Small Space Advice from La Boîte!

Small Space Advice from La Boîte!

Adrienne Breaux
Feb 10, 2010

If you think you've got a small kitchen, take heart---we've found one seriously teeny space that's proving good design can make even 160 square feet seem spacious. One of Austin's newest contributions to the trailer food scene, this tiny eatery is delighting design lovers all over Austin.

La Boîte, designed by architect Mark Meyer of designSTUDIO, is a coffee shop in a shipping container. Unlike many of the other food trailers in Austin, where customers must order through a window while remaining outside, Meyer's design for La Boîte beckons people into this tiny, aptly-named box. Maximized for efficiency, you might think there's no room for style, but you'd be wrong. Aesthetically pleasing and surprisingly spacious, La Boîte is a perfect example of how the right planning can make any size space work. We asked Meyer which of La Boîte's great small space design ideas an Apartment Therapy reader could use in their own home:

1) Draw everything out. Researching your options out there, whether it be for kitchen appliances or the perfect couch for your living room, is easier when you take meticulous measurements and plan, plan, plan. For La Boîte, designs were drawn out to within an 1/8" of inch accuracy, meaning they could fit in as much as possible.

2) Minimize the interior palette of materials. La boîte is basically "all hoop pine plywood (ceiling and cabinets), Forbo linoleum (floor and walls), and the stainless counters and displays." By minimizing and keeping simple the materials you have in your small space, you'll find that the space visually expands.

3) Make way for lots of natural light. Obviously, in La Boîte an entire wall of windows helps let in tons of natural light and make a tight space feel larger than it is. Since we don't all have the ability to knock out walls and replace them with floor to ceiling windows, check out some previous Apartment Therapy advice on how to maximize natural light in your apartment.

What do you think about Meyer's design for La Boîte? Have you been there yet? Visit the designSTUDIO blog for process and construction photos of this neat project!

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