Intentionally small living is a concept I admire. My own small living is unintentional, I occupy the space I can afford in turbulent and pricey Manhattan; but if I did have a choice – I would stay within the confines of pragmatic square footage. Nicole Alvarez had similar thinking. North Carolina based young designer and aspiring architect created a beautiful website, where she photographs and discusses her life in a small and very well thought out studio apartment. Nicole grew up in a typical American suburbia with big houses, spacious yards and non-walkable distances to the nearest town. When her studies brought her to Europe, she fell in love with the pleasures of urban existence – walking commutes, closeness to all city attractions, small and cleverly organized dwellings… Back in Raleigh, North Carolina, Nicole decided to continue living small and rented a 300 sq. ft. studio above a dentist’s office. Watch the beautiful film shot by Fair Companies, showing the tour of the apartment and discussing fascinating housing projects Nicole is working on in her home town.
This beautiful pad belongs to Stockholm based stylist Johanna Laskey. And in spite of its modest size (only 550 sq. ft.), it looks rather spacious. The effect is achieved by clever decoration choices, such as unified color of the furniture, walls and floor (except for the kitchen, where floor becomes a contrasting accent). Even the artwork corresponds to the overall light color scheme, creating an airy feeling. An awkward transitional space between the living room and the kitchen became a home office, accommodating a small desk and a storage cabinet. I love the skillful use of the vintage details across the apartment, which add character but not clutter.
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
This exquisite design belongs to Paris based studio BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY. They took a tiny, elongated studio and turned it into a beautiful minimalist loft, serene and streamlined. The uniformity of color creates an illusion of a bigger space. It also serves as a backdrop for an unusual and clever lighting effect. The kitchen and living room features color distinguishing illumination, while the bed and shower merely uses monochromatic light. This contrast defines and visually zones the place. Check out more images after the break to see the effect in more detail.
This delightful small apartment is located in Barcelona in a 17th century building. Several years ago a family of architects bought the place and transformed into an ultra-modern dwelling. The interior consists of a series of cubes, or boxes. The most impressive one is the glass bathroom cube that can be closed with blinds for privacy. Each of the other areas of the apartment – master bedtoom, kitchen, second bedroom and a living room – can also be isolated into a closed cube. There is even a garden cube that communicates the two bedrooms. Watch the fascinating tour shot by Fair Companies for more details.
We are used to the thought that big pieces of furniture don’t work too well in tiny spaces. This 32 square meter loft studio in Budapest shows that they can. Designers gave 1/3 of the living space to the ample white sectional, without letting it dominate the senses. The uniformity of color and the openness of the layout (the only enclosed room in the apartment is the bathroom) made the place look spacious. The mirrored closet doors, cleverly positioned to reflect the windows, add light and depth to the design. Check out more images after the break.
(via lakber magazin)
This tiny apartment in the Montparnasse neighborhood is a collective effort of architects Marc Baillargeon and Julie Nabucet. Converted from a master suite, it is now a 130 square foot dwelling for one. I am very impressed with the use of space in this project. By elevating the kitchen/dining/bathroom area designers created a clever hiding place for a full sized mattress that doubles as a sofa during a day. And of course the place is a showcase for custom made storage. Steps to the second level, desk, wall cabinetry – all these elements allow storing things without cluttering the view of the apartment.
Japanese people know a thing or two about living small. It comes as no surprise that the nation overpopulating a tiny island is known for inventive approach to real estate. In this ABC report we can peruse an interesting overview of Japan’s small but very cool and beautiful dwellings and understand the logic behind their design. I was also pleased to see an interview with Azby Brown, whose books I love. Enjoy!
(thank you, Sinisa)
This amazing home has been designed by Brooklyn based architect Tim Seggerman. The initial unit is a tiny 240-square-foot studio apartment with a sleeping loft above the kitchen in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. Both designer and the client recall how cluttered and cramped the space has been before the renovation. “You couldn’t imagine a place that was more messed up,” – says Seggerman. His solution was to insert what he calls a “crafted jewel box” into the unused space, creating a cabin-like feel. This was a gratifying choice in many ways, since woodworking is Seggerman’s forte. The result is a beautiful, cleverly segmented interior, that feels warm and secluded. See more images after the break for the full tour.
This stunningly minimalist small apartment in Thiseio, one of the oldest neighborhoods in downtown Athens, has been built by architect Werner Maritsas. Initially the tiny 32-square-meter space was divided into four rooms and a corridor. So, some serious wall breaking had to take place. “With the first look at the house, I realized the potential,” – says Werner. – To open all the space, to lighten the main area by allowing more natural light in and leading the view to garden was, for me, the only solution. In this spirit I’ve opened completely the house to the garden creating an indoor/outdoor effect and replacing the old light well walls with two floor-to-ceiling windows, creating a more or less dual-light aspect.” Nearly all functional elements in this home exist in the form of built-ins. This approach eliminates visual clutter and creates unity of the surfaces, essential in a small space. Watch the video by Fair Companies to get the tour of the apartment and hear the history of this amazing reno. Also check out Werner’s website for the compelling before-and-afters.