When Im and David Schafer moved in together they faced the challenge of combining the contents of David’s 880-square-foot loft and Im’s 550-square-foot apartment into a one-room, 426-square-foot downtown loft.
The Schafers consider their loft a work in progress. Says Im: "We thought about building a library ladder for the Wall of Storage, and we'd planned to build a catwalk out from our sleeping loft, with a desk—but decided it was too much structural engineering to concern ourselves with at this point."
The Schaffer's furniture includes an Eames Aluminum Group lounge chair ("and ottoman!" adds Im.) A coffee table made of glued, corrugated cardboard was the couple's first project together, when they met in college eight years ago.
The stairway to the sleeping loft 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.
The computer-designed kitchen area has the feel of a ship's galley, with everything neatly stowed, yet visible and instantly at hand: It's much the definition of "ship-shape." For dinner parties, well-worn Eames shell chairs are pulled down by David, with the help of a footstool. "I have nearly an eight-foot reach," says the 6'3'' David. ("It gets a little tough if I have to spend a weekend or so alone," says Im.)
Local sailboat shops wanted thousands to make the 13-by-13-foot curtain that hides the Wall of Storage. "We we called my parents in Bangkok, gave them the dimensions, and they got it made for 150 bucks." says Im.