Anil and Shannon’s 655-Square-Foot Two-Bedroom Loft

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Anil & Shannon
Location: New York City
Size: 655 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

How do you hide two bedrooms in a 655-square foot studio loft? With one Murphy bed in the living room and a second revealed by a sliding kitchen wall, which skims the floor on ceiling tracks.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Murphy bed tucked behind the closed closet. (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Moving a kitchen wall sounds daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. As seen in the photo above, just clear off the counter, scoot over the rolling kitchen table, and give it a tug. In fact, Anil and his brother shared the apartment for years, folding down both their beds each night and storing them during the day.

Good storage is key to this setup – as is lack of clutter. Thanks to the 12-foot ceilings, the apartment has ample places to stash bulkier items, like fold-up bikes. Bedding lives in a handsome trunk, while bedside closets transform into nightstands.

Thanks to the clever layout, designed by AvroKO, the single open room takes many different forms. The roll-out bedroom, now a spare room for Anil and his wife Shannon, gives guests their privacy. An office loft helps keep work separated, a key for a couple that works long hours. And the living room and kitchen area are purely for relaxing and fun.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Re-Nest Survey:

Our style: Modern efficiency.

Inspiration: White spaces, clean lines, stylish submarines and luxury train travel.

Favorite Element: Everything you don’t see. A second “bedroom,” an attic, foldaway Dahon bicycles in a closet.

Biggest Challenge: Living in a prototype. Some things just didn’t work. Lots of trial and error in the early days.

What Friends Say: Wow! Where’s the bedroom?

Proudest DIY: A custom-built media cabinet that began with sketches on a napkin. Neither of us have any training in design but had fun seeing it come together. We also worked with AvroKO to ensure we used the same materials and the design fit with the rest of the apartment. We wanted that sight line to remain streamlined and integrated, and it worked, like the rest of the apartment, to help us stay organized and relaxed by hiding cords and unsightly digital devices.

Biggest Indulgence: Custom built furniture, like the kitchen table and rolling drawers. It makes a difference and supports the artists and architects that build them.

Best Advice: Keep your work/live space separated. In small spaces it’s especially important. We created an office in our loft and do most of our work there, which makes the living and sleeping area feel like a place for relaxation and fun.

Green Elements/Initiatives: Milk Paint. O-Zone lites that kill bacteria, viruses, mold, odors. Negative ion air filters. Having a great recycling bin and system.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Dream Source: Moss for whimsical objets. Etsy (and soon Artsy) for art. Eskayel for wall coverings.

Appliances: KitchenAid and Kohler

Furniture: Natuzzi, Knoll, Design Within Reach, custom

Accessories: Le Labo candles. Dwell Studio and ABC Carpet & Home pillows right now. Thomas Paul prior to that. We rotate pillows and throws by season and mood!

Lighting: Koncept. They are beautifully designed and energy efficient. And they have the best customer service.

Tiles and Stone: Glass mosaic bathroom tiles by Hakatai

Beds: Tempur-Pedic

Artwork: Only from friends or Etsy! Carson Ellis‘ rock posters. Charcoal etching by Ekaterina Smirnova. Paper collage
portraits of our favorite authors from Etsy. We had these made for our wedding but kept them out once we moved our library of books and vinyl to storage.

Paint: Milk Paint

Other: Fortessa and Schott Zwiesel restaurant grade glass and tableware. Simple and literally unbreakable.

Apartment Info: The apartment is currently up for sale.

(Thanks, Anil & Shannon!)
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(Images: Liz Vidyarthi)