Thursday, July 9, 2009

Small Space Living--77 sq. ft. in Florida

Some weeks back I came across an article on SF Gate about small space living in a mere 77 square feet. I've always love small space living and admire those who live in it--it forces us to face the inevitable question of what is needed versus what is desired. My smallest ever apartment was a 6-tatami-mat room (approx. 9' by 12' space) in Japan, with a bit more elbow room to accommodate a tiny kitchen and bath (those are not in the 6-tatami calculation). I even have my own book collection celebrating the art of small space living, but have never come across any design as compact as 77 sq. ft.

Compelled by the article, I contacted the heroin in the story, Sergio Santos. To my surprise, Sergio replied and shared his journey in downsizing to what he refers to as the"matchbox" NY-styled loft in Florida.

A London-trained architect originally from Brazil, Sergio found himself caught in the midst of the economic and construction downturn with uncertain job prospect, he soon decided to look for a more affordable place to call home. While checking out a room for rent, he noticed a storage room next to it. At a whim, he asked the landlord if he could rent the 77 sq. ft. storage room and got it for $150 a month.

Sergio started downsizing and traded his large furnishings with his previous landlord for pieces of wood in the garden. In early March, Sergio moved into his new place with a much lighter load of belongings, and all the second hand construction materials he had collected and immediately started measuring and sketching--every inch counts.

With a glass shelve, a Formica slab, two fabric covered boards, a door, a mirror, two white ceiling panels, two industrial metallics shelves, and the wood from his previous landlord--Sergio invested another $64 for materials. The matchbox loft was completed after much planning and 16 days of renovation.

Kudos, Sergio, for showing us the possibilities of innovative space design.




Work space with a sleeping loft above.



Decorative shelves that double up as ladders to the loft.



A view into the room.


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A bird's eyes view from the sleeping loft of the window banquette with storage beneath.


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Sleeping loft equipped with TV and a corner to store clothes. Underneath the sleeping loft is a kitchenette.

To get a walk-through of the space, check out this link at MSNBC.

And yes, there is a bathroom in the hallway for sharing--that was the first immediate question that popped up in my head as I read the article.

1 comment:

The Flirty Girl said...

I love stories like this.

On a similar but more expensive vein... Did you see this story in the news a few months back?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/24/BUTM12GQMI.DTL

New 250-350 square foot condos with prices starting at $279,000. *gasp, gasp, thud*