kitoko studio fills tiny 8 sqm parisian apartment with hidden amenities kitoko studio fills tiny 8 sqm parisian apartment with hidden amenities
oct 28, 2014

kitoko studio fills tiny 8 sqm parisian apartment with hidden amenities

kitoko studio fills tiny 8 sqm parisian apartment with hidden amenities
photo © fabienne delafraye
all images courtesy of kitoko studio




maid rooms in paris have long been considered unattractive and secluded spaces in the beautiful haussmann buildings, renovations commissioned napoleon III and led by georges-eugene haussmann. always located on the top level under the roof, they are characterized by their small size, with a rudimentary interior aesthetic and common circulations difficult to access. over time, the rooms have known different usages, therefore losing their original purpose and becoming attics or storage closets. thereafter, the general increase in property prices has also generated a new consideration of these forgotten areas and generated a renewed housing. in response, kitoko studio has taken on the task of arranging an 8 square meter location for a client’s future au pair.


video courtesy of kitoko studio




despite the limited dimensions, the space had to be functional in order to sleep, cook, eat, wash, work and store a maximum amount of items. according to the studio, their architectural response that implements many different amenities refers to the ‘concept of the swiss army knife’. the accessory is a simple knife but, by a game of sliding and folding, it can contain a multitude of tools in a very small object. therefore, the renovation is a modular transcription of such an object with elements of storage, a bed, a table, a wardrobe, a staircase, a kitchenette and a bathroom, all fully integrated within a large closet, which can be opened and closed according to the needs and changes the perception of space. kitoko believes, ‘the requirement of a unique multifunctional space has first been seen as a fairly complex constraint and, in the end, it became the real strength of the project.’

kitoko studio 8 sqm tiny apartment paris
wide view with the dinner table in the center of the room
photo © fabienne delafraye

kitoko studio 8 sqm tiny apartment paris
closed and open views of the stepped bookshelf
photo © fabienne delafraye

kitoko studio 8 sqm tiny apartment paris
opening the bed and closet
photo © fabienne delafraye 

kitoko studio 8 sqm tiny apartment paris
photo © fabienne delafraye 

kitoko studio 8 sqm tiny apartment paris
(left) bookshelf and AC system
(right) bathroom interior
photo © fabienne delafraye 



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


  • Design making the best of a really bad situation. Can’t believe with all the beautiful, expansive apartments in this building, wealthy clients are still stuffing their help into closets. Ugh!

    Sue says:
  • I really appreciate this work. Creative use of limited & expensive space. More units like this could really ease housing crunches in many cities! What a great first apartment! You could move in an hour if need be!

    Patrick Hayes says:
  • I like the design idea but my first concern is…how in the world do you have a good love life in that itty bitty bed crammed into a closet? Sure the bathroom…okay on that mini breakfast table…but really I know I like a nice big bed with my lover. I hope designers remember love making is hugely important and allow a more space for such an important part of a healthy life.

    heavy says:
  • This is a terrible design. First, the aesthetics have nothing to do with the building or city or time period. Second, everything is gray! Even the floor — at least give the poor girl some faux hardwood. Third, you can’t redecorate any part of the metallic-plastic wall of cupboards.

    Watching her climb into bed from that steep, narrow bookcase with no railing is like watching a horror flick. Then she has to crawl completely inside her bed-coffin before she can reach the light switch. When she starts to shut herself in you want to scream, “No! You have so much to live for!”

    When she pulls out that table she visibly flinches at the screechy noise it makes. She sits down on her backless stool and rests her arms on the anti-ergonomic table that’s several inches too high, contemplating her life as she stares at the blank back wall.

    Then the bathroom! A vertigo-inducing mass of tiny tiles with a toilet and a vanity inside the shower. Seriously? How do you clean that? How do you even keep it dry?

    The only place you want to be in that room is close to the window, and they’ve blocked that with a nearly-useless kitchenette. It looks like the neighbor’s window looks directly into your bathroom, but it’s not clear that you can pull down the shades without a stepstool.

    There’s no full-length mirror, despite the fact that the only reasonable use for this apt is sleeping, showering, and dressing. There are no coathooks.

    That overhead pendulum light looks like you could clunk your head on it at anytime, and it probably gets very hot and only lights a small circle of space.

    My questions: Can you climb out the window to the fire escape if there’s a fire? Where do you wash your clothes? Do you lug your laundry up and down 7 flights? How do you change the sheets on your prison cot of a bed? How do you take out the trash? What do you do with all the bare, dull space that’s left after you shut all the beauty and life of your home away into your wall of drawers?

    JMM says:
  • Really like the functionality they added into such a small space.
    By the way, assuming it’s a neo-haussamn building, there probably isn’t a fire escape waiting for you at that window. That’s why they saw no problem with that. It was an option (questionable, of course), like the kind of kitchenette they used.
    The absence of a a laundry washing machine isn’t an abnormal fact in Paris. Usually, most appartments of this size and even some bigger ones lack one. You can either go to a self-service laundry or, it is quite possible that you have a laundry in your own building with a dryer included.
    Trash would be the same. The service corridour could have a conection that goes trough all the floors where you can trow the garbage. The garbage would go all the way to the basement or floor 0 and it would eventually be removed by the building’s janitor.
    The overhead pendulum isn’t gonna bash her in the head. I’m not sure how tall she is but i’d say you would have to be 2 meters tall to get bashed with it. Agree with the lighting range tough I’m not sure if an 8 square meters appartment really needs a bigger range of light. Would have to see it illuminated by night. If it get’s too hot, get another kind of light bulb…
    As far as what to do with all the dull space when you shut everything inside the drawers, you probably should go out and have some fun. If you live in an 8 square meter appartment you are not looking to spend most of your time in it.

    J. Wong says:
  • +1 JMM
    It’s supposed to be modular but living like that must be like being trapped in a cupboard.
    And these “plants” on the wall of doors, awful. The room was pretty sad before the renovation though.

    Arnould says:
  • This is excellent design. The estethics fits with the need for smart innovations in today need to fit a lot of people who want (and need) to live in big cities, where space is as know limited for many. The subtle design looks good, and I think this smartness goes over the need for redecorating. Her bedspace is smart and cool, and the staircase isn’t scary. Unless you’re disabled or old I think it’s good. Amazing bathroom, I can’t believe it. It’s perfect. And it looks nice too. I’ve had it much worse in much bigger places, so I salute this design and if I someday have to like like this I will be more than pleased. I hope this elevates the thoguht of smart design for small apartments in the future. This should be trending and become standard. Variations of this design could be good, but all in all, this is cool. Go future!

    VS says:
  • Wow, JMM a whole bunch of negatives!
    I agree with Patrick, what a wonderful idea to create a home for the less fortunate.
    Many people would give their eye teeth to be this comfortable.
    A huge thumbs up to the designer.

    Wilhelmina says:
  • I prefer the apartment before the renovation. Of course adding a bathroom was a must. To quote Marty Feldman in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, “a coat a paint and a few throw pillows…” and I’d would have been much happier than with this train sleeper compartment look. It’s clever, but soul-less. My wife agrees. We have made it our business to make small places livable without sacrificing charm. I agree with JMM, room for love making is also a must. And when JMM wondered “Can you climb out the window…” I thought the sentence would finish with “…to jump”.

    ASmithee says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news