Crunched for space, the residents of these homes—mostly under 1,000 square feet—have the same ideas: look upward and compartmentalize. Lofted sleeping areas, closets, and reading nooks are among the smart space-saving solutions.
Located in New York City's Union Square area, this 700-square-foot apartment features a bedroom lofted above a full kitchen. The volume that both incorporates the single closet (accessible from the hallway) and the refrigerator (which opens into the kitchen) and serves as the bedroom floor is, says resident Kyu Sung Woo, “where everything comes together.”
It took just five months and $4,000 for Serban Ionescu, Jim Dreitlein, and Justin Smith to build the warren of five sleeping units inside a Greenpoint, Brooklyn, live/work loft. The five roommates share the common space in their high-ceiling home.
A pair of windows shed a bit of light in the Harpoon House bedroom, which boasts a lofted bed and workspace with a sink and closet beneath. The sink is by Lacava and the tap is from Fluid Faucet's Wisdom line. “People ask us, ‘What did you do to make your house not feel like this cramped little thing?’ with the idea that the house is trying to act big,” says resident Katherine Bovee. “It’s not. It’s a small house acting like a small house. We built the house to fit in its own skin.”
The stairway to the sleeping loft in Im and David Schafer's 426-square-foot house is a riff on a ship's ladder: "We spent a lot of time figuring out how much space we need to maneuver," says David. "It allowed us to make it as small and perfect as we wanted to." Instead of a handrail, sail cleats are bolted to the walls as hand-holds.