When Heidi Waterfall and her family of 5 moved into a 79 square meter (850 square feet) apartment in Paris, they needed to fit 3 boys in one bedroom and renovate a tiny kitchen on a small budget.
As renters, they didn’t want to invest in anything permanent, so Heidi scouted for transforming antiques like a Secretary desk that would turn a hallway into an office when needed.
For the kitchen, she fell in love with a French all-in-one kitchen furniture trend from the mid-1900s: the Buffet Mado. It’s a tiny piece that includes a ventilated cooler cabinet, coffee grinder, porcelain spice and tea drawers, and enough pantry space for a family of five. It’s also completely portable, so when the family moves they can bring it along.
Her inspiration for the portable kitchen came from an online discovery of the concept of “freestanding kitchens.” She was equally inspired by a US Department of Agriculture film (and fairly scientific study) from 1949 called “A Step Saving Kitchen” which studied the ideal layout for maximizing kitchen space.
To fit 3 boys (2 teens) in one small bedroom, she hacked IKEA beds to create canopied privacy and under-bed drawers as their only closets. Heidi’s and her husband’s closets are antique wardrobes stored in their bedroom and living room.