MA House by Studio XM

  • MA Villa by studio XM

    Studio XM architect Timothee Mercier reincarnates the ruins of a farmhouse in the south of France to create a soft and earthen retreat.

    Architect Timothee Mercier of Studio XM was asked to sensitively convert a ruinous farmhouse for his parents, located on their secluded countryside property, just short of an hour’s drive from Marseille.

    The old farmhouse stood untouched for 15 years after his parents had purchased the property, who decided to build a home on the neighbouring hill. But the raw antiquity of the building enticed Timothee to take on heritage controls in an effort to restore the decrepit farmhouse beyond its former glory. Respecting the architectural history and aesthetic constraints, Timothee has designed what he calls an ‘intimate refuge buried in the hills’ full of character, custom details and gentle finishes. 

    MA Villa by studio XM

    The kitchen features a brass VOLA 590 kitchen mixer, Miele oven, Pierre de Tavel Bleue benchtop and playful Tembo stools designed by Note Design Studio for La Chance.

    The MA House stands proud – yet unobtrusive to the surrounding countryside. Timothee envisaged the project as a renewal of the farmhouse, that highlighted all of its idiosyncrasies while adding complementary, modern features. 

     From the outside, the farmhouse appears in its complete original state, as Timothee kept with the proportions of the old farmhouse while revising the footprint and envelope, carefully dismembering the home in parts. 

    Craftsmanship is a fundamental part of the MA House, realised in the custom joinery and furniture in each space – with a special mention to the custom timber bath. Considered details are revealed right down to the door handles, carved out of sold oak; describes by Timothee as clean, unobtrusive and true to the material used – just as his vision for the entire project. 

    The kitchen, dining and living area highlights its original exposed stone walls through a white-washed technique. Upstairs, texture is also accentuated through whitewashed timber beams overhead. Punctuating the all-white scheme is a warm, natural palette of oak, sisal and rattan.

    MA Villa by studio XM | est living
    MA Villa by studio XM

    A close up of the VOLA 590 kitchen mixer in the kitchen.

    MA Villa by studio XM

    In the living and dining room, Timothee has created storage opportunities through built-in solid oak shelves, along with a sculptural built-in sofa that almost runs the length of the space. The designer has furnished the living area with a mix of characterful vintage and modern finds, including a coffee table designed by Guiilerme and Chambron from a Marseille flea market, pair of rattan chairs from the Paul Bert flea market in Paris, pair of sconces by Guy Bareff and a tailormade rug by CODIMAT.

    Like the living space, you’ll find Timothee’s signature oak joinery in the kitchen, along with a brass VOLA kitchen mixer topping the Pierre de Tavel Bleue benchtop. Closeby, the Tembo stools by Note Design Studio bring a sense of playfulness and colour to the space. This thread of colour, shape and play also runs through the cushions and contemporary prints carefully placed around the home. 

    Soft hues continue upstairs into the master suite. The bathroom features a standout custom bathtub designed by Studio XM architect Timothee Mercier and crafted in Japan from Hinoki wood. VOLA bathroom fixtures continue this theme of scrupulous craftsmanship.

    The master bedroom features a custom oak and raffia bedhead designed by Timothee with a white Lampe De Marseille by Le Corbusier attached. The adjoining study space features a deep burgundy and mint-green LC7 Chair by Charlotte Perriand and a vintage desk lamp sourced from a Marseille flea market.

    By putting the pieces of this centuries-old farmhouse back together for his family, Timothee has rediscovered an unrivalled authenticity, elevated by the designer’s focus on handcrafted, bespoke design. 

    MA Villa by studio XM
    MA Villa by studio XM

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