Low-Profile KitchenWhen Laurent Turin and Louis Molina found this 580-square-foot, teardown house, they couldn't pass it up. They gutted the house and combined living, dining and kitchen space on one side. The bedroom is separated from the living space by a "bath box." Integrated skylights and sliding glass doors on both sides of the house expand the visual space. They love their perfect, tiny home.
Because the kitchen is part of the main living space, the homeowners went low profile in design. The cabinetry is mounted low, hidden behind the tall kitchen island that serves as a low wall. If you can't afford the space to hide your cabinetry in this fashion, paint the cabinets the same color as the wall and remove the handles to blend them into the space.
Al Fresco LivingThanks to the large sliding glass doors that are mounted to the exterior of the house, the living room is an indoor/outdoor space. Unlike standard sliding glass doors, the glass panes disappear completely from view.
The Geometry of DesignA storage wall full of floating shelves contains more than enough room for books and display pieces on the living room side, while a sliding panel partially hides all of Laurent's clothing on the bedroom side. Keep in mind the shape of your space when designing storage: long, narrow closets and shelving work better in rectangular spaces. Make things work for the space you do have.
Bed and BreakfastLet's see: cut down tree = build a bigger house. This equation didn't work for Margarita McGrath and Scott Oliver. The 60-foot-tall, noble maple was part of the neighborhood. So, they stripped the house to its bones and carved out a tiny "vertical loft." A window "slot" runs the vertical length of the house for added natural light and ample views of the maple.
Not many people think to incorporate a guest bedroom into their kitchen space. These homeowners took advantage of the space and raised an extremely low second floor ceiling to build a "mezzanine" guest room. Security bars across the back wall of the kitchen slide over and lock into place to double as a ladder to the guest bed. Indirect lighting and cabinet lighting (narrow strips of light that illuminate cabinet space through a glass shelf) give the space an intimate, cozy atmosphere.
Versatile ShelvesStandard industrial shelving is inexpensive and versatile. The homeowners have adapted their shelving to include bookshelves, food and CD storage and a sliding panel that is painted with chalkboard paint. The panel both hides stored items and works as a notepad.
Noble ViewsThe second floor contains the living and dining rooms, a bright kitchen and bathroom. The demolition revealed a wall of handmade pre-Civil War bricks, so the couple decided to leave them exposed. Much of the first floor ceiling is a metal grate that forms part of the living room floor.
Lightly DividedArchitect Stephen Chung and his wife, Emma, had no idea what was in store for them when they moved out of the city and into a house in the Boston suburbs. They found a 1950s ranch house with no updates. Stephen employed the idea of inversion — where outdoor materials are also used inside for continuity in design. The result looks nothing like a standard rancher.
The Architect's Wife's KitchenAlthough her friends consider her husband the design tyrant, Emma did get to have the final word on the kitchen design. Her kitchen is efficient for its size and provides lots of storage. The space above the cabinets was left open, and mirrored panels were placed above the cabinets to allow the space to flow to the farthest corners of the room.
Reflective SpaceTeeny tiny bathroom? Place mirrors on adjacent walls to open the space up. Here, Stephen placed a mirror adjacent to a window and also above, on the ceiling, to make the small corner feel expansive.
Kitchen CurioWhen Ray Warman and his partner first looked at this turn-of-the-century apartment, it seemed too small. But the apartment had lots of windows and magical light. With architect Lynnette Widder, they made major efforts to refurbish the woodwork and blend modern functionality with historic character. What makes the space work is different rooms for different purposes. Now it feels grand and classy.
Ray was conscious of designing the kitchen with a balance of old and modern. The built-in table reflects the line of a grand piano: a modern solution to lack of space for a dining table with a nod to a traditional design element.
The Sky's the LimitAccording to Lynnette, the original bathroom was the world's worst — tiny as an airplane's. But the pair spruced it up and converted it into a "two-sinker." Sliding glass doors and tiled surfaces allow the light to travel through the room and expand the space. Interestingly, there are windows on each end of the shower that open to other rooms in the house. The windows are actually privacy glass: flick a switch and an electrical charge flows through the glass, turning the window opaque.