This French Studio is 226 Square Feet of Tiny Space Perfection — House Call

Name: Anne Staver
Location: Pentes de la Croix-Rousse — Lyon, France
Size: 226 square feet (plus a 97 square foot bed loft)
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

I recently had the chance to realize a long-standing dream of a pied-à-terre in Lyon, where I spent several years of my youth. It’s located exactly on the block that I always said I wanted to have an apartment, in the old silkworkers’ neighborhood in Lyon (Pentes de la Croix-Rousse). The location is just fantastic — and the wine bar downstairs is almost an extension of my living room.

The apartment was in okay condition, but it had been a rental and it did not have a real kitchen, just a sink and two hot plates, and it was a sort of dirty white. I hired an interior architect, Claire Salais, to design a kitchen and come up with more of a style and soul for the place, and I am so happy with what she managed to do on a really tight budget. She used cheap materials such as OSB, which I think gives a really fun texture, and then did clever things with paint and custom-printed wallpaper.

I have had it for about a year and it’s been about seven months since the renovations were done. For now it’s a vacation home that I mostly use on weekends, but it’s really become my happy place.

“My interior architect Claire Salais designed this kitchen from IKEA units with custom doors, and she even made the lamp over the table herself!”

(Image credit: Thomas Marquez)

I love the high ceiling and the very functional kitchen, where I can cook all the great vegetables I buy at the market. It’s made from IKEA cabinets, but with custom doors, and it’s all I need.

“There is an LED light panel on top of the cabinets, which gives indirect light (the apartment is quite dark) and emphasizes the tall ceilings.”

(Image credit: Thomas Marquez)

“The custom table is narrow so that’s not right in your face when you enter. There is a washing machine hiding under the counter.”

(Image credit: Thomas Marquez)

I was constrained by time and distance and couldn’t do that much myself, but I have to say I found the process of working with interior architect Claire Salais to be really marvelous.

“The interior architect Claire Salais custom made these panels with shelves and hooks.”

(Image credit: Thomas Marquez)

I was able to convey to her what I was after (I made a Pinterest board and met with her a few times), and then she translated that into something I loved but would have never been able to come up with on my own.

“The bed is on the mezzanine which is in the middle of the space. We had simple shelves built, and put in a small reading nook in the wasted space on top of the bathroom.”

(Image credit: Thomas Marquez)

Thanks, Anne!

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