We've seen the way New Yorkers cram their stuff into tiny shoebox apartments (325 square feet, anyone?) and call it "shabby chic," but we've found a cooler way to maximize your space.
This apartment in New York City's SoHo neighborhood may only be 420 square feet -- but you'd never know it, thanks to its innovative "Transformer"-style features.
Its transforming elements include multiple Murphy beds, a retractable home office, ample floor-to-ceiling storage space, a moving wall that splits the apartment into two spaces, and a "disappearing" dining room and kitchen. Designed by architects Catalin Sandu and Arian Iancu and built by LifeEdited, the "Transformer" apartment makes such efficient and clever use of space that it can even seat a dinner party for 12. It also boasts a home theater and a privacy-phone room! (How many 1,000-square-foot apartments do you know that have those?!).
"You're buying a 400-square-foot apartment, but it's got the functionality of 700 square feet," LifeEdited's Graham Hill told AOL Real Estate. Hill currently calls the space his home. "I love that it's nice and bright, and that in each iteration -- living, dining, office, master bedroom, guest bedroom -- it works so well. Pretty cool to have a sit-down dinner for 10 in a 420-square-foot apartment!"
Though Hill originally bought the space for $280,000 in 2010, and spent "around the same amount" renovating it, Hill is confident that in the future, costs for a similar apartment and custom furnishings can be brought down significantly. According to Hill, LifeEdited's aim is to create space-efficient apartments that are affordable for the average New Yorker.
This "living large in small spaces" trend is not just happening in dense, busy New York: people across the country are trying their hand at downsizing. California couple Richard and Rachel Lane have been living in a converted school bus for four years -- complete with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, lounge area and even a movie room on the vehicle's "second story." Like Hill's SoHo home, its livability is achieved by using custom, hand-made furniture altered to fit the bus. Plus, it sleeps 10!
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