Tiny Seattle Apartment

by Kent Griswold on August 24th, 2010. 37 Comments
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Chelsea brought this article and this fantastic little apartment to my attention. I am guilty of not covering apartments very often but I love the use of space in this one and you must see it.

The article written by The Seattle Times Rebecca Teagarden is titled “Tiny apartment shows the value of a good fit” and talks about Steve Sauer’s 182-square-foot Seattle condo which shows the value of a good fit, from the soaking tub built into the entry floor to the “video lounge” tucked beneath the “cafe area.” Sauer shopped Ikea for many of his home’s furnishings, such as a little table, and used tabletops to fashion cabinet fronts.

Saurer’s says, “What I really wanted was one place with exactly what I needed and wanted. Quality is more important than quantity for me, and extra space only a problem,” he has written, describing his nearby too-big-for-him, one-bedroom condo.

“I wanted to compress my home to squirt me back out to the community,” he says, taking inspiration from dwellings in Scandinavia and Japan, places where space is dear. “That was one of the philosophical reasons. I want to be able to shop daily, not store a lot and eat really well.”

When Sauer couldn’t find the things he needed, he designed them and built them: The stainless-steel shower caddy, towel bar. For other pieces, “Ikea came through again.” Lighting, cabinet pulls, and butcher block for shelves, the table top and cabinet fronts. The rich flooring, Brazilian walnut, was installed by Matt Messenger. A bureau from West Elm fit to 1/8 of an inch, and so it was ordered.

“My dream is to put 300 of these in a building and not have it be a tenement.”

Read the Seattle Times article here.

37 Responses to “Tiny Seattle Apartment”

  1. This is definitely one of the cooler designs I’ve seen on this blog… love the way he was able to use all the space and still keep some separation between his living/dining/sleeping areas.

  2. Mara Alexander says:

    Very interesting and cool use of space, though the concept of “shopping daily” would be a deal killer for me (though I realize that’s the designers’ / owners’ choice, and everyone should be able to live the way they chose).

    In addition to being into tiny homes/spaces, I also have “survivalist leanings”, and I’d never want to live literally day-to-day. But again, that’s just me.

    To me the tiny house concepts can be applied to just about any space. And to me, it’s less about size and more about what you do with the space you have. It’s about choices. If you’re wondering, I currently live in a 19 ft RV, which is plenty for me. :)

  3. Anne says:

    I would love to know about the blue chair in the cafe area – looks comfy! Cool space!

  4. Alex says:

    Wow that is seriously one-of-a-kind

  5. Joyce says:

    What is under the tub? I like the idea, but doesn’t it stick into someone else’s living space?

    • Kay in KCMO says:

      The article said the window was at ground level so maybe the tub sticks down into the basement. I wondered the same thing and that’s the best I can figure.

  6. If you’re interested in small apartment living a book to keep an eye out for is Tokyo: a certain style. It’s a pocketbook size collection of photos taken by Kyoichi Tzusuki in the 1990s of various “real world” Tokyo living spaces, some of them incredibly small. I would assume it’s probably out of print by now but some folks might find it worth the effort to find.

  7. [...] PM (1 hour ago) Tiny Seattle Apartment from Tiny House Blog by Kent Griswold100+ people liked this Chelsea brought this article and [...]

  8. jj says:

    He’s watching Pi!

  9. Really cool but as a scandinavian myself i have to wonder where the notion that space is rare here came from. We have one million-city and not even that is really expensive compared to other cities in the world…

  10. Katie says:

    I just LOVE this. All these little purpose specific areas, so cute but fit together so uniquely. This is what I love about tiny spaces, not an inch is wasted. Kudos!

  11. Vicky says:

    Claustrophobia !!!!!!!!!!!
    I like well designed small spaces and really appreciate the ingenuity of this one but imagining myself living in it….gimme air!

  12. [...] Fotos de Benjamin Benschneider. Visto en Tiny House Blog. [...]

  13. Deek says:

    REALLY- REALLY cool- as long as you’re fine with not throwing any apartment parties! Seriously though, with Seattle prices- this guy’s no dummy


    • Seven says:

      Hi Deek! All my parties are in the pico-dwelling, and the biggest one topped out with 17 people merrily partying away (though about 14 max is a good guideline).

  14. [...] El apartamento de 16 metros cuadrados   tinyhouseblog.com/apartment-living/tiny-seattle-apartment/  por ndn hace 2 segundos [...]

  15. di says:

    I’d like to see a floor plan.

  16. My sweetiepie is an engineer. I showed him this last night and he loved it. Though… VERY expensive to do all that custom work.

  17. Mark says:

    Reminds me of an awesome video I recently saw about a Japanese apartment that can turn into 24 separate rooms.



  18. desaladora says:

    mmmmm, you haven`t any plants and windows…. the chi dont flow… but is nice (try ficus, potus)

  19. Katherine says:

    How does the dweller fill the bathtub? I want to know because I am ready to install one under my floorboards!

  20. David Banghart says:

    How does he get into the cafe area? I did not see a ladder or steps.

  21. tom says:

    his condo is almost as nice as the sleeper compartment in my 18 wheeler! only disadvantage to the small area is that trash piles up really fast.

  22. [...] post doesn’t need to be long. You just need to go and check out the pictures from this 182 sq foot apartment in Seattle. I always question are 1800 – 2200 sqft homes really [...]

  23. [...] can’t get over how compact this apartment is! She used to live in a very small apartment, and she’s never doing that again if she can [...]

  24. Matt says:

    I can’t get over that article, I read it and loved it!

  25. [...] kon krijgen, bouwde hij zelf. The Seattle Times heeft Sauer geïnterviewd over zijn werk en op de Tiny House Blog staat een mooie fotoserie van het appartement van zeventien vierkante meter. Sauers droom? Een [...]

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