To create an airy atmosphere, this 430-square-foot apartment was renovated with a palette of natural materials and earthy colors.
Some of the most inventively designed small living spaces are in Hong Kong where housing is scarce and not affordable by anyone’s standards.
This article and video in TreeHugger features a redesigned apartment for three Family’s Minimalist Micro-Apartment Features Natural Materials, Flexible Layout. In order to maximize the feeling of spaciousness, the architects used a clean monochromatic color palette, built-in furniture, and storage behind what appear to be sleek walls. The use of natural textures create warmth and subtle variety.
Why 430 square feet? In Hong Kong, there are 7 million people living in 426 square miles, almost 16,500 people per square mile. The price-to-income ratio is 18-1. The median household income is HK$300,000 and the median cost of a home is more than HK$5.4 million. (So much for housing costing 30% of income!)
Thus many apartments are micro size and for our purposes excellent examples of sustainable, affordable housing. 430 SF for a family of three is ~143 SF per person. The key is simplicity and maximizing open space. The dining table slides between the kitchen cabinets taking no floor space when not in use. Perhaps the most interesting and unique feature is in the child’s room: storage under the floor so maximum space can be open for play.