Real estate prices are mounting in many big cities, meaning that the traditional, detached single-family home is increasingly out of reach for a growing number of people. Vancouver, Canada is one of these cities where the average detached home might sell for well over a million dollars; the city is ranked third in the world for the most expensive housing.
So it's little wonder that people are finding apartments to rent or buy instead. Contemporist shows how Vancouver-based Anthill Studio renovated a new 600-square-foot condominium for a couple that features a number of clever design ideas that maximize space to create the feeling of a big house, packed into a small apartment. See the tour:
[This is] a residential project where we emptied a new condo in the Olympic Village, and with the homeowner, designed a complete millwork package for throughout. From the initial meeting, space considerations were key and there are many highly technical, space saving design elements throughout. From dining tables for ten that store away in the millwork (chairs too!), to beds that fold up and offices that fold away, every space is deceptive as to its many possibilities.
The entry hallway is quite minimalist, except for two folding benches that can be used for sitting down when taking off one's shoes.
Around the corner is the kitchen, which features open shelving that prominently displays the couple's collection of vintage dishwares. Most of the cabinetry is made from Euro birch plywood, either treated with a natural oil or covered with a coloured laminate surface to give visual pops of colour. There is an ironing board here too, hidden in one of the cabinets, solving that dilemma of where to store those bulky things.
Beside the kitchen is the sitting and dining zones. A row of overhead cabinets over the sofa increases the storage space in the home. The dining area utilizes a dining table that can be pulled out to accommodate up to 10 people, and which can also be used as a work table. All the dining chairs can be stored in the cabinets.
Sliding doors with frosted windows separate the bedroom and office from the main living spaces, letting light in without losing privacy. The office itself can double as a guest room, thanks to a wall-bed.
The bedroom employs yet another small-space design trick: elevating the bed on a storage platform. The bed itself can also be lifted up, revealing even more storage.
The apartment feels open and bright, though it admittedly isn't that small to begin with. Nevertheless, with the incorporation of these smart space-maximizing strategies, this apartment feels like and stores as much as small house -- an advantage in an expensive city with expensive housing. More over at Anthill Studio.