Once upon a time in Paris there was an old écurie in the courtyard of a turn of the century apartment building. It's purpose had been to house the horses that drew the calèche that brought the owners home.
Fast forward to the late 70's; the écurie, is now no more than a remise, a tall dark storage space with 2 large wood shutter-like doors. The owners offer the space and the accompanying cellar to their daughter, a working young adult, and suggest she see if it could be turned into a small living space. So she hires a friend, an architect just out of school himself, and the transformation work begins. The space becomes a tiny house-like studio apartment. She occupies it for a little over a year until she realizes she requires more space; so the studio is rented out. for a long, long time. 
One day a year ago she took it back imagining it could be a perfect pied à terre during frequent trips back to Paris. Hélas! the various occupants had not always given the little house the respect it deserved. So once again renovations were made and the little space brought up to more modern living standards; évidemment, living-in-a-tiny-space standards. 
 the facelift of the little écurie 
then and now
French doors had been added behind the large shutters-the ex-écurie doors- and a large window cut out following the curve of decorative stone work on the building's façade. A lot of sanding and painting and fixing had to take place this time around to return the entrance to its 70's state.

On the mezzanine a bedroom with a bathroom. a small closet was added at the top of the mezzanine stairs.

The bathroom was gutted to make way for a shower and the glass walls, (which had been shuttered by miniblinds when the bathroom was in use) were in an atrocious state of disrepairand were replaced by lower-maintenance tiled walls.

The entry space was replaced by a washer/dryer "closet" and a small corner table, to be used more as a vide poche, a place to throw your keys, and a telephone charging station than a proper table.

The kitchen -I should say the minuscule kitchenette -in French real estate lingo- has been given an small island and top cabinets. a great improvement.

The view from the mezzanine shows the diminutive living area. Very 70's carpeted cement platforms have been removed for design flexibility and a more
contemporary feel.  

The cellar had been turned into an office/dressing room and it still is; it now also functions as a spare bedroom thanks to very efficient air filtering system.

Thus ends the 21st Century remodel story of the little écurie; another 30 years perhaps before someone else takes it through yet another design incarnation.  

*editor's note: please forgive the use of this blog for advertising purposes but  opportunity calls: the little écurie is offered for rent by the week or month through www.parisaddress.com -apartment PICCI16. 
before images , le journal de la maison 1978 - after images, Parisaddress.com

au revoir.


  1. Chere Jeanne-Aelia,

    What a gorgeous space. Did you have anything to do with the decoration?
    The story that went with it is absolutely charming.


  2. Thank you Tish; yes, being the owner I did do all the decorating and going back and forth and emailing and.. etc. but funny enough I much prefer the feel the place had in the late 70's; this time around I had to make it simple to put together by my contractor, I did a lot from here and I had to keep in mind that I was going to rent it out furnished when I did not use it, so I had to follow some "furnished rental" guidelines. I have spent in all 1 week there with my daughters and it was fun, practical but of course not as much "home" as before. It was such a mess when I got it back...decourageant! merci pour le gentil commentaire et a bientot.

  3. Bonjour Jeanne-Aelia,
    Fabulous, the courtyard is beautiful. You did a wonderful job creating this space.

  4. Merci, merci. Its a courtyard that I would love to be allowed to make a little more green- as in more greenery- but as in all coproprietes a lot of negociating must take place...but is nice and very quiet. A bientot