Family of 5 optimizes space with ‘1950s transformer furniture

When Heidi 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 -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 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 for the portable kitchen came from an o line 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 Kitchen” that studied the ideal layout for maximizing kitchen space.

To fit 3 boys (2 teens) in one small bedroom she hacked IKEA beds to created canopied privacy and under bed as their only closets. Heidi’s and her husband’s closets are antique wardrobes stored in their bedroom and living room.

On *faircompanies


  1. This video conveys so much more than you’d think. Pay attention Americans; This woman’s ingenuity and make-do-with-less is what todays modern society has lost do to gluttony and over self indulgences.

  2. Revelation 14:12
    (King James Version)

    12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

  3. The American version of this cabinet (generally similar time frame as well) is the amazing Hoosier Cabinet! I yearn for one!

  4. 20th Century gave us some amazing inventions and designs. Now that we’re looking back into minimalism and functionality, I’m glad these furniture are gaining attention again. I mean…not to mention how WELL they were built! Some of the hardiest items are from the 20th Century.

  5. The mom has been creative to maximize space, form, utility and even privacy! Enjoyed watching her kitchen organization and IKEA hacks. Awesome. I hope to incorporate some of her ideas! Thanks for this tour.

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