If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a micro-apartment is a tiny, one-room apartment designed in such a way to incorporate all the necessities of a standard accommodation. This may sound claustrophobic, but all the best micro-apartments are carefully designed so as to make optimal use of the space available. You’d be amazed how roomy they can be. With that in mind, here is our pick of nine of the best from around the world.
1. 21 Rooms in One, Hong Kong
Imagine living in a Rubik’s Cube and you’re not far off. With just 350 square feet to work with, this apartment employs the ingenious use of sliding furniture that can transform the entire flat into 21 different rooms. From kitchen and bathroom to steam room and cinema, the combinations provide enough variety to make it feel like a mansion.
2. Freedom Rooms, Italy
Few people have as much experience adapting to a minimal living space than prisoners, making them ideal micro-apartment designers. The result is the aptly named Freedom Room, a tiny but highly practical 96 square foot apartment that makes full use of all available space. All necessary facilities are present and correct without making it feel at all cramped.
3. Unfolding Apartment, New York
It may look like a large, blue cabinet – and it is – but it is also so much more than that. Not only can it be moved freely throughout the modest living space, it is also fully customised and can be opened and unfolded in various ways to create a large number of different rooms, all in the same space.
4. Oak Tube Apartment, Moscow
This Moscow apartment began life as a long, narrow and dark flat before it was transformed into a highly efficient, oak-lined tube. The much-needed addition of windows gives it a more open feel, but the real stroke of genius was replacing the walls with glass for optimal natural lighting, while built-in furniture ensures there is plenty of space left over.
5. Two Floor Apartment, London
A high ceiling can be a designer’s best friend as it provides the possibility for a whole new level. In this case, the original flat was converted to a single room before a wooden loft was created and installed to provide a second level, doubling the floor space and providing room for all the necessary functions a flat would need.
6. NYC Shoebox Apartment, New York
A look at the floor space on its own does not bode well for this apartment, but the reality feels a lot more spacious. This is partly down to the use of wood to create an apartment packed with functionality and practical storage solutions, and natural light to keep it feeling as open as possible.
7. Pico Dwelling, Seattle
Engineer Steve Sauer excels in the field of micro-apartment design and a notable achievement is this 182 square foot living space, which includes all the necessary conveniences of a fully furnished flat while still providing enough breathing space. Using a layering technique to pack everything in, it even has a bathtub hidden under the floor.
8. Sloped Roof Micro-Apartment, The Netherlands
A sloped roof may look restrictive when you consider that it robs the flat of vertical space, but the trick is in how you use it. This 320 square foot loft utilises the low ceiling for hiding away sinks, seating and other furniture, while keeping a walkway clear along the centre. And the use of light and colour really adds to the spacious feeling.
9. Ultra Tiny Apartment, Paris
This Paris micro-apartment, measuring just 130 square feet, really does pack a punch when it comes to making the most of the available space. Everything you would expect to see in a modern apartment is here. The sofa bed can be hidden under the raised kitchen area to open out the living space, the tiny bathroom benefits from the natural light, giving it a more spacious feel, and there are plenty of clever storage solutions.