Paris apartment

A couple of architects redesign a small Parisian apartment into an adaptable family home

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For many, the excitement of living in a big city often comes with small and large compromises. One can live close to all the action, but that may mean having to live in a smaller home in order to keep the cost of living affordable.

This kind of compromise can be even more difficult for families who live in the big city. But with the right look and a bit of creativity, a family can indeed thrive in a small living space, like French architects Ophélie Doria and Edouard Roullé-Mafféïs of space factory finished with their simple but cost-effective renovation of a 581 square foot (54 square meter) apartment in central Paris. We get a fuller tour of their remodeled family home via never too small:

The ground floor apartment was a studio originally built in the middle of the 20th century, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. When the couple purchased the apartment, it had a mostly open floor plan, with only a half wall in the back.

To make it feel like a family residence, separate areas were needed. Doria and Roullé-Mafféïs therefore installed partitions to separate an entrance, as well as a master bedroom with its own adjoining bathroom and a child’s bedroom. for their baby, as well as an adjacent bathroom.

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Additionally, the couple have different personalities and design approaches; for example, Roullé-Mafféïs prefers “lively places with lots of objects and stories”, while Doria is drawn to open plans and simple lines. The couple’s combined approach has effectively created a space that feels modern, yet warmed with distinctive furniture that seems to have its own story to tell. This interplay of simple and busy is also reflected in the couple’s nickname for their home, “Atelier Rangé-Dérangé”, which can be loosely translated as “tidy and busy workshop”.

This dualistic synergy is best exemplified by the open plan of the living room and kitchen, where a feeling of spaciousness is accentuated by these overlapping areas. Nevertheless, there is a fairly clear demarcation between these spaces, thanks to the careful placement of the furniture.

There is a discreet sofa and a glass coffee table in the living room, which helps to increase the feeling of space.

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Additionally, this custom set of low cabinets was installed to provide additional storage, without too much clutter.

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Right against the sofa is a bench for the dining table on the other side, creating a transition to the dining area.

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The dining area is flanked by the kitchen, which has custom cabinetry in matte black to highlight the apartment’s existing stone wall, and new marble countertop. The cabinets are large enough to hide all sorts of appliances and foodstuffs, hiding excess clutter. But that doesn’t mean the space is sterile and overly minimalist; in fact, there are also various sets of open shelves here, which allow for the neat display of crockery, books, and other trinkets of sentimental value.

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Many residual spaces have been transformed into usable spaces such as this reading nook carved into a radiator covered with a mesh panel.

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Past the living room and a partially glazed wall, we have the master bedroom. It’s compact, but still has room for a full wall of closets, as well as under-bed storage.

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The en-suite bathroom here has been done mostly in white, to make the space feel larger.

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One side of the tub has been cleverly covered with a long mirror, to give the illusion of a wider floor.

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Back in the main living area, walk past the kitchen and down the hallway…

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… we have the secondary bathroom, with toilet and sink, as well as the cat’s litter box.

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At the end of the corridor, we have the crib. There is a crib, changing table and seat hidden under the stairs leading to the bright loft above. This space was designed with adaptability in mind; once the baby grows, this space can be transformed into a bedroom for a toddler or teenager, with the upstairs loft turning into a place to play, read or study.

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The couple have skillfully managed to create a flexible home that suits their needs and tastes, despite the apartment’s small footprint. But as Doria explains, it’s not about whether there’s a lack of space or not, but what the possibilities are:

“We think we can say without difficulty that we are increasingly suffering from a lack of space in our city. Paris is an expensive city and having space has become a luxury. It’s very interesting to focus on what you can do with a space rather than its square meters. in fact the way we advise our clients: it is better to have a smaller space [that is] well designed, only square meters that are not useful.”

Paris is indeed one of those cities where necessity is the mother of many little spatial creativity, whether for a person, of themor one family.

To see more, check out the couple’s architecture firm, space factory.

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