Having spent time in the past living in a van, Manhattan resident Michael Pozner felt confident that 500 square feet would be plenty of space. But after a few years of living (and working from home) in his studio apartment, he got tired of having papers strewn around, climbing a rickety loft stair to get into bed, and the whole place looking, in his words, "like a dorm room."
The solution Michael's architect (Darrick Borowski of ARExA, pictured above with Michael in the apartment) came up with was to turn the kitchen, bathroom and loft bedroom into a living cube of sorts, cladding the entire thing in an oak wood that gives the apartment a soft warmth. This leaves the front of the apartment free for the living room/home office. A wall of cabinets along one side of the room provides plenty of storage.
In the new kitchen, the architects found space for a full-sized refrigerator, and the ultimate NYC apartment luxury: a washer and dryer. The kitchen door was removed, making it a bit more open to the rest of the apartment. Between the kitchen and the living room is the bathroom.
The loft bedroom is surprisingly roomy. White built-in cabinets (on the left) blend into the wall, and a built-in nightstand provides even more storage. The ledge at the foot of Michael's bed (which you can see in the photo at the top of this post) contains a second bed, which is where Michael's goddaughter sleeps when she visits.
The whole apartment is a beautiful example of how small spaces can be both very functional and very stylish — with just a little bit of ingenuity.
To learn more about the apartment, check out the full tour on Dwell.