You Can Do It All in 450 Square Feet
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By Deborah Bishop / Published by Dwell
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“A strategy of extreme density was required,” says Michael Chen of Normal Projects, who along with partner Kari Anderson handled the renovation of this Upper West Side apartment.

Teacher and resident 
Eric Schneider’s 450-square-foot space needed to be able to accommodate individual areas for cooking, storage, sleeping, entertaining, and, of course, working—
without filling the diminutive abode with furniture, or eliciting claustrophobia by chopping it into tiny spaces.

The simple and elegant solution was to knock down most of the apartment’s walls, and concentrate all of the living space’s functionality—kitchen storage, closet, bar, bed, lighting, and office—into a single transformer-like cabinetry unit. The result is a livable and open space that functions like a 
much larger apartment and workspace.

Eric Schneider and Michael Chen take in the space-efficient renovation.

Eric Schneider and Michael Chen take in the space-efficient renovation.

the blue-lacquered all-in-one cabinet in the fully closed position.

the blue-lacquered all-in-one cabinet in the fully closed position.

The origami-like desktop unfolds to reveal a perforated-steel divider that allows the passage of computer cables hidden inside the office compartment.

The origami-like desktop unfolds to reveal a perforated-steel divider that allows the passage of computer cables hidden inside the office compartment.

The interior of the Murphy bed compartment is lined with a stained cork panel and contains a smaller shelving unit for bedside reading, alarm clock, and reading lamp.

The interior of the Murphy bed compartment is lined with a stained cork panel and contains a smaller shelving unit for bedside reading, alarm clock, and reading lamp.

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Details
Project: Unfolding House
Architect: Normal Projects

Deborah Bishop

@deborah_bishop

Contributing editor Deborah Bishop approached "Kitchen Design 101" with keen interest, as she is currently plotting her own kitchen renovation. "Having read and been told that this is the most important room in the house- and seeing such an array of aesthetic approaches- I am now effectively paralyzed," confesses Bishop, even though her culinary triumphs tend, at best, toward toast and French-press coffee.

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