European cities are quite a bit older than those in North America; generally, apartment buildings are more aged and densely packed in, making small apartments the rule rather the exception. As we've said before, living in a small space doesn't have to be a hardship; in fact, it's what you do with the space that counts.
Case in point is this lovely small space redo by architect Elodie Gaschard of Atelier Miel and Michaël Martins Alfonso, who collaborated as a team to overhaul and customize this small 484-square-foot apartment in the historical heart of Bordeaux, France. The designers started by designing various built-in furniture and storage solutions that allow clutter to be hidden, and the tiny space to be maximized by transformer-style pieces of furniture that would link up spaces in a useful way.
The apartment is laid out over two storeys, with the sitting room and kitchen on the first floor. Coming in, one sees a full wall of customized shelving that also integrates storage drawers on the bottom, as well as a dining and work table that can be shifted out.
The shelving unit also visually overlaps a reading nook that doubles as a dedicated desk in one corner of the space, which can be customized with black foam cushions, or completely removed to reveal the work surface. It's actually a clever way to use what would be an otherwise awkward space.
The kitchen area's cabinetry juts out, and the black surfaces makes it seem like it's suspended, lending an illusion of a larger space and continuity with the adjoining stair.
Along the lines of smart small space design, the minimalist stairway going up to the bed and bath has lots of concealed storage space. Upstairs, the bedroom has the same idea for full-height cabinetry, and the bathroom has similar floating storage volumes under the modern sink.
With a bit of design forethought, small spaces can be made to feel much more space-efficient and livable than one may imagine at first; as we've seen with innumerable previous examples, the secret is to make do with what's there and to get creative. More over at Atelier Miel.