If you live anywhere near a city, you’re probably aware that space is a fairly valuable resource.
Here in New York, the average price per square foot of real estate has jumped to $1,455. Ouch. With other cities getting similarly gouged, lots of homeowners (and business owners) are trying to do more with less. While on the one hand it encourages tidiness and simple living, on the other hand ... we like having stuff.
This conundrum (along with the growing tiny house movement) has designers everywhere searching for solutions. Here’s a selection of clever storage solutions that will add a ton of value to a limited space.
Resource Murphy Beds
Just one of a slew of Murphy beds from the high-end catalogue of Resource Furniture that combines sofa and bed into one handsome element. Murphy beds are a savior for small apartments and studio-dwellers, and in more ways than one: legend has it they were invented in San Francisco during a time when it was against “moral code” for a woman to enter a man’s bedroom. If your bedroom turned into a parlor, well, no harm done.
The Living Cube
Living Cube makes modular designs that combine your TV console, closet, bookshelves and bed, and for not much more in price than you’d spend on the individual components (units start at $2,500). Combine up to 12 sections as you need; they also make a “Wall” version that’s heavier on the media storage and workspace elements, including possible mounts for bikes and skateboards.
Kitchen and Bedroom cubes
These units from architects Kraaijvanger allow you to build out totally unfinished spaces, like, say, furnishing a killer warehouse for which you don’t want to build out permanent livable elements. It’s different from the Living Cube in that their version of the bedroom is more “room” and less “bed” — fill it like you would a normal (small) space.
For the work-from-home set, startup office or forward-thinking corporate type, Yanko Design has created a versatile collection that easily transitions spaces from social to private, accommodating a variety of working needs and styles.
Audiophiles have a heavy burden to bear: the footprint of their obsession is neither light nor easily stored. A little comfort can be found in the Selectors Cabinet from Studio Rik ten Velden, which’ll sit nicely on a normal day but bring the party when you’re entertaining, sparing you the need for card tables and record crates that normally attend a DJ.
BedUp Hanging Bed
French company Décadrages offers an alternative to the Murphy bed with BedUp, a hanging number that can alternately be raised to the ceiling to create an intimate, cozy space or lowered so you can, you know, go to sleep.
And for those who want to take things a step too far...
If you're willing to shell out 15k, there’s this lofted bed situation that combines your closet, bed and desk into one monolithic object. A little clunky for our tastes, but it might solve your particular problem.
Here’s one that’s not so much for space saving as it is … Doomsday prep? The Groundfridge from Floris Schoonderbeek is a new-world root cellar for people “who want to handle their food in an autonomous, independent way.” And it might double as a fallout shelter if things really go south.
And finally, a design that allows you to combine your love of efficient furniture with your love of drinking: architect Michael Chen’s Happy Hour buildout of this Chelsea apartment (above). Included: refrigeration, beer tap, humidor and dining table. You’ll never need to leave home at five o’clock again.
Main image via Iris Cantante for Sweetea, a new cafe putting these concepts to work