Collection by Tiffany Jow

A Compact Home in Moscow Built on the Lowest Possible Budget

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A budget home embraces custom details fit for a family of five.

Russian firm Le Atelier was approached by a family of five with three small children to construct a home on their 484-square-foot property in Moscow. With just $7,000 to build, finish, and furnish the house, the undertaking required both strategy and imagination. “Our challenge was finding a balance between different functions inside the house, and how much room was needed for each,” architect Sergey Kolchin says. His team designed a simple rectangular volume with a one-sided, sharply sloped roof. Windows placed throughout the three-floor structure offer exquisite views and natural light. Inside, a yellow entryway opens up into a kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Goose-step stairs—steps with a distinctive tread shape that’s ideal for compact spaces—lead to the master bedroom and bi-level kids’ room, the largest part of the home. Nearly all of the furnishings are built-in. By making them part of the construction process, the architects cut costs and customized ways of maximizing space.

“Our goal was to construct a house with the lowest possible budget, while ensuring comfort and efficiency for the...
Placed throughout the home’s slatted wood exterior, windows are positioned to allow for the most attractive views and...
A corridor-like entrance invites residents into the home.
A pair of lights from IKEA hang above the first floor, which houses the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Chairs and lights from IKEA accompany a custom dining table, which incorporates shelving and storage space underneath.
Like the nearby dining room wall, this custom-made wood storage space was painted white then enhanced with a geometric...
Inspired by “polati,” a sleeping loft that featured prominently in traditional Russian homes, Le Atelier created a...
The pared-down aesthetic of the children’s bedrooms lets their chartreuse walls pop.
Near custom pine shelving on the third floor, folding chairs and a table from IKEA provide a tranquil space for...
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