Overlapping and Borrowed Spaces
The rising cost of building construction and spiraling real estate prices greatly impact the size of most of today’s urban housing. Living spaces are getting smaller and smaller these days. The good thing that comes out of this situation is that it keeps designers on their toes. They have to continually work out more creative, functional, and effective solutions and strategies to squeeze out all the space available. For instance, rooms that used to be clearly defined now become shared spaces, flowing into each other. The result is nothing short of astonishing!
A case in point is this micro home that is simply amazing. Likened to a small yet perfect and flawless gemstone that is valued much more than a bigger, imperfect one, a tiny or micro home, when well designed all throughout, becomes much more efficient, better looking and more livable than a bigger yet poorly-designed house. Take a look at these photos, and tell us what you think on our Facebook Page!
In Kharkov, Ukraine, the second largest city in the country and a cultural and industrial hub, Ukrainian design firm One Studio created this modernist, yet comfortable and functional, micro-apartment for a weightlifter.
. . . . measuring just a touch under 200 square feet, the apartment is nevertheless packed with everything that one might need to live well, thanks to some clever space-saving details. There’s a flexible living room space outfitted with a grand sofa and another window bench for guests, all with a great view of the city.
The sitting area/living space is just a step away from the kitchen and dining nook. Down the short hallway is the front door, with a storage closet to the left. The red painted open storage boxes are stacked up in such a way that they function also as stairs to the loft bedroom. The compact space doesn’t look and feel claustrophobic because of the minimalist furnishings and the way the materials and colors are used. Notice that a lot of objects in this micro home take the eyes up, reinforcing the illusion of more height, which adds to the feeling and illusion of more space. The red accents – the collections on the wall shelf, the life-size statuary of what looks like a chess piece, and the stairs – act as visual anchors, or resting places, that take the eyes through the space. Even the vertical arrangement of the LCD TV and speakers enhances the room’s height. Though it’s a minimalist interior, it doesn’t look bland and boring due to the use of wood on the floors and ceilings (repeated in the foyer), a lot of white wall space, and the red and black accents.
The bed, being the biggest piece of furniture in the bedroom, is always the focal point. This is actually a loft bedroom, but because of the double volume space of the entire house, it manages to have a standard room height. The floor-to-ceiling height windows are shared by both the bedroom and the living space below. The row of black painted steel rods serves as a sort of screen or “headboard” for the bed, and still allows the eyes to see right through it, up to the wall, giving a sense of more space.
An accent wall of wood strips runs the entire height of the wall and continues on to the ceiling, terminating at the opposite wall. This design strategy reinforces the sense of height and width of the room. A pair of red wall lamps provides soft lighting without taking up floor space. At the far end of the room towards the window is a small home office/work space.
A closer view of the entrance foyer shows the use of shiny laminated material for the main door and the sliding panels of the storage. It’s a nice foil, or contrast, to the wood material. A warm, welcoming atmosphere is created with indirect lighting on the ceiling. The black steel rods across the ceiling’s width are not only decorative but can serve as a place to hang things rather than placed on the floor.
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