gift' of a patio on the back side, completely privatized by virtue of the wall of the adjacent building. The views of Nice facing the water from the main terrace are formidable, but the builder had imagined a trellis to shade the large space that the new owners didn't want. Instead they negotiated to remove the trellis and have an electric awning that could be opened or closed at whim. It is here on the terrace that they have most meals.
The new floor plan turned the three bedrooms into a one-bedroom with two offices/studies, one for each of them. There is a full bathroom up and another full bathroom down which doubles as a laundry room. The well-equipped kitchen is off to one end of the living room/dining room, but because it's fully open and has a window on the terrace, it feels as much like an "American-style" open kitchen as would be possible. They decided to make it all white to feel as open and large as possible.
They opened up windows in walls on the upper level where there were none to have a view on the living room/dining room below and out to see all of Nice, whether in their upstairs study, bathroom or bedroom. The windows have shutters on them to control the light and privacy. From inside the shower, one can look out and have great views, while impossible for the outside world to peek in. The windows all have Louvre blinds which work more for effect and light control than privacy, since there are few apartments as high as theirs with the ability to peer in.
Every design and decor detail is perfect. Thanks also to the artistic talents of the other of the couple, the rich furnishings of Oriental shapes and style are punctuated on large walls by his personally produced art works. Artifacts and interesting objects adorn every nook and cranny, but not in a cluttered way. Masculine with the use of dark woods, married with Provençal colors, particularly ochres and deep oranges, the space is both warm and bright, in spite of the dark parquet flooring and dark wood trim throughout.
I fell madly in love with the apartment. Clearly they poured their hearts, souls and creative bones into this new abode. They are discovering Nice and its environs, the tiny villages that dot the hills, the Riviera lifestyle to which is so easy to become addicted and now they never want to leave.
I don't blame them. They confessed to me that they don't miss New York...that Nice is all they could ever want.
Two of our other clients here in Nice are about to begin full renovation on apartments in old, classic buildings in the Carré d'Or, but which are as much "shells" as was theirs. Both apartments haven't been touched in at least 40 years. Anything is possible given the creativity and of course, the budget.
The two in the duplex had what it takes. But you can have it, too. If you have an interest in the Riviera, and would like to know more, not only can I fill your ear, but so can all the other Americans whom I have known or recently met who never stop extolling the virtues of this enclave on the Mediterranean Sea.
P.S. Did you know that many Adrian Leeds Group apartments have been featured on House Hunters International? You can stay in one of these gorgeous apartments appearing on this popular show. Visit Adrian Leeds Group Apartments today and look for the House Hunters International logo!
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