News Home & Design Ultra-Minimalist Micro-Apartment is Home for Small Family in Paris Determined to stay in their neighborhood, this family renovated their 301-square-foot apartment to make room for a baby. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Updated December 18, 2020 09:35PM EST Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email POINT.ARCHITECTS News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Small, cramped apartments are not unusual in older European cities. In the past, owning large tracts of land to build on was reserved for royalty or for the very wealthy, so ordinary people in Europe generally made do with whatever housing was available in denser, low-rise urban areas that were often not designed for modern modes of transportation (such as the automobile). But as in North America, many people still prefer to live in cities, where they can be close to work and near all the attractive cultural amenities that cities have to offer. That's the case with one IT professional living in Paris, who was determined to stay in his neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement, so he commissioned Italian firm POINT.ARCHITECTS to completely renovate his existing 301-square-foot (28 square meters) micro-apartment into something roomier for him, his partner, and a newborn. Dubbed Maison B, the project features a number of intriguing design ideas that help to maximize such a tiny space. As the architects tell us, the original layout of the apartment had a big bedroom, a kitchen, and a small living room in the corner, and a bathroom at the opposite end of the apartment. To gain more space for the baby, the designers decided to locate the kitchen and bathroom as a central "service core" of the apartment, so that the two ends of the apartment can be freed up as living spaces instead. First up is the main living area, which features an interesting, elevated multifunctional platform. Not only is it designated as the area for sitting, and lounging around to watch movies, it also hides a large bed underneath, which can be rolled out at night, and tucked away during the day to make more space. POINT.ARCHITECTS The linked screen serves to visually delineate the space, while also adding a bit of versatile storage in the form of mesh pockets that can be moved around as needed. In addition, the net likely acts as a decent safety gate of sorts for the baby. Rather than have floor lamps that take up space, two wall-mounted adjustable lamps and a hanging projector have been integrated into the design. POINT.ARCHITECTS When it's time to eat, a table that is hidden in the wall adjacent to the platform can fold down to accommodate the small family. POINT.ARCHITECTS The kitchen is right beside the main living area, and is equipped with full-height, floor-to-ceiling cabinets that help to transform all the available space into storage for food and kitchen equipment. The look is minimalist and simple, but still natural, thanks to the wooden cabinet panels. One can also see here that a different color has been applied to the hallway area, setting it apart visually from the main living area and kitchen. According to the architects, the kitchen and bathroom use easy-to-clean tiles, while the rest of the joint-free floors have been covered with micro-cement, a blend of cement, fine aggregates, and polymers, sealed with a waterproof sealant. It's relatively more eco-friendly than straight-up concrete, as it's very durable and zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds), and little waste is created during application. It's also extremely easy to clean – a must with small children. POINT.ARCHITECTS Looking into the bathroom, we see the same color palette and design ideas used here: muted colors, and an ultra-minimalist aesthetic. POINT.ARCHITECTS Inside the completely tiled bathroom, we see that it's been built in the "wet bath" style, where it's been finished so that all the surfaces can be wet, thus eliminating the need for tub or shower door – therefore saving some space and keeping with a more modern look. POINT.ARCHITECTS We like how the built-in recessed ledge not only serves to store things, but also incorporates lighting as well, in addition to acting as a spatial element that connects the whole bathroom together. The space-saving floating toilet helps to also increase the floor area. POINT.ARCHITECTS Here's a peek into the child's room, which includes overhead cabinets, which help to condense clutter into under-used areas above. POINT.ARCHITECTS A few hundred square feet may not seem like a lot, but it's possible to optimize it with a thoughtful design approach. And while the ultra-minimalist look of this micro-apartment for three might not be everyone's cup of tea, there is still a good deal of smart small space design ideas here that could be readily adapted to any tiny space. To see more, visit POINT.ARCHITECTS.