I love a tiny, efficient home, and I love a good beach house, especially in these sweltering summer times, so it's nice to see the two come together. Here's how a tiny beachside flat in Italy makes the most of a very small floor plan, managing to incorporate two bedrooms, a workspace, and plenty of room for lounging into a trim 376 square feet.
The apartment, in an attic above an old fisherman's cottage in the small seaside town of Camogli, benefits from exposures on three different sides. The majority of the apartment is devoted to the living/dining/cooking space, which looks out to a terrace facing the ocean.
In the unit's main space, everything is hyper-efficient, and everything (except the dining table and chairs) is built in. There's a built-in sofa, adjoining a built-in kitchen. (A cover folds down over the stove and sink when the kitchen is not in use, contributing to the room's minimal feel, and making the workspace available for other uses.)
In the master bedroom, walls of built-ins surround the bed on two sides, providing plenty of (neatly concealed) space for anything a vacationer could want. But the unit's most unusual feature occurs in the second bedroom, a narrow little nook to the right of the main bedroom. A twin bed, hidden in a platform that makes up the floor, is revealed by opening a trap door. This means that the space can serve as a bedroom, or, with the trap door closed, as a compact studio. (Presumably there is some sort of mechanism that prevents the lid from closing accidentally and entombing you, coffin-like, as you sleep.)
All these clever built-ins and unusual solutions mean that this very small space is equipped to sleep at least three people (maybe another could squeeze in on the sofa?) — and do it all in style.