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Cutting It Up

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Los Angeles–based architecture firm Tag Front faces the future of downtown living with an apartment that melds the compactness of a studio with the spaciousness of a loft and finds that, despite rumors to the contrary, size doesn’t matter.

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  In the bathroom, the Stylo bar by Alu eliminates the need for space-eating cabinets by creating a vertical tower of platforms on which all the hygienic essentials rest. Generally used in retail displays, the Stylo stretches from floor to ceiling; platforms branch off at various intervals, creating resting spots for toilet paper, shaving gear, toothpaste, soap, and other necessities. The tub is built up from a rubberized plaster by Miracote and finished off with a woven fabric mesh and final layer of All-in-One coating, popular in prisons for its low price and durability.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    In the bathroom, the Stylo bar by Alu eliminates the need for space-eating cabinets by creating a vertical tower of platforms on which all the hygienic essentials rest. Generally used in retail displays, the Stylo stretches from floor to ceiling; platforms branch off at various intervals, creating resting spots for toilet paper, shaving gear, toothpaste, soap, and other necessities. The tub is built up from a rubberized plaster by Miracote and finished off with a woven fabric mesh and final layer of All-in-One coating, popular in prisons for its low price and durability.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  In the bedroom, mailing tubes tucked between a concrete weight-bearing post and the eastern wall serve as substitutes for a chest of drawers.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    In the bedroom, mailing tubes tucked between a concrete weight-bearing post and the eastern wall serve as substitutes for a chest of drawers.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  Mandi Rafaty’s girlfriend, Yoly Guerra, unpacks groceries in preparation for dinner. The kitchen cabinets are off-the-shelf models from IKEA, and all knives are stored on a space-saving magnetic hanging holder on the wall. Two floating, open shelves above the Tag Front cast-concrete sink and Frigidaire dishwasher act as home base for plates and dishes, while a convection oven by Sharp, Turbo Air ­commercial-grade refrigerator, and two glass cabinets finish off the kitchen. “It’s all about creating these setups that don’t visually make the space feel smaller than it already is,” Mandi says.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    Mandi Rafaty’s girlfriend, Yoly Guerra, unpacks groceries in preparation for dinner. The kitchen cabinets are off-the-shelf models from IKEA, and all knives are stored on a space-saving magnetic hanging holder on the wall. Two floating, open shelves above the Tag Front cast-concrete sink and Frigidaire dishwasher act as home base for plates and dishes, while a convection oven by Sharp, Turbo Air ­commercial-grade refrigerator, and two glass cabinets finish off the kitchen. “It’s all about creating these setups that don’t visually make the space feel smaller than it already is,” Mandi says.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  The mini-loft concept was simple enough: The space had to function as a traditional loft—high ceilings, open floor plan, large windows, and the sense of expansiveness offered by much larger lofts. Seems reasonable until you remember they had to squeeze a fully functioning kitchen, dining area, living room, bedroom, and bathroom, complete with bathtub, into just 500 square feet.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    The mini-loft concept was simple enough: The space had to function as a traditional loft—high ceilings, open floor plan, large windows, and the sense of expansiveness offered by much larger lofts. Seems reasonable until you remember they had to squeeze a fully functioning kitchen, dining area, living room, bedroom, and bathroom, complete with bathtub, into just 500 square feet.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  The cast-concrete sink, glass detailing, and steel appliances add to the clean, minimal, space-saving feel of the kitchen.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    The cast-concrete sink, glass detailing, and steel appliances add to the clean, minimal, space-saving feel of the kitchen.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  With a push of the sliding door, the bedroom morphs into an extension of the living room, adding much-appreciated square feet during dinner parties and other gatherings. The platform bed and backrest are both Tag Front designs.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    With a push of the sliding door, the bedroom morphs into an extension of the living room, adding much-appreciated square feet during dinner parties and other gatherings. The platform bed and backrest are both Tag Front designs.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  In the living area, a sliding door conceals the loft from the hallway leading to the office, thus opening the space up by revealing extra square footage in the bedroom. When it’s time for bed, the door slides shut for privacy.  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    In the living area, a sliding door conceals the loft from the hallway leading to the office, thus opening the space up by revealing extra square footage in the bedroom. When it’s time for bed, the door slides shut for privacy.

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  Tag Front designed a rectangular mahogany table with four ottomans nestling underneath, creating a simple brown block when not in use. When guests arrive, the ottomans slide out and there’s plenty of room for four.  “I like to have people over and entertain,” Mandi says, “so it was important to have a dinner table that doesn’t take up much space.”  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    Tag Front designed a rectangular mahogany table with four ottomans nestling underneath, creating a simple brown block when not in use. When guests arrive, the ottomans slide out and there’s plenty of room for four. “I like to have people over and entertain,” Mandi says, “so it was important to have a dinner table that doesn’t take up much space.”

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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  Yoly and Mandi in the living room full of Tag Front–designed furniture. “The loft also functions as our showroom,” Mandi says, “which works well for me.”  Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt
    Yoly and Mandi in the living room full of Tag Front–designed furniture. “The loft also functions as our showroom,” Mandi says, “which works well for me.”

    Photo by: Baerbel Schmidt

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