This Compact Home in Paris Has Nearly 70 Concealed Closets

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Two interior designers convert an old concrete garage into a cozy home for a family of four.

There's no denying residential space can be scarce in metropolitan Paris. Yet, that didn't stop French interior designers Céline Pelcé and Géraud Pellottiero of Atelier Pelpell from creating a cozy, chic dwelling for a family of four. After coming across an old parking garage, the dynamic duo have completely repurposed the unit into a stylish apartment, and have designed a surprisingly spacious layout that features clever storage.

After repurposing the former garage, the space has now been transformed into a surprisingly spacious 700-square-foot home.

After repurposing the former garage, the space has now been transformed into a surprisingly spacious 700-square-foot home.

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To retain the character of the original garage, the designers kept many of the architectural elements in tact, such as the exposed concrete beams, ramps, and vaults. Because the former space only had a single wall of windows, the biggest challenge was to find a way to bring in as much natural light as possible, and to also give the interiors a more open feel.  

The concrete ceilings and beams from the original garage were left in tact during the renovation to pay homage to the character of the original garage.

The concrete ceilings and beams from the original garage were left in tact during the renovation to pay homage to the character of the original garage.

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One of our favorite features of the new home is the amount of clever storage that was integrated into the layout. To increase functional space, the couple designed close to 70 closets within the thickness of the walls, ceilings, and floors. There is also an abundant storage along the entrance corridor, as well as in the hallway between the living area and bedrooms.

"With a single contribution of natural light from the windowed facade facing street, the apartment is designed to be 'turned' toward this light with its glass rooms. Elements holding the old garage function were kept as witnesses and graphic structures of the apartment," explains Pelcé.

"With a single contribution of natural light from the windowed facade facing street, the apartment is designed to be 'turned' toward this light with its glass rooms. Elements holding the old garage function were kept as witnesses and graphic structures of the apartment," explains Pelcé.

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Local carpenters, along with the team at Atelier Pelpell, designed 80 percent of the furniture in the apartment. Transformable pieces, such as a kitchen island with a built-in extendable dining table, were used to maximize functional space.

Local carpenters, along with the team at Atelier Pelpell, designed 80 percent of the furniture in the apartment. Transformable pieces, such as a kitchen island with a built-in extendable dining table, were used to maximize functional space.

Instead of using swinging doors which take up considerable floor space, Pelcé and Pellottiero used a curved sliding door to serve as the entrance to the master bedroom.

Instead of using swinging doors which take up considerable floor space, Pelcé and Pellottiero used a curved sliding door to serve as the entrance to the master bedroom.

The couple also oriented both the bedrooms toward the "window wall" to allow better light penetration throughout these spaces. 

The couple also oriented both the bedrooms toward the "window wall" to allow better light penetration throughout these spaces. 

On the main level, the designers created an alcove playroom for the children. This area doubles as storage space for the kid's toys, so the main living area can remain clutter-free. From the alcove playroom, a ladder leads up to a mezzanine loft with a double-bed and two single beds.

On the main level, the designers created an alcove playroom for the children. This area doubles as storage space for the kid's toys, so the main living area can remain clutter-free. From the alcove playroom, a ladder leads up to a mezzanine loft with a double-bed and two single beds.

Toys and coats are stored in the playroom to keep the rest of the home neat and tidy. 

Toys and coats are stored in the playroom to keep the rest of the home neat and tidy. 

A peek at the loft where the children sleep.

A peek at the loft where the children sleep.

The simple bathroom was fitted with colored glass and black tiles. This space accommodates a generous bathtub and shower.

The simple bathroom was fitted with colored glass and black tiles. This space accommodates a generous bathtub and shower.

The only off-the-rack furniture used for the renovation were the shelves in the living room by Parisian brand Press Citron, TOGO sofas from Ligne Roset, a yellow chair by French design studio Desormeaux-Carrette, and glass BALLROOM lamps in the kitchen from NORDKRAFT. The wallpaper used throughout the home is by Belgium brand Tenue de Ville.

A look at the floor plan of the former garage.

A look at the floor plan of the former garage.

Here is the floor plan for the new apartment.

Here is the floor plan for the new apartment.

Project Credits:

Interior architecture, design and cabinetry: Atelier Pelpell

Builder: Neuilly Renovation

Upholstery: Sophie Masson