Many people dream of living in New York City but are surprised when they find out how difficult it can be to find a suitable living situation. Although we all would like a large enough apartment, we often find that these spaces are too expensive—and end up living in a tiny place. On the flip side of that problem are entrepreneurs and landlords trying to create suitable living spaces that are affordable as well as comfortable and efficient.
That was the case for entrepreneur Graham Hill.
In 2010, Hill bought two small apartments in an old tenement building in Soho, New York City.
When it all started, Hill had inherited a unit that a woman had lived in for 40 years. It was very messy and was designed as a 420 square foot studio apartment, all with half walls dividing up the space. Still, Hill knew he had to clean the apartment out and renovate it to make it suitable for the housing market. To go with the trend of using smaller apartments more efficiently and creatively, he decided to crowdsource the redesign to make it a contest of who could transform the space into the most amazing apartment.
By 2012, Hill had selected two Romanian architecture students as the winners.
In his newly completed apartment, Hill transformed a 420 square foot apartment into one with 1100 square feet of functionality.
In its most basic form, the apartment is a wide open room with a couch and a rug.
It can also be transformed into that plus an office with a computer desk that folds out of the wall.
By simply pulling down on a shelf, the room can also be transformed into a master bedroom!
If guests come over, the entire wall can pull out to create another room.
Behind the pull out wall is another set of wall cabinets with storage space. Better still is that the bonus “room” also has two bunk beds stowed away in the walls for guests!
Both spaces can be closed off with curtains as well, essentially transforming the home into a two-bedroom apartment.
The kitchenette area was also designed with a modular table that pulls out into a full dining room table with space for 10 guests.
There’s even a small bathroom with an additional fold out shelf that goes over the toilet, turning the room into a private phonebooth—particularly useful if guests are over or if someone is taking a nap!
The kitchen is a marvel of efficiency as well. Rather than a built-in stovetop, the home comes with a set of electric hot plates as well as a miniature two-gallon washing machine.
Overall, Hill’s apartment transformation is an incredible testament to the power of design.
Although many of us were raised to think that bigger is necessarily better, Hill’s apartment and others like it are proving that we may need to rethink some of those principles. The more we can make do with less, the more there will be for everyone else.
For a complete tour of all the homes remarkable features, check out the video below!
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