Before & After: A Renovated Artist's Studio Is Now an Airy, Efficient Home
Originally built in the 1950s, a 484-square-foot garage in the 14th arrondissement of Paris was converted into a work studio with a kitchen, sleeping area, and bathroom for the French painter Pierre Lemaire in 1970.
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In 2014, Pierre's granddaughter Christine inherited the studio and hired architect Willy Durieu of Atelier Wilda to renovate the space. The transformation, completed in 2017, has resulted in a bright, minimalist loft with an open-plan living area, a master bedroom, a clever guest room with a moveable partition, and a bathroom.
Durieu demolished the existing interior walls of the studio, keeping only the original roof and load-bearing walls, and added large windows and skylights.
He designated the largest volume of approximately 280 square feet to the open-plan living, kitchen, and dining area.
Kitchen appliances and storage were fully integrated into a built-in system along the wall, contributing to a feeling of spaciousness.
Ninety-seven square feet were set aside for the bedroom, whose wardrobe and cabinets are also built into the walls to conserve space. An interior window visually connects the bedroom with the living space.
Despite the small size of the studio, Christine and her husband wanted an extra room, so Durieu designed a bright cabin perched above the bedroom volume, which offers a bird’s eye view of the living spaces below.
Accessible via a Japanese tansu-style staircase that ascends from the living area, this cabin-like space has a workstation with a retractable desk and storage, and a large, elevated guest bed with a skylight above it.
A simple material palette of bamboo flooring, graphite tiles, white walls, and beech wood details was used to keep colors pure and simple, amplifying the sense of space. All the furniture was customized and integrated to optimize storage capacity and flexibility.