Houzz TV: You Won’t Believe Everything This Tiny Loft Can Do

Houzz TV: You Won’t Believe Everything This Tiny Loft Can Do

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Houzz TV: You Won’t Believe Everything This Tiny Loft Can Do

Donnie and Nicole Chiu-Wang loved the location of their San Francisco studio, but they desperately needed to make its 537 square feet feel more spacious. To do that, they turned their attention to the 13-foot ceiling. Having watched online videos of cleverly designed moving walls in small New York City apartments, they thought that there must be a way to use their space more efficiently too.

Donnie reached out to an architect friend, who offered to take on the dilemma with another friend. The pair came up with a prefabricated multipurpose
loft that freed up square footage, and includes two beds, a stand-up desk, a dining table and plenty of storage.

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Laurie Battersby

Creative use of space for this young couple....by adding the loft dimension. Amazing!


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Pamela Fisk

OK, I totally love it. But what about the kitchen and bathroom? Inquiring minds wanna see!

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tinyhouse56

Very cool design. I'm not so sure about not having railings up top that can be popped up when you go to sleep. I'm not too into rolling off and face planting into that nice floor below! But otherwise, I really like it!

71 Likes    
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sidneyisle
This is really ingenious. I assume it wasn't cheap (all that custom concrete work!) but this couple has seamlessly blended a home/work space that functions for both of them. Well done.
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jill dushey

love this space!

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Conrado Hernandez Style Made Simple

I love the clean, modern and organized space. Well thought out and decorated. I plan to do something similar in my guest room/office.

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duli
Thanks for the Houzz TV segment that is attached. Made the layout even more clear showing the kitchen, more closets, and the projector screen. Great planning for a small space.
12 Likes    
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BluePrince Architectural

What a multifaceted use of space! I've never seen the back of a Murphy bed done with whiteboard before - What an excellent way to take advantage of it!

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D 51
Super cool ideas, love the video, couple is too cute!
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western creative

What a beautiful loft. can you please share the name of your custom made murphy bed builder.

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Gerald Lorentz

I'm really amazed at the multiuse module and cheer the efficient use of space. I applaud the Chiu-Wang couple and their architects for making a small space, innovative, efficient and cozy.

As for small spaces - I enjoy looking and reading about them from a purely engineering/architectural design aspect. I lived in NYC in a small studio/one bedroom apartment many decades ago and don't think I could ever return to tight quarters again, even one as captivating as this one, . [My minimum at this stage in life, as an empty nester, is 1,100ft2.]

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judith1875

beautiful. I wonder how these 2 young people afforded it.

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jendach

Is there a kitchen?

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Scott

Love it! Great ideas... We have a large space (my children's bedroom is the size of their apartment but I have 6 boys who share that room who presently use traditional bunk beds... a college dorm room. the murphy bed design was a great play on a regular murphy bed! Love it and gonna use the ideas! Thanks.

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loniluna

Amazing.....I'm impressed!

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nelzee

love love love love this apt.


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sally0203

Very clever use of space! I'm curious about all those windows. Are there shades or some way to get privacy?

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Cheryl Biermann

Really great home! It's wonderful that so many people are trying to live with what they have and make it work.

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Rachelle Plantagenet

very cool.


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nauna

Love, love, love the loft. Much thought was put into it by the Wangs & their architects. Such efficient use of space. If economically possible, I'd never sell it. When more space is needed for children, perhaps renting it through VRBO or such, or renting it out long term would allow you to keep it. It's wonderfully unique. Well done!

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wedreambuilders

So many tiny spaces look like camping to me & i think "idiots". This space is sophisticated & functional without looking like you just want to win the lottery so that you can move. Great job!

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Prestige Chandelier
Looks great.
   
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Sharon Joyce

Pamela Fisk, if you look at the photo of the couple on their bed, watching TV, you can see what looks like a small kitchen at the lower left.

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marsia

Wow, transformer loft! Love how it is so functional but still so nice to look at. Love the custom library ladder especially!

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nancy5940
Loved the Houzz video. Really showed the final results with the layout and how they use the loft, especially the storage.
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skyval

Please build a railing on this very cool but deadly loft bed !!

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Amer Manni
Love it so much
   
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Upali Rathnayake

excellent room management

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laurie bailey

I love the innovative use of the space~thanks for sharing!

   
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Bernard Mercier

Brillant use of the space, it's modern and and well adapted to the new standard of living big cities. Great work!


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Pacific Dream Builders

Great design ideas!


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Kalanzi Mpagi
I still love the old setting better. it feels more homely while the new setting feels artificial. sorry guys but since u like it, that's that matters
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CAC Development Design-Build, LLC

Very Cool! How fun!


   
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Karry Home Solutions

The clever ideas people are coming up with for smaller spaces are absolutely incredible these days! So inspiring!

1 Like    
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Bianka Jesse

It wouldn't be cheap to do something like this. Good idea but I would suffocate in a small space . Also where is the bathroom and cooking area.

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Maryse Markowitz

Genius, simplistic & useful!

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hillslug98239

I love the way getting rid of the coat closet opened up the space.

Those of you asking about the kitchen and/or the bathroom: the kitchen is referenced in the article (it's where the guy slept while the work was being done), and you can see it in the left portion of the picture of the couple sitting on the loft bed; the bath is very likely to the left of the kitchen area.

I'm very drawn to these small living spaces. Alas, there is not one in my future. I'm a lawyer and a triathlete; we live in an area with cold winters and hot summers - I need several wardrobes because of my vocation and my hobbies. We're both pack rats, and we're overly attached to our stuff. I'm also a home canner, and two canners and boxes of canning jars take up a lot of space. I'm not sure how much of this life we're willing to give up, so we stick with our slightly over-crowded 1000 sq. ft. home.

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Sheila Schmitz

Hillslug, you should show us some photos of your very productive 1000 sq. ft. home! It sounds like it could be a great Houzz feature.

4 Likes    
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jenandhermen

Pretty impressive. Of course, I work at The Container Store and design Elfa spaces, so I might just be a little biased.

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wybell
The only issue is the lack of natural light in the area below the bed. A long narrow open area would have worked.
   
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Joan Trossman Bien

The last thing she said was really smart. When she is pregnant, she definitely won't be able to safely scale that ladder later in the pregnancy. Smart.

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hillslug98239

Nah - someone would have to clean it first. ;-)

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joasiahuc
Great design and execution. Defnitely has the cool factor. Looks like they added a lot of value to it too, so when time comes to sell, their investment will pay off.
   
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Marcelo Fuentes
love it new project
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ecarlos
What an awesome job! Love the design!
   
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Old World Remodeling
Fantastic design, great use of space!
   
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hermunstr
Where were these ideas when I lived in my one room apartment!!:))
   
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Daniella Diartt Carrascal
Nothing but The best thing in so little space
   
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christysmail3

Wonderful use of space....Couldn't even begin to improve on it at all!!! But what about the bath? So curious now.....And what a darling couple....all the best to the two of you!

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createdreamserenity
This is awesome! This is the way to live...simple and minimalistic. I would ABSOLUTELY live in a structue like this.This is onto the same thing as the tiny house movement. Great idea, functional, and cost effective!
   
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umar latif
Very well staged article of an excellent project. Most times a writeup leaves you 'unfullfilled' and wanting to know more. Well done Houzz .....
   
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Jennifer Ray
I LOVE YOUR COMPLETENESS IN UTILIZING YOUR WHOLE SPACE
   
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acvansteijn

Yes, pictures and drawings please.

   
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Jerry Caballero
splendid
   
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rosalba630
I like so much I want my room like this.
   
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Emily Shave
Amazing use of space. I plan to be an interior architect, so this helps. Thanks! :-)
   
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Interior Pros - Design Studio

It's great that you have that wall of windows to let all that light into your space making it feel much more spacious! Really smart choice to include the mirrored closet doors which also enlarge the room.

Love your airy industrial mix of textures and colors that keep the space looking clean and detailed!

Simply an outstanding job all the way around!


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prettyeyes39

Great design and awesome use of space with amazing functionality!

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Keanu Bartolata
where did the table come from?
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jesus_beckford
While this is creative, my issue with this layout is that 50% of the space's natural light has been dedicated to the walkway to the loft. In a small space you always want to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. The design result in createing a dark room beneath the loft that always requires artificial lighting. Also, When this room is not being used as a guest room, it only has a single-use: a work space. It would have be nice to somehow be able to fold away the work space area when its not in use and have that work area reintegrate into the home.
   
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Kathy Dunn

Love this. It may not work for them forever, but for this stage in their lives, this is perfect for this couple.

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Casart Coverings

Love this space! Functionality meets versatility = multi-space magnificence!

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rosenlnk1
tiny loft solves so many problems for 2!
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gissmf

Love this, so perfect for them in this stage of life and I'm sure they will find someone else to enjoy the space too if they decide to eventually move or sell

   
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Jackie Nooner

I love this so much. Perhaps the future of metropolises? When S.F. is poised to break you, you make a gem.

   
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Shower Curtain HQ

cool loft, cute couple


   
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72242

This article features my daughter and her husband. Having seen this space both before and after, I can attest that it feels much more spacious now! And the fold down bed is very comfortable!

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Jerry Caballero
sooooo good!!!!!!!
   
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Elise

Congratulations HOUZZ, this was clearly an "article" that generated a lot of interest. Very successful use of video to tell the story.

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writerinfact
I have frequently been amazed at how much vertical space is wasted. Kudos to these people and their design team for reclaiming it so ingeniously!
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lyrics1967

Sorry, this beats tiny houses hands down!! Love his remark that tiny spaces forces organization. Love all they got out of this space. Shows it can be done.....with a little cleverness!

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sylviedeso
Mezzanine
   
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Emily Artistic Design

Really imaginative and practical what this couple did to their space!

   
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Mikosmos Interiors

Super nice!

   
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eric_stear
Who created the drawing on the far back wall next to the window?
   
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Stephanie Yeager
great space!! love the pull down projection screen
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Jacques Lepage
Amazing what love can create. :-)
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Davis Richardson
Love this! This couple is adorable, too.
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194164013
wonderful!!
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Stacey Ann Charles
I love this video..the space is truly awesome
   
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Ginger
The kitchen is to the left when you walk in the door and the bathroom is to the right, behind the Murphy bed.
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Seasonal Leaf Designs
This is a very creative way of doubling up the space vertically. The industrial look
of the slide out drawer storage, Murphy bed, white simple look and the look of concrete and steel makes this space very millennial!
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Suyash Sharma
Got some inspiration! Great use of space.
   
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kballard38
wow amazing
   
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Kathi Knill

I love this ingenious way of using space in a tiny NY apt. After reading all the comments, I was compelled to go back and watch the video a 2nd time. So many people were asking where the bathroom and kitchen were that I thought I must have imagined seeing them the first go round. I am relieved to be able to say that I wasn't imagining things. I did see a kitchen and bathroom in the video. Well, admittedly, I didn't actually "see" the bathroom, rather I inferred that it was behind the pocket door outside the kitchen. I knew it existed because Nicole mentioned that it was the only place where she could go to "get away" from Donnie, before the loft was built. However, I may have inferred its existence but I clearly saw the kitchen. Right after the couple got to the door of the building, the camera pans up the outside of the building, Nicole is shown as she continues speaking, and then you get to view the apt from the camera's perspective as it enters the apt. As soon as the door opens you can see the kitchen clear as day. The pocket door, is right next to the refrigerator and just outside the "kitchen area". So for those of you who questioned the location and/or existence of the kitchen and bath, I can attest to their existence.

And not to leave any stone unturned...to the person who said that they could have made better use of the space under the loft, rather than just use it for his workspace....they used it as a dining room. The couple was shown pulling the table out and opening it to its full extension and then sitting at the table to eat; at the same time Nicole mentioned that the table could "easily seat 8".

I have no idea why I felt I needed to write this comment. Sometimes I just feel like I want to respond to all of the questions posed in the comments if I know the answers. So there you go.....this was one of those times.

   
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C H

Would love knowing the cost to customize the space???

   
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paisleyrowan38

Home1278, thank you for answering. I, too, had no problem knowing the answers, but everyone takes in visuals and input differently I guess. That's what makes us all so unique and varied in our talents. The only answer I have to anyone though are to the 2 who mentioned rails for the loft bed: do you often fling yourself out of bed? I don't, so I would be okay with the wooden perimeter that surrounds the mattress. If you do, however, then you would be welcome to put rails up for yourself in your own loft. After all, we all have different needs and yours is evidently to close yourself in, whereas these folks don't require the same thing. I would agree were it children sleeping up there, but these adults seem secure in the wood "floor" that surrounds their bed. To each their own.

I think this was a very smart build considering what they had to work with. I'm sure we all have some way we'd like to tweak it to our own specs, i.e. more lighting in the work/dining area (maybe he prefers it darker to better see the computer screen he uses so much for his work), more color, less color, rails by the bed, curtains. I think they are all valid, just not for the couple that actually owns this apartment. And therein lies the beauty of humans: individuality and the desire to express it to the world.

My only wish is that there were pics that I could save for future project ideas. But it was interesting to see it presented in this way. Joy and good health to all.

   
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paisleyrowan38

And there I go being an eejit. I found the pics. duh.

   
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skyval

Just so you know .. for safety's sake , rails on lofts and staircases are code in most places and when you see cool pictures without them , it's for foto shoots , usually you have to have rails up or you don't get passed by the inspector , ask any architect.

Lots of people take them down after the inspection because they like the way it looks without them and that's fine .. it's a very cool and innovative loft no matter what !

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tinyhouse56

Why do you think that the railings are required by the National Life Safety Code? To keep you safe.

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Makan Studio
i love the way to design the small space
   
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Master-V
This is guys it's very..... it's soooo smart. This is great idea, how you can make your space is more useful.
   
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Alexander Murphy
I absolutely love this studio apartment. i was thinking of doing this with my room too. thanks for all of the inspiration in my build i hope it looks as great and stunning as yours!
   
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伊左次建築設計事務所

What a handmade feeling is fresh. I feel that there are many young people who are accustomed to the standardized lifestyle, but I hope that there will be more creative young people.

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ZY Lin
super cool design idea
   
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ZY Lin
the video is awesome as well - https://ml.houzz.com/AzGf/cbcA3BVTVI
why not put it in the story?
   
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Lisa Kessling

Really nice blend of textures - the wood with the concrete. Very tech yet soothing.

   
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cmillentree
This is amazing, just amazing for the creativity used for this space. Makes you totally rethink how you live. Love it!
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