The Architect Is In: A Tiny Live/Work Loft Made Large

I have mentioned several times how I am intrigued with well designed spaces.  I prefer smaller ones.  If done well you do not get the feeling of being closed in at all.  Below is a series of photographs of a loft that is 650 sq feet.  My last apartment was 550 and did not feel at all like this space.  I did not have the storage nor the flexibility in room configuration.  Glad I did not see this while I was in the apartment or I might have cried.

The Architect Is In: A Tiny Live/Work Loft Made Large:

Is it possible for a couple to live and work together harmoniously in 650 square feet? This week Robert Garneau of Studio Garneau (the firm is a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory) takes us through intelligent urban living in his design of a small apartment in New York’s neighborhood of Chelsea. For the next 48 hours, Garneau is available to answer your queries; leave your questions in the comments section below.

Whatever the budget, every urbanite grapples with not having enough space. With a few sleights of hand and some hard-working hardware, Garneau plays magician, seeming to pull living and storage space out of nowhere effortlessly, transforming a 650-square-foot studio into a one-bedroom live/work apartment for a couple who run their office from home. Beware—when you’re not looking, he may just transform it back again.


Above: A sliding wall hides the bedroom beyond and reveals built-in storage and bookshelves (instantly transforming the studio apartment into a one-bedroom apartment).


Above: Once the sliding wall is pulled back, the bookshelf is hidden and the one-bedroom apartment becomes an open studio space.


Above: Another view of the loft with the sliding walls pulled back, revealing an open reading of the space.


Above: Every opportunity for storage has been used, including drawers under the couch.


Above: In the kitchen area, Garneau designed a table which can be adjusted to three heights for three functions; kitchen island (shown above), dining table, and work surface.

Above: The table has been adjusted to work surface height. All office equipment is stored in the white cabinet to the side of the table.


Above: A Murphy bed pulls down to reveal a niche lined in walnut veneer that acts as a headboard.


Above: Night stands have been built into the headboard niche. The walnut veneer on the door is an aesthetically unifying detail.


Above: The sliding wall is pulled back and the Murphy bed has been stored away. Beyond the wall with the painting is the dressing area and bathroom.


Above: A floor-to-ceiling closet is located on one side of the dressing area.


Above L. Garneau creates a shallow dresser for storing folded clothes. Above R: Storage niches are carved into the bathroom walls.


Above: The factory-style windows are typical of the industrial buildings in the neighborhood.


Above: Every inch of available space has been turned over to storage in the bathroom.


Above: The architect as magician.

N.B. Looking for more small apartment inspiration? See 244 images of Small Apartments in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.

(Via Remodelista)

Mini House in Belgium

Here is another brilliant use of small space.  The house was designed for a couple.  My favorite feature is the floating stairs. I love how the functionality is there but they are not heavy visually in the room.

Mini House in Belgium:

This house in Bruxelles, Belgium, did not boast a generous square footage. Which is why the team at Vanden Eeckhoudt-Creyf Architectes decided to expand the place vertically. This contemporary loft was created for a couple with no kids, so the design could get away some adventurous elements. Namely, several sets of minimal floating staircases were used to access each level, and a classic fireman’s pole to easily get down to the bottom floor from any of the upper three floors. How cool is that! The house incorporates a kitchen/dining area, a small living room, a dressing room co-joined with the powder room. A beautiful sleeping loft (my favorite detail) is finishing this dwelling.

(via inthralld)

(Via Shoebox Dwelling)

A brilliant use of space

An example of a brilliant use of space.  It looks cozy and not stark in the extreme minimal terms.

Small Swedish Apartment:

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…

(via freshome)

(Via Shoebox Dwelling)

Leaf House’s Luxury Tiny Home On Wheels

I found this post on Apartment Therapy that continues my fascination with space and how it is used.  I am not sure if I could get down to a 215 square foot space but the layout of this is intriguing.  The fact that it is “portable” is also interesting without being a traditional motor home.

Leaf House’s Luxury Tiny Home On Wheels:

If you’ve been looking to downsize and want to take your home on the road with you, Canadian small space builder Leaf House has slashed the price on its Version.2 tiny home to $44,500. More

(Via Apartment Therapy Main)

Space and a clearer head

Over the last couple of years I have come to realize that I have a problem with space (not outer space) in general. While you might be thinking bigger is better I am moving in the opposite direction.

Over the years I have owned a few houses of varying from 2,000–3,800 sq feet. Last November I purchased a 1,600 square foot home (not counting finished basement). Many people told me it was a mistake it was too small. But I could not disagree more. It is just the right size. Smaller house have some advantages that many people may not think about:

  1. Usually easier to clean
  2. Generally less in taxes
  3. Usually easier to maintain in terms or property upkeep
  4. Generally cheaper to “run” (heat, electricity, water)

In owning a smaller space, you are also faced with having “less” posessions. Having fewer possession prevents you from over decorating – over accessorizing and crowding your space with too much furniture. Many people describe this as being minimal. But I think that is incorrect. Minimal is often thought of as having a white room with one vase on the hearth. Minimal can be seen as a negative conotation.

Minimal to me is having the things you use and love and not extra things that take up room in your life. There is no number associated with this term. Its more about knowing what is important to you. Moving around I have gotten the the habit of releasing things that are clutter in my life now. I donate used things, selling items I no longer use on eBay, give things to friends. While letting go of things can be difficult for many reasons in general a purge every now and then is good for you. I believe there is a direct correlation between your surrounding space and whats in it to how well you think and live. If you have never tried this I would recommend you give it a shot. Its amazing how good it can make you feel.

Containers as Living Spaces

I am really fascinated with small useable spaces.  For the last couple of years I have been following people using old shipping containers as living or office spaces.   I saw this video tweeted from Dwell Magazine.  There are some pretty cool elements shown here.  This couple took it to a much higher level of use actually stacking the containers in the house to create smaller intimate spaces.

Check it out to see what you can do with these used boxes.

How small can you go?

Normally with a title like this you would expect me to be posting about my desire to scale down my computer even smaller to the 11″ MBA. While this is still true this is more about small living spaces and optimization of space and utility.  “I had never heard the term “LEGO Apartments” but after watching this video I totally understand the name.  Building this tiny apartment as test project was a great learning tool for this company.  The narrator shows all the places that they were successful and missed.  I love the example of the built in ottoman – that becomes permanent built in.  As a person fascinated by the use of space seeing this as was a cool project.

LEGO Apartments — Shoebox Dwelling | Finding comfort, style and dignity in small spaces: