Clever cubbies augment tiny 240 sq. ft. NYC apartment

© Tim Seggerman

Tiny spaces often need some clever design wrangling to make them more livable and appealing, especially in dense quarters like Manhattan. Brooklyn-based architect Tim Seggerman's renovation of a cramped and cluttered "240-square-foot shoebox" of a studio on the Upper West Side demonstrates some skillful re-working of the space into something much more efficient and charming.

© Tim Seggerman

According to Dwell, the client -- an anthropology professor who had been living there since 1980 -- and Seggerman are both big fans of master furniture designer George Nakashima, who was famous for his precise joinery and craftsmanship.

© Tim Seggerman

Seggerman, who often uses his home workshop to build out parts of his architectural projects, decided to approach the space very much as a "crafted jewel box," using a series of overlapping spatial cubbies and cabinets, layering the space with light-coloured woods that helped to give the appearance of spaciousness.

Seggerman used a variety of beautiful woods to achieve the refined look -- cypress and bamboo for the cabinets, ash and beech for the staircase, white oak flooring and red birch for the desk.

The crowning touch is definitely this little library nook, created out of an irregular space beside the sleeping loft, which now seems like a calm cocoon from the daily hustle and bustle of the outside.

© Tim Seggerman

Unbelievably, there's a washing machine hidden behind a sliding door, beside the library.

© Tim Seggerman

Best of all is the old existing fireplace, which gives this updated micro-apartment a classic touch.

© Tim Seggerman

Wish we could have seen the "before" pictures; more over at Dwell and Tim Seggerman's site.

Tags: Architecture | New York City | Small Spaces