Mini Living Spaces

You really can do more than expected with limited square footage. Inventive solutions to the familiar problems of condensed living abound in these featured homes.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionLight fills this apartment on three sides, creating a bright and open feel.
Architect Neil Kaye was working on this building when he realized the opportunity to live here. An open living area makes the space feel much larger and works perfectly for his and wife Loren's lifestyle. With sliding glass doors and light filling this bright white space from three sides, the Kayes feel like they live in a home that’s double the size.

The main feature of the empty loft-like shell is what Neil Kaye calls the "Service Area." All of the functional service components are compressed to create a linear bar across one side of the space, including the fireplace, kitchen, two closets and a three-room bathroom: one with sink and shower, another with toilet and sink, and a room with only a tub that Loren Kaye calls her "private spa."

The living space is minimalist and modern with classic 1950s furnishings and clean, sleek lines. When you have a design based on square geometry, offset those elements with rounded edges. The oblong table in the center of the living area and the textured rug warms up the look of the space and softens some of the hard edges. Across from the kitchen, sliding glass doors open onto a courtyard. Finding outdoor space in the landlocked buildings of San Francisco is rare, so they created a space between the buildings that is open to the sky above for a private outdoor area to take in fresh air and sunlight.