3 Design Lessons from New York's First Micro Apartments

Over the last few decades, the cost for investing in a real estate property has drastically increased and thus, many major cities in the world face a shortage of houses for the helpless people, due to the whopping price they charge.

Akin to varied nations and cities around the globe, the Big Apple of the States faced a serious issue of housing for the middle and lower classes, and to repair the damages of this grave affliction, New York began its very own initiative of micro housing. These houses were aimed at the middle classes and the lower classes, so that they might be able to get a house for themselves. And here’s their quasi-blue print.

An ideal micro apartment covers an area of about 400 sq. ft. with basically just one huge room, ample space for a bathroom and enough space to not make a person feel claustrophobic. What’s more is that the entire building will be abundant with amenities such as a fitness room, parking space for bicycles, lounge, tenant storage rooms and even a community room! The architects described the rooms to have such interiors that will make the rooms appear spacious and bring in loads of sunlight. The houses were speculated to be rented at around $950 but could even extend till $2920. The range has, understandably, been a topic of much debate.

After all, “a very small man can cast a very large shadow”. Word. download-4124929

So here’s what particularly piqued our interest and intrigued our curiosity when we looked at the modern micro houses of New York, its very first! Designers, take note. Major lessons ahead!

3. Utilitarian Approach Towards the Furniture

When you do not have a lot of space to work with, it is always better to utilise the furniture in as many ways as is possible to do so. At first it seems like a reliable option to cram the maximum amount of furniture you can get into the different corners of the house. We think that it will probably let the space be utilised for maximum efficiency and we will be able to lead an easy life. But, the problem with this approach is that it lacks space and room to breathe. Although more and more furniture will help you to make doing your chores a much easier task than ever, but that will leave the already small space devoid of any room to breathe and letting your furniture breathe. The micro apartments of New York deal with this issue in a creative manner. The design is ideal for the items of furniture to be versatile and be used for multiple purposes. For instance, a bed might serve as a bed, as a seating chair, as a place for you to sit on and eat at. Similarly, a table might be a table, a space for keeping your stuff, an iron board, and stuff like that. The point here is to use your furniture for not just one purpose but as many purposes as you can, so that more and more room is left in your apartment, and you might be able to roam around in the apartment. Also, this will make the apartment appear as having more space than what there really is because more the number of vacant spots in your apartment, more space it will show (apparently though). The New Yorkers sure have this figured out in a neat manner.

2. Light is Important

Light has a huge contribution in making a room (and an apartment or a flat) look bigger in size than what it really is. When light from the outside is allowed to come in in huge amounts through a large window perhaps, the room will appear to be much bigger in size, its warmth of welcoming will increase and the overall effect will be that of one in which there appears to be no issue regarding the size of the estate. The New York micro apartments cash in upon this. The apartments are flooded with light with the huge windows on the front walls, and the amount of sunlight that enters through it, makes the apartment appear much bigger in size. Now this is quite understandable and necessary to be employed in other modern houses as well. Light is essential not just for these “apparent” purposes but also for proving some sort of natural connection with the world. So, next time you are presented with a small flat or apartment, always look for light or ways for light to enter the property. And since the furniture will be low in height and not really grand, light will be able to cross to the extremities of the room/apartment. Actually, if you were to install a huge window on one side of the front-side wall, then that light might just cover the entire apartment. The micro apartments are gold in this respect and we must emulate this design of theirs.

1. Maximise those Built-ins

Here’s something to ponder over: how many times have you ever actually considered the shelves and cabinets of your kitchen as not being a part of its rudimentary construction? Don’t know, right? Well, that is because we think that the shelves, the cabinets, that is to say, the built-in storage of that room (or apartment) are a part of its architecture, because the eye normally tends to pass over them. We do not stop and stare at a shelf, and then suddenly have an epiphany that that shelf is just a piece of furniture. So, if the cabinets in a kitchen are increased to manifold, then the kitchen’s capacity to store things will be increased while it will appear that the kitchen lacks a large amount of furniture, thereby apparently providing it with more space. The New York micro apartments take this to the next level, as they utilise numerous built-in storage units, which gives the entire apartment a look of it might being bigger than what appears to be, id est, of giving a faux presentation of being larger in size than it actually is. This technique is quite efficient when the estate in hand is small in size. As we have demonstrated before, the built-in storage units pass by an individual’s eye without being noticed and thus, they make a great choice for creating more space around the place. The design of the New York micro apartments makes this readily apparent and it is something we should jot down for future purposes. Increasing your built-in storage units will only add to the apparent room in the place and is a great way to efficiently utilise the space that you have. Good job, Big Apple.

The micro apartments provide us with great ways to actually deal with the issues of shortage of space and property, and they do so in a stylised manner. The focus on the aspects listed above opens up a plethora of choices for future apartments, and even if they are not small in size, the large ones could be made even better with these ideas. We admire your creativity, NYC.

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