In architecturally conservative San Francisco, this house built on a 20-foot-wide lot proves that modern design can fit—literally and figuratively—in any neighborhood. Neither the owner, a self-declared "card-carrying-modernist," or his girlfriend, Stephanie Kiriakopolos, miss having a big bulky refrigerator. Photo by Todd Hido.
Building a small home doesn’t equate to easy lifting. Before Tom Bayley could call in a crane to lift the materials for his 800-square-foot house to the roof of the building on which it’s perched, he had to tackle a radical retrofit to shore up the structure. His Gaggenau oven and range, set into an oiled-steel counter, help heat things up in his kitchen. Photo by John Clark.
Located in New York City's Union Square area, this 700-square-foot apartment features a bedroom lofted above a full kitchen. The volume that both incorporates the single closet (accessible from the hallway) and the refrigerator (which opens into the kitchen) and serves as the bedroom floor is, says resident Kyu Sung Woo, “where everything comes together.”“Wonbo had to be able to stand in the sleeping area,” architect Kyu Sung Woo says of his son. “By combining two dimensions—the height of the bed and that of the closet (the top of which forms the bedroom floor)—we made that possible.” Photo by Adam Friedberg.
Interior stylist Saša Antić has lived in his Stockholm, Sweden, apartment for 15 years. It was built in 1938, during the height of funkis, the colloquial term for Swedish functionalism—a movement characterized by clean lines and a lack of ornamentation.
When he recently decided to update his tiny kitchen, Antić devised a modern scheme that honored the apartment’s heritage. “I wanted it to be really graphic but quiet and beautiful,” he says. A mirror measuring 8.5 by 3.3 feet makes the renovated kitchen feel more expansive. Photo by Jonas Ingerstedt.
Sofie Howard bought a one-bedroom, 500-square-foot trailer in Malibu and called in her colleague Steven Johanknecht, a principal at the design firm Commune, the L.A. design collective. "'Doctor Steven' came in and worked his magic," says Howard.The kitchen cabinetry echoes the new blue ceiling. The brick tile is from Heath Ceramics, as is the dinnerware. Behind the Viking stove is powder-coated corrugated metal (“Very trailer,” says the designer). The refrigerator is from Big Chill. On the table is a bowl by Victoria Morris. Photo by Spencer Lowell.
Though he appears to live alone, this graphically inclined Parisian commissioned an apartment that deftly houses his many roommates—scores of beloved comics—as well. Photo by Céline Clanet.
For architect Michelle Linden, living and working in 600 square feet poses its challenges, but one of the biggest was completing a gut-renovation on the tightest of budgets—just $25,000. Custom furniture rubs elbows with catalog pieces in the home. Ikea chairs in the kitchen surround a table Michelle designed and built from lumber left over from the renovation.
When the Zimmerman family settled in Seattle, Washington, in the late 1990s they bought a 1,100-square-foot Craftsman built in the 1920s. Not wanting to leave their beloved neighborhood, but hurting for space, they enlisted the help of local design-build firm Ninebark to create a separate living area. Working from sketches that the residents had from their uncle, Gary Schoemaker, an architect in New York, Ninebark realized a refined granny flat that serves as a playroom, office, and guesthouse for visitors, complete with a kitchenette and full bathroom. The kitchenette countertops are made from recycled concrete. The bathroom tile is by Pental.
Architect Nathan Lee Colkitt turned a 750-square-foot concrete tabula rasa in San Diego into a private living space and his firm’s office. “The kitchen didn’t really have a home,” says Colkitt. His solution was to build the sleeping loft directly above it, giving the kitchen some architectural congruity, and implement recessed lighting into the dropped ceiling, also the underside of the floor of the sleeping loft. Photo by Cheryl Ramsay.
The budget was nearly as tight as the space in this cheerful renovation of a 516-square-foot flat in Bratislava. The centerpiece of Lukáš Kordík’s new kitchen is the cabinetry surrounding the sink, a feat he managed by altering the facing and pulls of an off-the-rack Ikea system. The laminate offers a good punch of blue, and in modernist fashion, Kordík forwent door handles in favor of cutouts. “I wanted the kitchen to be one simple block of color without any additional design,” he says.