Two years ago I broke my ankle, and though the incident was not the fault of a wonky staircase, I've been a little freaked out by stairs ever since. The staircase in this Madrid apartment makes my palms sweaty just looking at it—but otherwise, this might be one of the best designed and most inspiring small spaces we've seen.
This apartment, which measures 24 square meters, or 260 square feet, has two things going for it that many even larger spaces do not: access to outdoor space and lots of natural light. On days when the weather is fine, you can throw open the doors to the balcony, effectively turning the whole apartment into an indoor-outdoor space. The glass doors let in light, so the space is bright year-round; the effect is amplified by white wood floors and white walls.
The living room is blessed with tall ceilings, which the designer enhanced with a tree wall decal. Beyond it are the kitchen and (surprisingly spacious) bathroom, near to the apartment's front door. Furniture was left spare and transitional, so the room can quickly transform as needed. Exhibit A: The table next to the sofa folds out into a dining table, to create a pop-up dining nook during mealtimes; the portable red chairs nearby can be pulled in for seating.
Above the living room is a cozy little loft, with, it looks like, just enough space to sit up in bed. (Having enough space to sit up in bed is a very important consideration.) But to get there, you'll have to climb this minimalistic—and very terrifying—staircase. If you're young and spry, and have never spent two months on crutches, this might not be much of a problem for you. But having passed a little time as a differently abled person, I now have a newfound sympathy for the Apartment Therapy commenters who express consternation over precarious flights.
All that said, the teensy apartment is clearly a design win. It's a beautiful, elegant use of limited space, and I would live here in a heartbeat—with a handrail, that is.
You can see more of this little apartment on AD España.