News Home & Design Studio Apartment Is Revamped With a Multifunctional 'Bedroom Box' This clever architectural intervention delineates spaces without losing the flow between them. By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger starting in 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Updated March 29, 2021 Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checker Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a writer, fact checker, and conservationist with a certification in sustainability. Our Fact-Checking Process Article fact-checked on Mar 29, 2021 Haley Mast Ruetemple Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices In cities where real estate is expensive, smaller living spaces are often cheaper to buy, rent and maintain, and may often be in prime locations close to public transportation, restaurants, parks and cultural activities. On the other hand, apartments that are on the more diminutive side do have their downsides, especially if it's a studio apartment and everything has to be done in the same space. Without walls to define spaces and functionalities, activities like eating, sleeping, and relaxing can kind of blend into one another over time (perhaps finding yourself eating in bed while watching television, for example – which is apparently not so great for your health). Dividing up that undefined space can help create a better sense of "home sweet home," like the remake of this compact apartment in Moscow, Russia by local design studio Ruetemple. Designers Alexander Kudimov and Daria Butakhina explained their strategy in dealing with this issue: "It was important to keep the feeling of air and volume; however, at the same time we understood that it would be impossible to do without a private sleeping zone. Not wanting to construct any solid partitions, resulted in the idea of creating some volume in the center of the apartment, which would be multifunctional, and simultaneously enable the transparency and freedom to be retained." To start with, the apartment had an existing kitchen tucked away in one corner, and an enclosed bathroom, a sizable open-plan space, and two big windows opposite the kitchen and bathroom. Ruetemple To better delineate different functional spaces within the 505-square-foot (47-square-meter) apartment, the designers first installed an elevated wooden platform that contains a kind of "bedroom box" that's partially closed off. Ruetemple The process of going up and down a few steps helps to give the impression that one is going into separate "rooms" in a house. It's a small space design tactic that we have seen being used to good effect before, whether it's in a micro-sized apartment or as part of an "all-in-one" unit. As one might also imagine, having a somewhat partitioned-off space will likely help to improve sleep. Ruetemple Adding a couple of windows and openings in the bedroom box – as the designers have done here – helps to increase ventilation and daylighting. Thanks to the elevation of the bed, it was also possible to add some storage cabinets underneath. Ruetemple Standing on top of the platform and looking away from the bedroom box, we see a workspace, as defined by the floating desk jutting out of the wall, plus some convenient under-floor storage that's been built into the platform. We can also see here a retractable screen has been mounted at the head and foot of the bed for privacy, and for blocking out the light. Ruetemple Seen from another angle, we notice there's a wall that's used as a projection screen for films. In addition to the bed, there are a couple of cozy beanbag-style chairs here to sit on, making it a good place for friends to watch a movie together. Ruetemple Adjacent to the bedroom box we have lots of built-in shelving to house books. Ruetemple Some of that shelving overlaps a rectangular space that's been carved out of the central volume of wood, to make space for an eye-catching green velvet couch. As evidenced by the television set and reading lamp mounted to the walls, this is the place to lounge around, read a book or watch a film. Ruetemple The kitchen here is pretty small but looks functional enough. There's a two-burner induction stovetop, microwave, oven, and full-sized refrigerator. The compact dining counter seems to float above the floor, thanks to the lighting that is mounted underneath. Ruetemple Here's a view of the corridor that's created by the "bedroom box" and its platform. By adding a mirror at the end of this newly formed hallway, one gets the illusion of a long, large space. Ruetemple The bathroom isn't that large either, but the same theme of floating counter space seems to apply here, along with that dramatic use of full-length mirrors. Ruetemple It is indeed striking how an amorphous, undefined space can become much more functional with the strategic placement of architectural interventions like elevated platforms, bedroom boxes, or all-in-one furniture units – and it's a strategy that anyone living in a smaller space should consider. To see more, visit Ruetemple, Behance, Instagram, and Pinterest.