This small apartment in Barcelona, redesigned by its owners Monica Potvin and Markel Otaola, uses an interesting approach to space-saving. Instead of creating a separate bathroom, laundry room and kitchen, they built a cube in the center of their home to house all of the utilitarian stuff. Even the floor space under the hallways around the cube is used for extra storage; this was inspired by the tuck-away elements on sailboats (Markel is a sailor). Watch the beautiful home tour, shot by Fair Companies, to get Monica’s take on living small and a lot of great space-saving ideas.
Fair Companies never disappoint. One of the recent home tours they have posted simply made me gasp, that’s how brilliant it is. The 40 square meter (430 square foot) apartment is comprised of a bedroom, living room, fully equipped kitchen (even the wine cooler is there), dining room, dressing room and a shower. Inspired by traditional Japanese architecture, the author of the project, Miguel Angel, used sliding doors to divide the place into zones and create privacy when it’s needed. These doors move in multiple directions, allowing for softer closings of one large space. How clever. But my favorite detail of the apartment is the indoor/outdoor shower. Located in the center of the apartment, it features a hole in the ceiling. From above the hole appears to be a simple planter on the roof deck with the ivy plants disguising the depth of the descent (though the wood of the planter is the same wood of the shower). From inside, the hole turns an otherwise windowless bathroom into a magical place. During a storm it allows showering in the rain, provides cool air during summer and creates an illusion of a tropical retreat during chilly winter days… Check out the video to see the comprehensive tour of this rare urban gem.
Kane Chan, the owner of this sleek NY loft, moved to Big Apple from London in 2009. He found this 520 square feed one bedroom apartment in an old industrial building in East Village. The 1929 landmark has been converted to co-ops in the seventies. What in real estate agents’ jargon sounded like “charming prewar details” (pardon the bitterness – I’m apartment hunting) in reality amounted to scary-looking dingy surfaces, narrow rooms and an unlivable loft, occupied by the AC system. Only his photos (see the thumbnails after the break) can speak to the level of transformation.
But the apartment had good bones, not to mention – great light coming from a huge window. With the help of the designer Sergio Mercado, the full benefit of these qualities emerged. “The space was bisected by the bedroom wall,” Mercado says. Once that came down, the full beauty and light from the windows was revealed. The mezzanine loft is now a bedroom. Though only 227 square feet, it is elegant and efficient, with storage area for books in the oak shelf. Thoughtful color accents throughout the apartment, expertly played against shades of gray, break the monochrome scheme, diving the sense of completeness to the space.
This small (approximately 409 square feet) apartment in Sidney, Australia, initially had an open loft-like floor plan. Which posed an obvious problem for the owners, a family of three, – privacy was desperately needed. The solution, suggested by Anthony Gill Architects, was ingenius. They’ve built a partition from book shelves and closed storage, and divided the place in four sections – living room, child’s bedroom, dining room and kitchen. To accomodate parents’ bed, the clever sliding compartment was invented. Thus the bed is hiding underneath the child’s room when not in use and rolled out when needed. Designers elaborate: ”The aim was to create a space that would suit a couple with a young child. The existing joinery (not original) was demolished leaving only the masonry walls to the bathroom which remains untouched. A new joinery element was inserted to re-configure the space, addressing the issues of privacy, storage and a lack of living space inherent in an apartment of this size.”
Photography by Peter Bennetts
Looking for my own kitchen inspiration, I’ve stumped upon this beautiful DIY remodel. The author of the projet, Linn, states in her blog that the whole ordeal took one month and $6,230. She shares the details of the project, including marble and granite floor work and stainless steal couter installation. I’m especially loving the subway tile, the cabinet hardware, and the overall lightness of the room, which visually opens up this 90 square feet space. A clever, simple and tasteful makeover.
This small but cozy apartment in Gothenburg’s Lorensberg district, found through Stadshem, demonstrates a great use of space. The place in its entirety is only 38 square meters (little more than 400 square feet). Yet it includes all essential components without looking cramped. The sleeping loft (my personal favorite detail) is connected to the floor-to-ceiling bookcase. The space under the staircase is used for storage, uncluttering other areas of the apartment. Unified surfaces and unobstructed sunlight make the place appear bigger. Beautiful design, seriously flares up my real estate envy…
This minimalist apartment has been designed by St. Petersburg based architect Oleg Trofimov. The 59 m² (approximately 640 square feet) residence includes a living room, dining room, galley kitchen with an island, bedroom and even a tiny workspace. Most elements of this small dwelling are interchangeable, allowing for creative use of space.
The apartment is a gem of space-saving creativity. The custom built unit in the living room, in addition to providing storage, hides a dining table and four dining chairs. In order to visually open up a tiny bedroom space, designer created a see-through shower and a free standing sink (with more storage!). Only the toilet and bidet are secluded. When privacy (or noise control) is needed, the closet door in the bedroom slides to cover the threshold. The small fold-away desk completes the bedroom suite.
Envisioned as a retreat for an avid art collector, the place works as a backdrop for the art pieces, displayed on the walls. Clean lines and neutral color scheme add to this gallery-like aesthetic, which in itself is quite an achievement in a space of this size.
I truly think that every shoebox dweller should know about this incredible project (and those who do might enjoy a revisit). Closet House by Marta Costa and Henrique Pinto, principal architects of Consexto, took blogosphere by storm two years ago after winning the prestigious ArchDaily “Building of the Year” award. This 44 square meter (~475 sqft) home was made not only livable, but luxuriously comfortable thanks to many technological advancements. Truly a home of the future, Closet House is marked by minimalist design, integrated features and sophisticated automation.
Here is how Marta Costa describes the role of the project in today’s changing housing market: “The Closet House mirrors the concept of the company in that this experimental project is intended to make people questions the models of standard housing. With the evolution of science, at various levels, and consequent social and technological changes occurring in the 1990s such as mobile phones and the internet, housing had to necessarily follow such growth and adapt to new demands of the everyday world.”
Enjoy the video tour of the Closet House above and check out the rest of the interview with Marta here.
Architects Rosa and Robert Garneau of Studio Garneau have built a home in this 650 sq. f. loft in prewar high-rise building in Chelsea, Manhattan. The couple created a clever and adaptable space by making all functional sections of the apartment perform many roles at once. Thus, the bedroom serves as an entertainment area (when the bed is tucked away), the kitchen counter works as a dining table or a desk, a sitting area doubles as storage… I am very impressed with built-in cabinetry and custom made furniture pieces, capable to hide away papers, linens, and personal things. Not an inch of the apartment is wasted, everything has a purpose. Even the clothing rod in the closet doubles as a light. Another cool feature as a sliding divider that separates the room and creates privacy in the bedroom area. The white painted side of the divider, turned towards the living area, is used as a screen for the home theater system. Fabulous!.. Watch the video for a detailed tour of the apartment.
This project has been completed by New York based architectural bureau Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture. They took a typical cramped elongated studio in East Village and expanded the space vertically. This allowed them to add many full-sized amenities, including bedroom, home office, entertainment area, walk-in closet, and lots of storage.
Designers explain: “Economy, functionality and privacy were the primary drivers in the design of this sixth floor home office studio. Meticulously detailed millwork provides ample storage, making this small-footprint apartment extremely efficient. A bedroom loft creates space for a roomy walk-in closet below, while stair risers conceal a series of built-in drawers. Every inch of the space has been effectively exploited.”