Smaller but more affordable living spaces in big cities are becoming quite popular for their price and convenient location, but making these small living spaces more enjoyable and functional requires some creativity to fit everything in. It can be done though, as New York City based architect Michael K Chen of MKCA shows with this newly renovated, compact 225-square-foot (20 square metres) attic space in the city, which incorporates plenty of delightful space-saving surprises.
The small space, dubbed the Attic Transfomer, has been delineated into various zones for living, sleeping, working and bathing using different transforming elements that can be hidden away when not in use. For example, the main wall of the living room hides a lot of storage in the cabinetry, which is maximized by going all the way up to the ceiling.
When it's time to eat or work, a long table can be pulled out of the custom-made wall unit, which even includes a storage cabinet especially made for the computer.
This idea of customizing the storage to specifically fit the items is carried over to clothing and books -- taller, mirrored cabinets or roll-out storage for clothes that are used more often, and books stored higher up in more compact cupboards.
The biggest item in the apartment is the bed, which has been constructed as a Murphy-style piece that flips up and down out of the main wall, revealing even more storage and a well-lit space for displaying things and reading. Everything is useful here: the door that covers the bed is then used as a partition wall once the bed is down.
The kitchen -- a minimal animal with its small sink and cooktop -- is the only dark-coloured element in the entire space, providing visual contrast to the otherwise bright, white flat (and conveniently hiding any cooking stains).
The bathroom is small, but thanks to the light-coloured tiles, it feels much larger. Storage can be found in the recessed shelving in the walls, and under the sink and behind the mirror.
The tiny apartment, which is located in a completely redone 1840s historic townhouse in Manhattan's West Village, has lots of odd little spaces, such as this one at the entryway. Instead of losing this low, awkward space, shoe storage has been added instead. If one looks at the plan, one can see that yet another odd space has been used to house the pull-out table and rolling wardrobe.
At first glance, this might not seem like a large space, but somehow, with the addition of transforming and mobile elements that can appear and disappear at will, the apartment becomes a much more spacious and functional place to be. For more, visit MKCA.