Black and white kitchen with island at the heart of the daytime living area

12 / 07 / 2021

This flat is located in a 19th-century Haussmann building in a very lively and dynamic area in the centre of Rennes. Its new owners, a couple with two children, were drawn by its charm and prime location. Nevertheless, before they could move in and get settled in, they had to undertake a comprehensive renovation.

Classic and modern in harmony

Long, bright central corridor with large windows
Glazed doors and glass partition walls along the bright corridor

The flat had structural problems and was excessively compartmentalised, with too many corridors and dead spots. These aspects, coupled with the fact that nearly all the windows faced the corridor, made it feel cramped and dreary. The designer Inma Valero planned a comprehensive renovation, intended to breathe new life into the home to adapt it to the preferences and needs of its users.

Thus, beams were reinforced and partition walls torn down, until only the basic structure remained. The spaces were laid out logically, grouping public areas—kitchen, dining area, living room and TV room—and private areas—three bedrooms and two bathrooms—on opposite wings. What’s more, two toilets were added to the daytime living area, and a living room with its own entrance was transformed into a separate, self-contained flat. The rooms facing the central corridor were separated from it by means of glazed doors and tall glass partition walls, which helped in creating a brighter and more pleasant atmosphere.

Bright living room with fireplace, work desk and area

In the course of the renovation, distinctive elements of the building such as doors, windows, mouldings, fireplaces and the parquet flooring were recovered. The furnishings and décor seamlessly blend the new with the old, by combining small vintage items and furniture with others featuring a more contemporary design to create a distinctively bohemian vibe.

The black and white kitchen as the heart of the daytime living area

Santos black and white kitchen with island which opens out to the living-dining area

The kitchen, dining area and living room comprise the hub of family life in the home, sharing a bright, spacious and open-plan area. The kitchen is kitted out with furniture designed by Santos, combining two contrasting finishes: Silk Black LAH for the units laid out against the wall, and Innsbruck White for the island. The contrast between black and white helps to visually delineate the different areas, and is perfectly in keeping with the rest of the home. Furthermore, the clean, minimalist lines of the units make flawless integration with an interior design with its own personality easy.

Santos black kitchen with white island and lamps
Santos kitchen island with a preparation and cooking area

The space is organised around a large central island with a Laminam worktop, which aids the transition between areas. The island, aside from holding the preparation and cooking areas, offers numerous storage options on both sides: drawer unit and hob unit on the inside and four base units with shelves on the outside.

Santos black kitchen cabinets with tall units

The rest of the furniture is laid out parallel to the island, comprising an impressive row in a black finish which is attractive, practical and versatile. The composition includes a central washing-up area, with two tall units located at the ends, housing kitchen appliances and storage units.

Santos black kitchen with white island and dining table
Dining area integrated into the kitchen with Gubi lamps
Bright and spacious living room with large window

The dining area is located right beside the kitchen island, kitted out with a La Redoute extendable table, Marcel Breuer chairs and a Made bench. A Gubi lamp with a black finish provides lighting.

Living room that opens out to the Santos kitchen and dining area

The living room is found right in front of the kitchen and dining area, benefiting from the natural light that steams in through the large windows. It features a Bolia lamp and La Redoute sofa, which faces the fireplace recovered from the original building.

Family room with table and chess set

The home has another family room: a TV room where the entire family can enjoy watching a film together.

Functionality and design also in private areas

Cosy and spacious master bedroom

The bedrooms and bathrooms are wonderful examples of how this renovation was meticulously designed and carried out. To make the most of the ceiling height and gain valuable additional space, two lofts were created: one in the master bedroom and another in one of the children’s bedrooms. The latter is situated above part of the children’s bathroom, creating a nook for the tub area.

Functional children's bedroom with loft
Children's bedroom in light lively colours
Functional master bathroom with mirror and furniture
Children's bedroom in white, black and wood

The lesser amount of natural light available in the master bedroom has been taken into account, using dark colours and wallpaper to give it a nocturnal, serene and secluded feel. The staircase, aside from providing access to the loft, contributes towards reinforcing this sense of seclusion. In contrast, light, lively and carefree colours were used for the children’s bedrooms, which are brighter. The most defining features of the bedrooms are carried over to the bathrooms, with a predominance of dark hues in the master bathroom and light hues in the children’s bathroom.


Category: Flat
Location: Rennes (Brittany, France)
Floor area: 120 m²
Architecture, décor and styling: Inma Valero Sacristán (Inma Studio)
Photography: Germain Herriau


Santos distributor: Cocinova
Santos units: Silk Black LAH FINE / Innsbruck White
Layout: Parallel to the island
Worktop: Laminam 12 mm thick Cava Bianco Statuario Venatorittany

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