Olivier and Deborah see it as part of their design mission to take things—especially construction materials—out of their familiar contexts, reworking them so they can be experienced afresh.
For instance, they decided to use oriented strand board, or flakeboard, for the kitchen cabinetry and a few other surfaces in the house. Most commonly appearing as subflooring, “it can be made in part from wood waste and new-growth, renewable forest species,” says Deborah. “They press it together with glue. It’s kind of like plywood, only sometimes made with scraps.” The builder ran the wood through a drum sander to smooth it, mitered all the corners and edges, then applied three layers of a water-base urethane. Was it economical? Sure, but make no mistake: “We chose that material because we thought it was beautiful,” Deborah insists.
Flakeboard cabinetry and polished concrete flooring indeed suit the indoor/outdoor life.