Small Apartments, a Wall fan and Space Management
Dwellings are always a complicated manner. Not only are they an expression of the individuals that call that space "home" but they are also an exercise in design, development and engineering. We've collected some odds and ends about some of the smallest, micro-apartments currently on the market or soon-to-be available in America.
Other countries around the world, specifically the United Kingdom or Japan, have had to deal with limited land for centuries. Census Bureau statistics data how that from 1970-2010, single-person households have increased almost 10% from 17.6 to 26.7% of all residences. Possibly as high as 41% in highly urban areas. To meet housing demand, some areas have waived or decreased the minimum required space to low 220 square feet or lower for efficiencies and micro-apartments.
In San Francisco, the smallest allowed space by law is a scant 220 square feet and shrinking lower. Some housing developers are aiming for that space are creating habitats that are functional and include modern amenities. As the tech industry in California improves, new residents are moving into the area. Average rental prices are upwards of $2,500 a month and these new units are slated to be relatively affordable, between $1,200 to $1,500 a month.
New York has long been plagued with cramped and confined living spaces but that hasn't stopped trendy and more costly designer micro-lofts from being built. In these situations, developers are pushing communal spaces such as showers and bathrooms, to cut down square-footage in individual units. High ceilings create the illusion of openness and are common in many plans.
If you happen to reside in a small apartment, flexibility and creativity are essential. Space management is the process of making confined quarters work for you. Here are some ideas that may give you some extra breathing room.
Convertible Furniture - Invest in furniture that has double or triple usage.
- Futons are compact and convenient. Great for guests and extra seating they can be folded away when not in use.
- Murphy beds are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. They now have many benefits from providing additional shelving, storage and more.
Multi-use Appliances: Eliminate wasted space that dedicated, single purpose equipment occupy. Look for efficient, multi-functional devices.
- Under-counter refrigerators and freezers allow you to store food without sacrificing precious space dedicated to one device. As they are usually smaller, they consume less power, too.
- Investigate flexible shelving that can slide along runners or can be expanded for even more storage.
- Temperature control is notoriously hard to manage. Look for wall fans or portable heaters to keep yourself comfortable as the seasons change.
Art: Sometimes, half the battle is against the mental and emotional challenge of living in close quarters.
- Mix materials for window coverings, furniture and flooring to keep the eye busy and provide extra depth and variety.
- Mirrors come in many shapes and sizes to occupy empty wall space. They help complete the illusion of space and improve lighting where it may be sparse.