As young architects running their own Paris firm, Deborah Feldman and Baptiste Potier specialize in making inventive use of affordable materials. “Our clients in general don’t have important budgets, so we have to find ways to make things work, and to look as we designed them,” says Deborah. In the case of this Normandy kitchen, they gathered leftover tiles from other projects to create a gridwork counter and backsplash. And they mounted industrial metal stair steps as wall-hung shelves that double as drying racks.

Feldman and Potier are 2016 graduates of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-la Villett—they met while spending a semester in Ahmedabad, India, and became a couple and collaborators. Post-grad, they both had internships in Tokyo and then returned to Paris where she worked on residential projects at large firms (while also working towards a PhD), and Baptiste honed his skills as a both a designer and fabricator: he does carpentry and metalwork. They officially launched their office, 127af (named for their location on Avenue de Flandre in the 19ème) in 2020—and discovered that scrappiness is a handy skill.

Photography by 127af (@127_a_f).

The kitchen is in a midcentury house in Caen, Normandy, that two friends of Baptiste and Deborah’s, a couple with a baby, bought as a fixer-upper. They began with kitchen (scroll to the end to see the existing setup) and plan to save up and continue over time. The architects built a scale model to plan the new kitchen&#8
Above: The kitchen is in a midcentury house in Caen, Normandy, that two friends of Baptiste and Deborah’s, a couple with a baby, bought as a fixer-upper. They began with kitchen (scroll to the end to see the existing setup) and plan to save up and continue over time. The architects built a scale model to plan the new kitchen’s tile “collage” down to the last square: they incorporated surplus white tiles in three sizes: 2.5, 5, and 10 centimeters. Since these weren’t enough, they added new tiles in blue to set them off.

The kitchen is opposite the entry and open to the dining area—the shelves incorporated under the flared counter table overlook the table. Note the range vent cabinet: it houses an Electrolux extractor and also offers a bit of storage.

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