This beautiful loft is located right in my neighborhood, Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The initial layout was challenging, as many New York apartments are (see the dramatic before photos after the break). The footprint of the place is only 425 square feet, but luckily the height of the unit is ample and generously crowned with access to a roof terrace (a big luxury in our steel jungle).
Here is how the architect, Specht Harpman, describes this project: “Our solution created four separate “living platforms” inserted within the space that provide room for all the essentials and still allow the apartment to feel open and light-filled. Given the minuscule size of the apartment, every inch of space is put to use. Stairs are not merely for circulation through the apartment, but feature built-in storage cabinetry and drawers below. The main bath and shower, in fact, are also built below the primary staircase. The kitchen featured fully concealed appliances, flip up high storage units for easy access, and a countertop that wraps into the main living space, becoming a virtual “hearth” with built-in entertainment system.”
Thanks to all these built-ins, there isn’t much need for the traditional furniture. Only three pieces remain – a couch, a bed and a chair. This ascetic approach creates some open space and contributes to the minimalist style of the interior.
Photography by Taggart Sorensen
Every cat-lover has to face the inevitable – cats will always attempt to scratch furniture. Of course, you can try to plea, negotiate, threat and/or offer them scratchy toys. But all these patronizing techniques are usually dismissed by the animal, who is infinitely better at patronizing than any human. Not to mention – scratchy toys add clutter to the room. So, what are the options? I quite like the idea, developed by artist and designer Crystal Gregory for studio Modernist Cat. She incorporated scratch-pads into lovely mid-century inspired storage. The Circa50 console, aside from the cat-friendliness, is a beautiful leaning piece, ideal for any small apartment. It takes very little floor space and creates a functional solution for keeping important items at hand, while giving your cat the ultimate place to express herself. The piece is handcrafted from walnut hardwood veneer ply and features removable/replaceable carpet tiles for scratching. The carpet tiles are available in five colors.
Miniki modular kitchen has been created with small spaces in mind. Designers considered the fact that in most studio apartments cooking and lounging areas are squeezed into one room. So they envisioned a kitchen that disappears after use. “This is the only way to turn the living room back into a room to live in,” – they point. The finished product is a beautiful and clever system of three interchangeable units that hide all cooking paraphernalia and look like an elegant sideboard. Fabulous. And with 15 colors available – there is every chance to customize the piece for any interior. Miniki kitchen scored several awards including the Reddot Design Award 2012 and the Interior Innovation Award 2013.
It’s that time of year again when urban folks experience seasonal envy toward those who can grill on their backyards. I say, embrace your limitations, fellow-urbanites, and check out this cool item from German designer Henrik Drecker, called Bruce Handrail Grill. As the name suggests, the piece is attached to the handrail of your balcony (or fire escape). It functions like a proper charcoal grill and takes as much space as a flower pot. The grill can also be attached to the wall directly for a more permanent arrangement. Love it!
(via like cool)
Chevron Shelves by Australian designer Henry Wilson is a beautifully simple and adaptable object, perfect for small or frequently changing spaces. The piece is modular, so you can create a configuration specific to your interior and storing needs. It is also flat-packed. Each unit is assembled from four pieces of precision milled birch-ply. The shelves are put together via the slot-in principle without any tools or adhesives. I love the ergonomic tilt, allowing to see contents of the lower shelves at a glance. It’s also pleasing that the shelves are tall enough for big art books and magazines.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Donald M. Rattner.
Appo Cork Trays are a great way to repurpose those empty wine and beverage bottles that might otherwise be discarded. Slide an Appo into the bottle neck to transform the container into an eye-catching centerpiece or serving tray for hors d’oeuvres. They also work well for creating nifty tabletop or shelf displays, especially when grouped together in bottles of contrasting shape and size.
The tray is made from renewable and durable cork, a substance with the practical benefit of simultaneously resisting heat, moisture, and cold to a degree unmatched by most materials. A tray measures 18 inches in diameter. Appo was designed by Carlo Trevisani for Seletti.
This cool item by German studio Why The Friday consists of four clamping wedges that can be attached to a sheet of wood (or any other material for that matter) to create a table. You can vary this improvised tabletop in size, color, thickness and texture. What a great idea for a small and/or oddly shaped room! I also like the look of the legs, resembling four blue monkey wrenches. They are also semi-finished and cheap to produce.
Patch is a clever self-watering herb planter, created for people with questionable gardening abilities. Instead of trying to figure out how much water the plant needs and how often it needs it, this piece allows you to fill the reservoir and go by your business. It will deliver water to the roots itself. The principle is simple – assemble your planter, fill it with soil, plant seeds and starter plants, fill the reservoir with water through a specially provided tube and walk away. The soil will take enough water through the wicking leg, located in the middle. Beautiful and simple idea. I also like the low tech casual look of the piece.