Before & after: porters' lodge to modern studio

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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The Before and After project in the spotlight today is an old 17m² porters' lodge, transformed into an amazing modern studio. The creator of this prodigious metamorphosis is architect Geraldine Laferté, who particularly loves small spaces and provides innovative solutions to maximise their potential. This project was therefore an extremely exciting prospect for our expert. Located in the eighteenth arrondissement of Paris, this lodge was in poor condition before the intervention of the architect who, after carrying out extensive research, was able to draw up a plan for the complete renovation of the space. The result dazzles us with its consistency, functionality, and aesthetics. Let us take a closer look and fully explore this impressive apartment…

Before: kitchen and bathroom

  by Géraldine Laferté
Géraldine Laferté

La cuisine et la salle de bain avant

Géraldine Laferté

Here is the porters' lodge in its original state: the tiled wall is outdated, the plumbing antiquated, and the flooring old-fashioned and in need of replacement. A complete renovation was needed in order to accommodate a kitchen and bathroom suitable for contemporary living. 

After: kitchen and bathroom

Now we'll explore the bathroom and kitchen after the renovation work. Note that in a space so narrow, the appliances which need to be connected to the plumbing system are located next to each other for convenience. The bathroom is easily accessible by the stairs, with a polished concrete divider echoing the splashback in the kitchen, which creates a dialogue between the two spaces. 

 At only 17m², this pretty studio had to be designed intelligently, with storage and floor space a priority. In light of these requirements, the bathroom has been elevated 80cm to provide extra space for the water heater. 

White and wood, the perfect duo

The former porters' lodge is situated on the ground floor, and so the bright aspect it enjoys is surprising. The explanation for this is very simple, however: it has a large window overlooking a courtyard, and the buildings opposite are fortunately not very high. In addition, the architect has cleverly chosen furniture covered with shiny white lacquer to intensify the impression of brightness, which evidently works really well! 

This section of the apartment sets the tone for what is to follow. Wood is present in the work tops, the cupboards, and it is also the material of choice for the floor. The floorboards add warmth to the interiors, and are themselves enhanced by the surrounding pristine furniture. This contrast between absolute whiteness and timber creates a very fresh design effect that reflects current trends.

Before: dining room

  by Géraldine Laferté
Géraldine Laferté

La salle à manger avant

Géraldine Laferté

The original dining room appears cold, the wallpaper is stained and peeling, and the walls are crumbling. There was clearly a pressing need to rejuvenate the apartment and address the deplorable state it was in before its renovation. On top of the issues already listed, humidity and mould were also big problems which needed to be tackled. Particular attention has been paid to the space to make it habitable and welcoming, as you can see from the image below.

After: dining room with a practical layout

Here is the dining room after a much needed face-lift! The architect has defined the dining area using a clean floral feature wall. The contemporary wallpaper with grey and white graphic patterns blends well with the furniture in the room. As optimising space was the main priority of this project, creative solutions were sought. The architect chose to use modular furniture which is retractable and detachable. Functional and versatile seating responds to the need for more storage in this tiny apartment. 

One fundamental element of any dining room appears to be missing, but is actually just well-hidden: the table. The ingenuity of the expert here reaches its climax as we discover a folding table in solid oak, mounted to the wall. It merges into the background because of its extreme thinness, perfect for when space is at a premium.

Before: bedroom/living room

  by Géraldine Laferté
Géraldine Laferté

La chambre / salon avant

Géraldine Laferté

Here is the sleeping/living room before the renovation. Suffice to say that the place was in poor condition, and that it took a lot of imagination in order to make it habitable.

After: office area and lounge-bedroom

What a transformation! Here we can see the renovated office area and lounge. Keep in mind, the focus of the project, namely the optimisation of space. The retractable desk, like the dining room table, can be folded and attached to the wall. A grey sofa-bench was installed to create a warm and comfy living area. Once again, the bench is not a traditional model: two white cubic stools and a black lacquer coffee table slot discreetly beneath the couch. True innovation!

Clever storage

This angle allows us to not only discover the living area, and get a better view of the modular furniture and how it fits together, but we can also appreciate the clever storage space. 

Modular bedroom

The mezzanine is the first solution that comes to mind when space in our bedroom is quite limited. A folding mezzanine has been created above the living room and office to maximise floor space. In the previous image, we can see a wooden panel concealing the bed. The furniture has been made to measure, and built with top quality materials to ensure it withstands the ware and tear of daily use. 

A well-appointed living space

Once again, we're impressed by the innovative approach to design demonstrated here. Storage has been incorporated into the headboard to store pillows, sheets, and anything else one might need. For example, the little shelves at the top are used as a library to store the occupants favourite bed-time reads. 

Our tour ends here, but we hope you were able to take some ideas to develop your studio or apartment! To discover other simple ideas to expand the space of your room, and to be inspired by another before & after project, take a look at the following ideabooks:

6 things every tiny flat needs

Before & after: renovating a villa in Tuscany

What do you think of this transformation? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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