As urban dwellers scramble for affordable living space, apartment sizes are generally shrinking. The prices, however, are not. In Manhattan, for example, 800 sq. ft. (74 sq.m) can easily eat up a million dollars.
Driven by this reality, residents of urban centers across North America are trying to squeeze into the smallest spaces they can to keep their downtown addresses. And they need to use their space creatively.
Designers are answering the call with mind-boggling space solutions. Here are a few that could make your 632 sq. ft. (56 sq. m) condo feel almost spacious:
- Movable walls – Sitting less than an inch off the ground, these are attached to runners on stationary walls. They can be moved around like furniture to create rooms at will. IKEA is currently testing them on Swedish families.
- Sliding pantry – This extremely narrow rack is on wheels or sliding tracks and fits into otherwise unused space, like the gap between your cabinets and refrigerator. Slide it out, grab a can, and push it back.
- Drawer stairs – Why waste all that space under the stairs? Efficient designers have converted each step into a drawer.
- Picture frame table – Your large wall hanging is no longer just art. It’s also the dining room table. A hinge on the bottom allows you to pull the top away from the wall, making it parallel to the floor. Legs snap into place along the frame’s sides and fold out to reach the floor. Voila…dinnertime!