Architect Christi Azevedo, along with homeowners Lorena Siminovich and Esteban Kerner, transformed this 1,485-square-foot, multilevel, mid-century maze into a modern and efficient family home in just three months. “It was the craziest frickin’ thing,” laughs Azevedo. “It was like a Tetris game, putting it all together, trying to squeak out space wherever we could.” Purchased as if straight out of 1955, the home is now the ideal small space for Siminovich and Kerner to raise their young daughter, Matilda.
Custom cabinetry isn’t cheap, but squeezing every usable inch out of a small space is often worth the expense. Norodd Wellman optimized Matilda’s room by building a cabinet around pipes; soon, he’ll transform a hollow, under-the-stairwell storage area into a sliding shoe drawer. “Custom cabinetry can be a fairly affordable way to add interest, maximize storage, and upgrade your space,” advises Azevedo.
The ultra-organized Kerner has lots of sneakers—not to mention all those perfectly folded hoodies. To accommodate the couple’s clothes without adding clutter to their 130-square-foot bedroom, Azevedo carved out a 17-foot-long closet along the wall facing the bed. She built rolling wooden doors, and Kerner and Siminovich ordered custom shelving from EasyClosets. Total cost: $900. “They’re the cheapest way to go,” says Kerner.
Though only two feet deep, the Ikea cabinet Azevedo bought for the guest bath didn’t quite fit, so she sliced off eight inches with a table saw. “It might be unorthodox, but it was just easier, faster, and cheaper to do it myself,” says the former furniture designer.
Designing two narrow bathrooms–one with an encroaching concrete retaining wall—required major creativity. A wall-mounted Duravit Starck toilet was a big space saver, as was the four-foot-long Kohler soaking tub, a foot shorter than the standard size.
A pair of deck chairs from the Conran Shop brighten up a deck designed and built by Mark Congdon Landscape. Visible through the window are a Praying Mantis floor lamp from White Furniture and a fiberglass rocking chair from Modernica.