We're seeing a growing trend toward smaller but more efficient living spaces, some of them converted from the unlikeliest candidates, whether they be former cab offices, doormen's residences or slurry pits.
Following in the same vein is French design firm Atelier Wilda, which transformed a derelict artist's studio in Paris into a bright and airy rental property, which a small family now calls home.
According to Contemporist, the original 538-square-foot (50 square meters) space, which is located on the ground floor, was constructed during the 1950s and used as a garage. During the 1970s, it was converted into an art studio for Pierre Lemaire, a painter, and his son Claude Lemaire, an architect. At that time, the studio was equipped with a small kitchen, a sleeping area and a bathroom. Fast forward to 2014, and this old studio has been passed down to Claude’s daughter, Christine, who first uses it as a Parisian pied-à-terre for guests and visiting relatives. A few years later, she decides to transform it into a rental property, hiring Willy Durieu of Atelier Wilda to undertake the renovation.
The results are impressive: the space has been changed completely, thanks to the demolition of the existing ceiling, all partitions except load-bearing walls, the addition of extra windows on the façade, plus lots of built-in furniture and an overload of white paint that emphasizes its new minimalist aesthetic. Seen here is the spacious living area, which has an unobtrusive set of cabinets in one corner for storage.
At the other end is the kitchen, which is relatively large and is fleshed out in a linear conglomeration of cabinets, counters and shoe storage at one end.
All those light-coloured surfaces have their counterpoint in the warm wood textures of the cabinetry and the preservation of the original wood beams, which soften the bright sunlight that pours in. The built-in furniture acts as convenient places to store things, while also providing places to sit and climb on. As there isn't a lot of space for a full-sized staircase, a stair with alternating treads has been installed instead.
Despite the small space, the design incorporates two extra bedrooms: one on the ground floor, beyond the kitchen, as seen here.
In the upstairs loft perched above, there is landing where one can sit and have a view over the rest of the space, as well as a built-in platform for the bed and a folding table that acts as a small workspace.
Right behind the stair is the bathroom; as might be expected for the smaller space, it's a bit on the narrow side but functional.
As this thoughtful conversion shows, small spaces can have a lot of potential, and can be made to feel and function in a larger way with a few well-placed design ideas. More over at Atelier Wilda.