This small, efficient renovation of a former maid's room in Paris hides a stealthy little table.
For the younger generation that is eschewing the suburbs -- hoping to live close to work and all that a big city can offer -- seeking out affordable housing to purchase can seem like an impossible task as real estate prices continue to rise.
For one young 25-year-old woman looking to buy her first home in Paris for under USD $148,000 (€130,000) -- including a bit of a budget for the needed renovations -- her best option was this former chambre de bonne or a maid's room. Enlisting the help of local architect Agathe Marimbert of Marimbert architecte, the apartment's tiny 118-square-foot (11 square meters) footprint has now been transformed into a much more efficient and modern living space, complete with built-in storage and a hidden dining table.
Dubbed Studio Voltaire, the micro-apartment's redesign now includes a regular, full-sized sofa bed with removable cushions, plus a kitchenette, storage cabinets, a shower and a sink. As is typical with other Parisian maids' chambers, the toilet is shared and located just outside of the flat.
Both the kitchen and shower-space are located along one wall, to take advantage of the already existing plumbing connections there. The stark, light-reflecting white of the inexpensively modified IKEA cabinetry contrasts beautifully with the midnight-blue tiles, which not only line the shower but also the kitchen's backsplash.
The kitchen's cabinets hide one stealthy, functional element: an ingenious pull-out table that slides out when it's time to eat or work. When finished, the table can be pushed back in to free up that space.
Instead of an enclosed wardrobe, an open copper pipe rack was installed, taking up less space and also having the secondary effect of displaying the young client's clothing in an unobtrusive way.
The tiny alcove that houses the shower also has a little niche for the small sink, perfect for washing up.
While many will likely find 118 square feet too cramped, it's a calculated trade-off: one might be living in a smaller space, but located a stone's throw away from all the urban delights that young people enjoy. To see more, visit Marimbert architecte, and Instagram.