News Home & Design Minimalist and Multifunctional Micro-Apartment Is Made for Co-Living This flexible studio features a multifunctional bed unit that can store lots of mobile pieces of furniture. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast on February 24, 2021 LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process on February 24, 2021 12:39PM EST Never Too Small Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices As housing prices rise and the nature of work shifts from the static office to something much more mobile, many of the younger generation are adopting more minimalist lifestyles, making their homes in smaller spaces, and testing out different models of housing and work – anywhere from global lease subscriptions and coworking. There's the co-living model too, where each resident in a co-living community gets their own small but efficiently designed living space, kitchen, and in many cases, a private bathroom. The idea is that each person has some amenities that are private, but there's plenty of larger shared spaces to go around: big communal kitchens, workspaces, lounges, gyms, terraces, and rooftop patios – resulting in an option that's more affordable, but doesn't sacrifice on comfort or the community aspect. In the Stanmore neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, the architects of Mostaghim and Associates worked with co-living brand UKO to create a series of micro-apartments, each outfitted with space-saving transformer furniture. We get to visit one of these units at UKO Stanmore, via Never Too Small: Never Too Small Measuring 205 square feet (19 square meters), the studio unit as seen in the video features a compact kitchen, bathroom and a multipurpose bed unit that hides a lot of tricks up its sleeve. There's also a pretty big balcony of 64 square meters (6 square meters), which helps to connect the inside with the outdoors. Besides the balconies, there is a big shared outdoor space behind the building. As architect Ashkan Mostaghim explains: "The inspiration behind the whole concept is that spirit of modernism, and in particular Le Corbusier, the famous [Swiss-]French architect and his saying that the house is like a machine for living. [..] It's designed for anybody who wants to feel like they're part of a community, but still have their own space." Never Too Small The star of the show is the elevated bed with all its built-in cabinetry underneath. These cabinets conceal a number of other furniture pieces, which can be rolled out whenever they are needed, and put away when they aren't, thus keeping the main living space wide open for other pursuits. Says Mostaghim: "The whole apartment is about flexibility. We wanted to create as big as free space as possible, where you could work, you could entertain, you could relax, you could dance in your apartment. [So] we decided to raise the bed and put everything except the bathroom and the kitchen underneath the bed." Mostaghim is not kidding: there's a dining table, a sofa, and a wardrobe – all on rolling wheels and all of it hidden under the bed. It's quite impressive, as multifunctional bed platforms go. Never Too Small For dining, one would roll out the table, and grab some of the custom-designed stools to create a space to eat a meal with a friend or two. Never Too Small To activate the sitting mode in this transforming micro-apartment, one would grab the compact, custom-made, two-seater sofa and place it wherever it's needed. Conveniently, this ergonomic sofa uses castor wheels that has brakes that are automatically applied when someone sits on it. Never Too Small Then there's the clever mobile wardrobe, which can roll out and allow one to hang clothes on a rack, put things on the integrated shelves, and to also organize shoes, using an integrated mesh tray on the bottom. Never Too Small The bed itself is a full-sized mattress, and it sits high up on its platform, surrounded by panelling and handy pegs to hang things on. Never Too Small There's a compact desk here too, hidden in the shelf underneath the television. All one has to do is flip down the top part of the shelf and there's a desk to put your laptop on. Never Too Small Right beside the desk is a versatile accessory that's a combination of a shelf, bulletin board, and coat rack. The idea here is to allow the occupant to "bring in their own personal touches." This could mean putting up plants, photos, books, whatever makes the home feel like "home." Never Too Small The kitchenette is compact but includes all the basics: a sink, two-burner induction cooktop, a mini-fridge, range hood, and some space to prepare food and store items. If residents want to cook larger meals, there's a communal kitchen available in the building. Never Too Small The bathroom is simple, but has a pretty sizeable shower and a toilet and sink. Never Too Small All in all, it's a design meant to maximize flexibility, so it can be altered to meet the demands of the moment, and the occupant's unique lifestyle, whatever it may be, says Mostaghim: "We didn't design this space for a specific person in mind, and that's exactly why everything is moveable. What a project like this does is that it means you live in a small space, but a space that's designed to suit you and to give you freedom. The modernist architects wanted to solve problems in the most beautiful way, and that's what inspired us to do what we've done with this project." To find out more, visit Mostaghim and Associates, or book a stay via UKO Stanmore.