Q

Problem: 6: No Bed in a Studio Apartment

I have a 400 square foot studio apartment which I am using as a home office, so I have to keep it neat for clients. I don't want the bother of a Murphy bed or a pull-out sofa. I am thinking of a sleeping loft over the entry hall where there are 2 closets, but I don't know how to get enough headroom. Any suggestions?

Question by: Rita Savitch

A

Solution: LOFT OVER SHELVES IN ENTRY CLOSET

Build your sleeping loft over the shelves in one of the closets, not over the very top. This will give you a bit of extra head height to make it a more comfortable bed. Install sliding panels to close it off when you are not using it.

sketch by Omer Shafique for smallspacearchitect
Q

Problem: 5: NO ROOM FOR TOILET

We are renovating the roof of our apartment house for the tenants to use as a sun deck. This is the proposed plan. As yet, we haven't found room for a toilet. Can you suggest a place to put it?

Question by: Olivia Kerran

A

Solution: TOILET-SINK UNIT UNDER STAIRWAY

There is a small amount of space for a toilet underneath the enclosed stair to the roof - and it seems to be quite close to a duct space. I suggest you look into a space-saving combination sink-cum-toilet where the sink is installed directly over the cistern. It should just fit under the highest part of the stair.

sketch by Omer Shafique for smallspacearchitect
Q

Problem: 4: ODD-SHAPED STUDIO

"I have an unfinished 400 sq.ft. studio apartment that has a sharp corner at one end. I don't know how to use the space and where to put the kitchen."

Question by: Elinor Spring

A

Solution: BED OR KITCHEN

Two solutions offer different benefits:

- Putting the kitchen into the corner gives you a large kitchen and a large study-bedroom area next to the closets.

- Putting the bed into the corner gives you a smaller bed space, a smaller kitchen but a much larger dining-living area.

You choose.

Q

Problem: 3: NO ROOM FOR A HOME OFFICE

“I have a one-bedroom apartment in a great location and don’t want to move. But I want to work at home. I prefer not to work in my bedroom because I occasionally see clients. Here is the floor plan of my apartment. Can you suggest a place for me to work?”

A

Solution: HALL CLOSET BECOMES HOME OFFICE

An ideal place to work is near your front door and also close to a sitting area. The good news is you already have a space that meets both criteria. The bad news is that it’s now a closet. I suggest that you empty it out and use the space as a desk with shelves above and below. Add lights and an electric plug strip. Then make your living room as appropriate as possible for meeting clients.

My Story: KITCHEN BECOMES OUR DRAWING OFFICE

Many years ago, my architect husband and I had a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village where we wanted to start our architectural practice.

Fortunately, we had a large kitchen, which we didn’t need. So we divided it with a vertical blind partition. The fridge, sink and stove were on one side. The desk and 2 drawing boards were on the other. (This was long before laptops and Computer-Aided-Design.)

When we saw clients, they entered into a hallway that led past our drawing office-cum-kitchen and into our conference–cum-living room.

Q

Problem: 2: CROWDED ENTRY/ DINING AREA

“I have a dining table in a small corner between the entry door and the kitchen. It’s convenient to the kitchen but feels very squashed and uncomfortable. How can I make better use of this space?”

Question by: Bernice Thorn

A

Solution: CUSTOM-BUILT TABLE & HATCH

For such a restricted space, I suggest a built-in corner table with a double curve. It will accommodate the maximum number of chairs and also move them away from the door. To make it work even better, use chairs on pedestals and add a hatch into the kitchen.

Q

Problem: 1. CLOSET WITH A DEAD CORNER

“I have a 46” x 65” closet with hanging rods on 2 walls at right angles. The corner between the 2 rods is a hard-to-get-at space. To get at the clothes in the corner, I have to push back all the other hangers. I would like to use it for drawers, but don’t know how.”

Question by: Samantha Rawson

A

Solution: BUILT-IN DRAWERS THAT FACE OUT

My answer is to turn the corner around to face the other way. It’s a dead space inside the closet, because of the 2 clothes rods. But outside the closet, the space is completely open and ready for some new drawers.

HOW TO DO IT
You have to punch a hole through the wall, so prepare yourself for a mess. But if you install a wood molding around the new drawer unit, you may get away with not having to re-paint or hang new wallpaper.

There are many ready-made drawer units on the market, so find one that more or less fits the space and build a support for it from the floor. But if you want it to be the exact size of your dead corner, then by all means have it custom-made.