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The Cult of the Micro-Apartment: 17 Tiny Spaces That Prove Smaller Is Better

Fun-size candy bars, teacup poodles, tiny sunglasses—our collective obsession with all things miniature has even permeated our living spaces. Whether you’re a city dweller with compact quarters or just someone who appreciates the art of the efficient layout, here are 17 spaces from our archives with next-level storage solutions, clever built-ins, and all-around small space ingenuity that prove smaller is indeed better.

Above: Designer Marianne Evennou made the most of just 275 square feet for a Swiss family’s Parisian pied à terre. See more in Blue Streak: An Inventive, Postage Stamp-Sized Flat in the Center of Paris. Photograph by Marie-Pierre Morel, courtesy of Marianne Evennou.
Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: This home on Tanner’s Hill in London is only 330 square feet, but it feels vast and spacious thanks to natural light and some clever furnishing choices. See more in 8 Reasons Why a 330-Square-Foot Home in London Feels Spacious. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.
Wall Bed in Alison Mazurek's Vancouver Apartment
Above: Blogger Alison Mazurek lives with her husband and two small kids in a 600-square-foot apartment in Vancouver. With some clever built-in solutions and a minimalist ethos, the family is able to coexist peacefully with just one bedroom. See more in 7 Things You Can Live Without in a Small Apartment, from Someone Who’s Been There. Photograph courtesy of Alison Mazurek.
Small-space-apartment-london-emil-eve-6
Above: Architecture firm Emil Eve called this cozy 538-square-foot apartment “the bird’s nest” since it was perched above the rooftops on the top floor of a London building. See more in Tricks of the Trade: 7 Small-Space Storage Tips from Emil Eve Architects. Photograph by Mariell Lind Hansen, courtesy of Emil Eve.
A petite 700-square-foot New York City apartment manages to house all of its owners belongings thanks to some clever storage solutions. See more in ‘How to Live With Stuff and Little Space’: 17 Affordable Tips from an NYC Creative Couple. Photograph by Kate Sears.
Above: A petite 700-square-foot New York City apartment manages to house all of its owners belongings thanks to some clever storage solutions. See more in ‘How to Live With Stuff and Little Space’: 17 Affordable Tips from an NYC Creative Couple. Photograph by Kate Sears.
Paige Geffen Clinton Street Los Angeles
Above: Despite its challenging layout, designer Paige Geffen’s 500-square-foot LA rental managed to look elevated, airy, and efficient. See more in The LA Rental, Upgraded: Designer Paige Geffen’s 500-Square-Foot Challenge. Photograph by Bethany Nauert and Lauren Moore, courtesy of Paige Geffen.
For a single professional who wanted to cook, work, sleep, and entertain in just 235 square feet, architecture firm Batiik Studio devised some clever built-ins that make the compact space multifunctional. See more in Petit in Paris: 6 Tips from Batiik Studio, Experts in Tiny Apartments. Photograph by Bertrand Fompeyrine, courtesy of Batiik Studio.
Above: For a single professional who wanted to cook, work, sleep, and entertain in just 235 square feet, architecture firm Batiik Studio devised some clever built-ins that make the compact space multifunctional. See more in Petit in Paris: 6 Tips from Batiik Studio, Experts in Tiny Apartments. Photograph by Bertrand Fompeyrine, courtesy of Batiik Studio.
Up-and-coming architect Daisy Ames took a precise approach to space, lines, and light in this 400-square-foot apartment. The result is a thoughtful and efficient layout that makes the most of its footprint. See more in Small-Space Living: A 400-Square-Foot NYC Apartment with Thoughtful Storage. Photograph by Alan Tansey, courtesy of Studio Ames.
Above: Up-and-coming architect Daisy Ames took a precise approach to space, lines, and light in this 400-square-foot apartment. The result is a thoughtful and efficient layout that makes the most of its footprint. See more in Small-Space Living: A 400-Square-Foot NYC Apartment with Thoughtful Storage. Photograph by Alan Tansey, courtesy of Studio Ames.
David-Friedlander-Jacqueline-Schmidt-Brooklyn-apt-Matthew-Williams-photo-Remodelista-1B
Above: With just 675 square feet to work with, Jacqueline Schmidt, David Friedlander, and their two young boys live by a strict set of rules about the objects that enter their home. Read more in Living Large in 675 Square Feet, Brooklyn Edition. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
Phoebe Says Wow Taipei Apartment Hero Image
Above: Architecture and design firm Phoebe Sayswow took advantage of the high ceilings in this Taipei, Taiwan, apartment to turn just 355 square feet into a multi-level living space. See more in Small but Tall: Multilevel Living in a 355-Square-Foot Taipei Apartment. Photograph by Say!Cheese, courtesy of Phoebe Sayswow.
Hallway in Chelsea Apartment by BoND, Photo by Eric Petschek
Above: Architecture firm BoND revamped a West Chelsea apartment’s railroad layout to allow for more natural light and plenty of hidden storage. See more in Beneath the Surface: A Quiet Railroad Apartment in Manhattan with a Surprising Amount of Storage. Photograph by Eric Petschek.
Kitchen with Copper Pipes in Shaker Studio Airbnb in Paris by Ariel Claudet, Photo by Cyrille Lallement
Above: Copper pipes wrap the walls of this 236-square-foot Paris flat, making for creative and attractive storage. See more in In a Tiny Paris Flat, an Inspired and Inexpensive Storage Solution. Photograph by Cyrille Lallement, courtesy of Ariel Claudet.
Tsai Design Type St. Apartment in Melbourne Living Room Gif
Above: Architect Jack Chen of Tsai Design lives in just 377 square feet, but thanks to some small space ingenuity and hardworking built-ins, his home feels spacious and functional. See more in An Architect’s Award-Winning Apartment With Ingenious Small-Space Solutions. Photograph by Tess Kelly, courtesy of Tsai Design.
Jodi Balfour LA Bungalow Living Room
Above: The 500-square-foot LA apartment actress Jodi Balfour shares with her husband succeeds at feeling laid-back, personal, and breezy as a result of deliberate editing. See more in Inside a Netflix Star’s LA Bungalow, Budget Rental Secrets Included. Photograph by Julie Pointer Adams.
Modern Small Apartment Combination Living and DIning Room Paris By Philippe Harden
Above: Architect Philippe Harden cleverly reallocated the space in this 592-square-foot Paris apartment to make the layout more efficient. See how in 9 Small-Space Ideas to Steal from a Tiny Paris Apartment. Photograph courtesy of Philippe Harden.
Moscow Apartment by Studio Bazi Kitchen Laundry Gif
Above: In just 355 square feet, Moscow-based Studio Bazi managed to incorporate what just might be the most clever kitchen and laundry room we’ve ever seen. See more in The Secret Apartment: A Hyperefficient Moscow Flat with Stealth Storage (and a Hidden Kitchen). Photograph by Polina Poludkina.
When Septembre Architecture took on a 645-square-foot flat in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, the space had too many walls that just made it feel smaller. They deftly reorganized the space and improved the flow, removing walls along the way. See more in Think Big: 9 Small-Space Layout Ideas to Steal from a Petite Paris Apartment. Photograph by David Foessel, courtesy of Septembre Architecture.
Above: When Septembre Architecture took on a 645-square-foot flat in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, the space had too many walls that just made it feel smaller. They deftly reorganized the space and improved the flow, removing walls along the way. See more in Think Big: 9 Small-Space Layout Ideas to Steal from a Petite Paris Apartment. Photograph by David Foessel, courtesy of Septembre Architecture.

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