Joey's Small and Spacious Modern Abode

Joey's Small and Spacious Modern Abode

Chris Perez
Mar 1, 2012

Name: Joey Williams
Location: Austin, Texas
Size/Room: 97 square feet
Years lived in: 1

It may sound small, but 97 square feet is all the space Joey needs for his home office, video editing room, coffee lounge, and patio. His Sett Studio is a compact, highly sustainable piece of modern architecture. You'll be surprised at how much style, tech, and functionality can be thoughtfully packed into this practical dwelling.

Joey was filled with excitement the weekend his Sett Studio was scheduled to be erected onto a plot of land in his backyard. The modular units are a nifty, thoughtful, and green alternative to the common converted 'shed.'

Sett Studio units are built to order and framed in SIPs (Structurally Insulated Panels) - an air-tight, energy-efficient material with an insulated foam core. Indigo tint stainless steel panels and Monotread surfaces provide distinguishable accents to the space. The most striking element however, is the shou-sugi-ban (焼杉板) treated wood panels. The unique color and contrast is achieved through a charring process weatherizing and sealing the planks. The sum of these elements results in a design that has the fit of an architecturally-tuned space and the finish of a state-of-the-art modern home.

Joey, who works from home, often imagined how great it would be to have a personal space, devoid of distractions, where he could focus and concentrate and his small space workspace has surpassed all these expectations. The short walk from the physical boundaries of the home to the studio gives Joey a chance to change his mindset and reset his focus.

"Once I enter through the sliding door, all distractions are gone."

Just a man and his thoughts...and maybe a 32" flat-screen, Apple Mac Pro, french press coffee, and a couple fine stogies.

Apartment Therapy Survey
My style - Our goal was to produce smaller format, functional space that maximized energy-efficiency and sustainable materials, and integrate that approach with modern design.

The inspiration for my home office - I've worked from home for several years, and have always struggled to effectively implement a boundary between the space I work in and the space I relax in. I had been talking with a builder friend of mine for a few years about a small-scale modular format he had always wanted to do, and we got out act together and made it happen.

Favorite element in your space - I love the concept of separate space. I walk out of my house, and into my work space. And when I leave my work space and close that door, I can walk into my house and actually relax. The other part of it I really love is that it looks attractive, and I'm always happy to walk outside and see it.

Biggest challenge in designing my space - The biggest challenge was probably deciding exactly how I wanted the space to work. Since it is small, you have to use the space efficiently, and in a way it really forces you to think about what you need to get out of it and not fuss over the non-functional-like details.

What friends say about my space - My friends are all blown away by it. At some point, every single person makes some comment about how this would be perfect for "fill in the blank" at their house. I think everyone immediately see the value in having your own, personal, separate space.

Area where there is room for improvement - I'd like to explore options for ways to securely lock the space down if I'm gone on a trip. I keep some expensive equipment in the studio, and I'd like to keep it hidden if I'm gone for a longer period of time. Maybe something like heavy barn doors or something industrial.

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project - We were particularly proud of our custom made steel bracket, mounted from the bottom of the floating desk from which my computer tower hangs. I love the fact the tower is off the floor, providing less exposure to dust.

Biggest indulgence with respect to my space - Right now, my biggest indulgence came in the form of a gift from my brother - a humidor for my cigars - which is proudly displayed on my desk.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home - Minimize. You always think you need more than you actually do.

Dream source for stuff - Don't really have one I can think of. Just wherever interesting things happen to be.

Tech Hardware

  • Apple Mac Pro
  • 32" Vizio HDTV
  • Kensington Expert Trackball mouse
  • Bose Companion 3 Speakers
  • Logitech HD Webcam
  • Sony Headphones
  • BlueLounge Cable Box
  • 2 WD External Hard Drives
  • Canon Pixma MX882 Inkjet Printer

Furniture & Accessories

  • A couple molded plywood chairs
  • Tecate table


  • Celiera Ductless Split Air Conditioner and Heater


  • Various posters and prints
  • Books and Binders
  • Cowboy Hat
  • Humidor

Images: Chris Perez

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