This Tiny 140-Square-Foot Apartment Boasts Comfort and Function

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Carefully crafted adaptable furniture makes this 140-square-foot London home chic and functional.

Although some people might quiver at the idea of living in only 140 square feet, Studiomama co-cofounders Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama saw the opportunity as an exciting design challenge.

By carefully constructing adaptable furniture units, the dynamic duo successfully assembled a series of volumetric spaces to create cohesive, flexible living zones in what "might be London's smallest house." 

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The exterior of the compact 140-square-foot micro-apartment in north London.

The exterior of the compact 140-square-foot micro-apartment in north London.

"We have created small spaces before, but this was a great challenge as it was impossible to get a small space like this to work using off-the-shelf furniture," says Tolstrup, who hired East London carpentry firm Commission by you to build the bespoke furniture units. 

The fully-concealed workstation and storage next to a cozy bench seat.

The fully-concealed workstation and storage next to a cozy bench seat.

"All the furniture units had to be custom made for the space, so it was more like designing the interior of a boat or caravan," she adds. 

The cabinet doors slide to reveal book shelves.

The cabinet doors slide to reveal book shelves.

The floor plan for the minuscular triangular apartment—also known as the 13 Square Metre House—is zoned according to the different furniture units, which contain a bed, work space, kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and closet storage

A pullout desk is hidden underneath one of the shelves.

A pullout desk is hidden underneath one of the shelves.

Thee pastel painted units were designed in various sizes and were each crafted for specific functions, including the storage of a sewing machine, spice jars, wine, and books. 

Technical equipment is hidden below this furniture unit.

Technical equipment is hidden below this furniture unit.

One of the units even opens up to reveal a small pull out desk for a standing workstation.

One of the units even opens up to reveal a small pull out desk for a standing workstation.

"A laptop is stored above and technical equipment below. We have created integrated storage and seating elements, which have discreet dual functions and can easily extend to add extra surfaces for seating or working. We wanted to get the space to work intuitively, without too many electronic or hidden functions," explains Mama. 

The tiny kitchen is equipped with everything needed to prepare a decent meal.

The tiny kitchen is equipped with everything needed to prepare a decent meal.

Jack Mama resting his feet on a pull out ottoman.

Jack Mama resting his feet on a pull out ottoman.

A Murphy bed, which is placed at the narrowest end of the triangulated space, folds down to reveal a cozy sleeping area with two slender bookshelves, as well as a bedside table. 

A hidden Murphy bed is located along the narrowest wall of the triangular-shaped apartment.

A hidden Murphy bed is located along the narrowest wall of the triangular-shaped apartment.

Along the widest wall—opposite the bed—is the kitchen, which is equipped with a fridge, sink, cooktop, oven and storage. 

The bathroom, which is located behind the kitchen, is the only space that's separated by a wall.

The bathroom, which is located behind the kitchen, is the only space that's separated by a wall.

The smartly-designed bathroom vanity supports the sink, and also holds the toilet paper.

The smartly-designed bathroom vanity supports the sink, and also holds the toilet paper.

A breakfast booth that looks out to the street.

A breakfast booth that looks out to the street.

Tolstrup believes that with rise of megacities, living efficiently in compact spaces will be an increasingly important issue, and she hopes that this project will help people reconsider what they really need in order to live comfortably and well. 

The breakfast booth has extendable seating to accommodate guests.

The breakfast booth has extendable seating to accommodate guests.

"As space becomes more and more of a premium, we have to rethink how we live, and how we organize our living space," she says. 

Axonometric view of 13 Square Meter House.

Axonometric view of 13 Square Meter House.

Floor plan drawing.

Floor plan drawing.

Project Credits: 

Architects and builder: Studiomama 

Furniture builders: Commissioned by You