09 May 2015

Small Spaces : Challenge of the Week | Day 2

Even the sprawling lands of Arizona has space constraints.  These apartments near downtown Phoenix has been the talk of the town for young professionals in the area.  Benjamin Hall designed white Stone Studios containing 6 units that are only 468 square feet.  

“It taught me how to live cleaner, more organized, and to depend on a community,” Hall says about living in a tiny space in Denmark.   What he said really resonated with me, having lived in a 265 square foot studio in Toronto, myself.

So how does one maximize a small dwelling without compromising style, comfort and maybe even feelings of luxury?   Let's look at Hall's innovative designs…

The apartment complex is enclosed in horizontal wood fencing on its outside perimeter allowing privacy for tenants, yet still permitting natural light into their separate units.

Exterior walls are insulated concrete blocks that are cool in Phoenix weather.  Alcoves are built with floor-to-ceiling glass windows creating a sense of more depth and space.  The light beams through the corners of the apartment.  The kitchens are designed minimally to continue that spacious atmosphere.  Open storage metal shelves forces you to own nothing more than practical but beautiful items for your everyday use.  IKEA's GRUNDTAL kitchen collection are a perfect solution!  The smart island holds most storage space, while offering a dining function on one side.  It doubles as a desk on some days as well (with new technology you should be able to install USB outlets for computer gadgets).  My favorite feature here is the plant box between the kitchen work surface and the eating surface!  

Textiles are not only used to express one's design savvy choices, it can also serve a different purpose, especially in small dwellings.  Whether you use curtains or IKEA's KVARTAL flat panels you can use them as dividers.  This apartment uses it to separate private from public areas.  Their choice of white fabric still allows natural light to filter through the entire space when drawn closed.  On the far end of the unit houses the flat's own private outdoor space for entertaining.

With a built-in alcove within their living space, the tenants are able to gain a luxurious spa-like but tiny bathroom.  It's as if you are showing outdoors!  So innovative, and just divine!  Space constraints gets your creative juices flowing.  

Details are very important in a small space.  Hall designed pocket doors to save space, as well as these industrial light switch panel.  Omg, when can I move in?!

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