Mini and Marvelous Places

Style doesn't need to take up floor space. Innovative homeowners incorporate design elements that expand the limitations of their square footage.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionWith a growing family, they created both shared and private spaces to suit everyone's needs.
Creative design can really open up a space. A family renovates a San Francisco flat to fit them all; high design and environmental efficiency distinguish a Houston home; the first off-grid and portable home has high style; and practical storage makes a New York condo feel spacious.

All in the Family
This San Francisco flat has been passed down through five generations of the Schaefer family. When David and Dawn Schaefer inherited their home, they sought a remodel that balanced modern design with historical character. They salvaged original details like flooring and molding and reintroduced them into the new design.

This family has figured out how to use all 930 square feet for two adults, two kids (soon to add one more) and two cats. They knocked down the original plaster ceiling to expose the vaulted roof and merged the kitchen and living room to create one central gathering space. Benches on either side of the fireplace provide extra seating and storage for the kids' toys. The dark chocolate color on the fireplace wall is another great design element; deep colors can make a small space feel intimate and rich.