Small Apartment Design Exhibiting Creative Space-Efficient Ideas

The following project belongs to that category of small apartment designs with big impact. Like the one we show you yesterday, 60 Square Meters Apartment Concept by Vlad Mishin, this inspiring 450-square-feet studio in Manhattan found on Nytimes is also a great example of how to maximize space and efficiency within a tiny apartment to enjoy every inch of it. Such creative solutions, that can turn a small space into a versatile one to entertain and live in, are extremely appreciated nowadays since the growing lack of space in large urban areas, and we’re delighted to discover new space-efficient renovations.

Small and simple yet elegant and clever designed, the “Unfolding Apartment”, completed in 2007 by principal architects  Michael Chen and Kari Anderson from New York-based multidisciplinary architecture, design and creative agency Normal Architects, is both functional and aesthetically pleasant, proving that smaller isn’t always the worst.

The renovation, which came in at just about $70,000o, was called by the architects “one of extreme density”, capable of bridging the gap between furniture and architecture. Facing the challenge to integrate all of the aspects of a larger space within a compact studio apartment, they succeeded in making the most of this 450 square feet of Upper West Side one by knocking down a few walls, updating the bathroom and kitchen, fabricating the storage unit from scratch, as well as using materials such as plexiglass and fiber board that kept the costs manageable. The star of this lovely interior design that allows to create this open and innovative space is a massive, blue custom cabinetry that runs along the left wall of the apartment and incorporates an extra full-sized Murphy bed for guests, a home office, a desk, a closet, nightstand,a library, additional storage for kitchen and even a bar!

Can you believe it? These functional components are all there, entirely fitted into that single oversized wall-unit allowing for endlessly reconfigurable series of panels and doors while the bright blue color of it gives life to the space, providing a sense of tranquility with its simple, modern design. Friend with the architects, the owner of the “Unfolding Apartment”, Eric Schneider, who previously lived in an apartment in Japan which has double size of this one, says that he’s extremely happy of this result, feeling that is a great place to cook and entertain, and he has never had to worry about feeling like the walls were closing in on him thanks to this simple yet ingenious solution of the blue custom cabinet that turns instantly a room into so many different rooms.

Besides that, the cabinet also features a lot of storage: shelving units on both sides and a double-sided custom closet with additional storage underneath. Even with the Murphy Bed in use, the apartment still accommodates circulation and access to the living room. The space is specially designed for a comfortable and entertaining lifestyle, as the owner always have guests visiting him. A well-planned kitchen, featuring an ample counter space that doubles as a dining table for three –  a Viking range and a set of half-height refrigerators – suggest the love for cooking he has. Beautiful, isn’t it? With minimal effort, he can transform his studio from living room to bedroom to home office, or enjoy an open, cozy living room for relaxing.


Photos © Alan Tansey


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