Living Small: 5 Micro Apartments

Becoming a first time home owner is a serious issue for millennials today. Student debt, high rent and disproportionately low wages are pushing home ownership farther and farther into our futures. I however, have the perfect solution for us. Micro apartments! 

When properly designed to maximize space, micro living spaces can be all that you need and more. I currently live in a 140 sq ft (not a typo!) apartment in Paris; half the size of the smallest home shown here. I can personally vouch that it is not only possible, but enjoyable. Check out the five homes below to see how good design mixed with small amounts of space can be a match made in heaven.

1. The Ultimate Man Cave By Architect Denis Svirid - 377 sq ft

I call this the ultimate man cave because it utilizes natural materials and a neutral colour palette to create a comfortable yet sophisticated space perfect for any bachelor. This space optimizes storage by building drawers into the stairs leading to the bedroom loft and taking bookshelves right to the ceiling. Hanging lights in the bedroom make for great reading lamps without the need for side tables. The office nook downstairs has a sliding door with a mirror on the other side of the door allowing you to close off this work space when necessary. Mirrors create the optical illusion of a larger space and are a great tactic to work into any small space. 

2. The Plywood Loft By Architect Ewa Czerny - 300 sq ft

This ultra stylish loft space uses texture and materials to great effect. A fun tile pattern in the entry and plywood elements make it both unique and interesting. High ceilings were utilized to build the bedroom loft over the bathroom and they took advantage of the space under the stairs for plenty of storage. Subtle pops of yellow add a nice touch to the otherwise neutral palette and unique lighting gives it flair. Floor to ceiling windows and sheer drapes allow plenty of natural light into the space which help keep it light and airy. 

3. The Colour Block Micro By Nicholas Gurney - 290 sq ft 

The highlight of this micro marvel is the use of colour to separate the space. The pops of red and yellow are a welcome burst of energy amongst the otherwise monochromatic space. I find the all black kitchen to be particularly striking yet stealth. Sliding doors can be moved to close off the sleeping area and to help keep the minimal design in tact. As always, built in storage is a key component to making the space work. 

4. The Minimalist Micro By Freaks Free Architects - 376 sq ft 

This space uses an all white interior to create a serene and peaceful space. By keeping the floor plan open and bright they create the illusion of more square footage. Plenty of built in storage allows for a minimal look with a place for everything and everything in it's place. 

5. The Storage King By Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture - 500 sq ft

This place sure knows how to maximize storage space! There is plenty of built-in storage so that everything can be tucked away making clutter a non-issue. Even the stairs were designed to be drawers! The heavy use of wood and the large sectional sofa gives the space a comfortable and inviting feel. I love the sleeping loft concept in that it provides some separation between rest and work/social areas. It adds a little more privacy to the traditional studio where the bed is simply in the corner of the room. High ceilings in these double height lofts also help to make the space feel larger in general. 

Do you think you could live in a micro space? If so, I want to design it! Let's start a micro movement! 

East Vancouver Residence

In October of 2013 I made the hard/not hard decision to start my own design firm. I always saw this as my future but took the plunge earlier then I might have imagined. After working mainly on large commercial projects, I realized my true passion lies in smaller projects with a focus on residential, hospitality, and retail design. I'm very excited to present my first complete project that was finished in July of 2014. I joined the project as the walls were being framed so I basically had a blank slate to work with. I was involved in every part of the design from concept to millwork to styling. My client was great; a bachelor with modern taste who trusted my vision yet was involved in almost every decision along the way. The result is a modern yet comfortable space perfect for entertaining friends and family. 

The kitchen features a beautiful 3" thick white quartz waterfall island countertop. We chose white carrara marble subway tile for the backsplash and added custom charcoal bar stools to add contrast. 

The open concept floor plan in the kitchen and dining room is the perfect set up for entertaining a group. Both rooms flow together with linear glass pendants and a continuing neutral palette. 

The living room features a floor to ceiling marble stone fireplace and a beautiful white cow hide rug to anchor the space. Custom sofas and Mongolian sheep fur pillows add softness and texture making it a comfortable area to relax and socialize. 

The family room off of the kitchen is a more relaxed place to watch TV and hang out. A cozy area rug and a sectional sofa make it a comfortable place to lounge with plenty of room for a group. Four black and white prints of Vancouver by Levi Groeneveld add character to the space. 

The modern master bathroom has clean lines with a floating countertop and backlit mirror. It features a beautiful grey quartz countertop and a square charcoal floor tile. 

The other side of the master bathroom features a jacuzzi tub and steam shower for the ultimate relaxation. The wall tile is a beautiful faux white marble and covers three of the walls completely.  

The focal point of this master bathroom is a photograph printed on acrylic by Levi Groeneveld. The design of the room was inspired by this piece and is one of my favourite rooms in the house. 

The shared bathroom joins the other two bedrooms with pocket doors on either side. We created a custom striped tile pattern on the walls around the double sinks to add interest and texture to the space. 

Powder rooms are fun because you can do something a little more creative with them. Nobody spends a lot of time in there so you might as well leave them with an impression. We decided to put a fun geometric floor and striped wall all while keeping the neutral palette of the house. The fun Marset pendant and carrara marble countertop add interest to the small space. 

In the master bedroom we used a geometric wall covering as the focal point on the headboard wall. A cozy rug, upholstered headboard and deluxe bedding make for a space that is both comfortable and stylish. 

The office, located just off of the great room, also features a geometric wall covering to add interest to the space. The desk offers plenty of storage and workspace for at home affairs. 

A white gallery wall in the hallway lends itself to perfectly host three beautiful pieces of art by  Levi Groeneveld . The pieces add a welcome pop of colour to the space. 

A white gallery wall in the hallway lends itself to perfectly host three beautiful pieces of art by Levi Groeneveld. The pieces add a welcome pop of colour to the space. 

Coffee table styling in the family room featuring a vintage camera and handmade concrete lightbulb. 

Close up in the office. The wall covering is called parliament windows but I thought it looked somewhat like books; perfect for an office. 

Here's me just hanging out in the kitchen, chopping up some kale and eggplant and pretending I live here. 

I'm so grateful to have worked on this project and thanks to everyone who was involved along the way. Although I am currently working in Paris for the year, I love working in the west coast style and can't wait to start my next project when I return. 

Until next time,

Bryony

For more images view my portfolio page here. 

All photos are ©copyright Levi Groeneveld Photography and cannot 
be used without permission. 

THE TOP 10 - DESIGN CITIES AND THEIR AESTHETICS

Lately I have been thinking about top design cities around the world and mostly.....how I can visit them as soon as possible.  I found it fascinating to look through projects from the top 10 design cities around the world (as deemed by numerous sources) and try to pick out a general aesthetic that defines each city.  The results had me moving Tokyo and Cape Town to the top of my travel list! I was really amazed with how well the design reflects what I imagine (and in some cases know) the culture, city, and people to be like. So far I've been to London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Barcelona, and Toronto. 6/10! Not bad! As for the other 4, let's just say they are on the bucket list! I hope you enjoy taking a look at the different aesthetics from the cities where good design is born, valued, and preserved......A.K.A the best places on earth! 

xox Bryony