Cash strapped minimum wage workers and students in the Seattle area are seeking and welcoming more affordable housing in their city, but the explosion of the aPodment micro housing units in Seattle is drawing new criticism in this dense metropolitan area. City officials are claiming that these 200 square feet tiny units are unregulated and skirt the city’s building laws.
Many of the aPodments built by Calhoun Properties offer downtown amenities like private bathrooms and kitchenettes, lofts, security, private decks, access to public transportation, skylights, granite countertops and shared amenities like BBQs, roof decks and ADA accessible group kitchens. Some of these tiny spaces also come with furniture and utilities paid all for around $500-$750 a month. All this in a city where rent prices are around $1,200 a month.
The city is concerned that these more condensed forms of housing, which only require a building permit, increase the density of a neighborhood but don’t provide additional parking. They are also concerned that there is no design review before construction and have asked for a short-term moratorium on building these types of units until they can decide how to regulate them.
Micro-housing developers defend these units by stating that many people who live in downtown areas want to be closer to public transportation, shops and city amenities, but don’t want to pay higher rental prices. The idea has become so popular, that other units are being planned in Portland, Ore., California and New Jersey.
Photos by aPodments/Calhoun Properties
Its been a busy two weeks, from teaching a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Nashville, TN (what a great city, and great group!), to shooting and hosting a few days for an HGTV program, working on a new tiny, tiny, trailer house project (to bring to the Yestermorrow Fair in Vermont), continuing work on a plan set with David Stiles (one of MY favorite author/architects), AND finally finishing THIS video of Steve Sauer’s 182 square foot guest house in Seattle!
Christopher Smith (“Tiny: The Movie“, which is GREAT!) and I actually shot this well over a year ago, but time and funds to complete these have been scarce…..in fact, we’re looking for two small sponsors on our next 4-5 mini videos…kidcedar at gmail.com. Continue Reading »
Daniel LiCalzi (Product Designer and Co-founder of sustainable design studio Design Since), transformed his 271-sq-ft Brooklyn apartment into an Urban Tree House modeled after Disneyland’s infamous Swiss Family Treehouse. Daniel recently gave the SPACEStv Home & Design YouTube Channel a tour of his space and showed viewers how he was able to give such a tiny space the feeling of the open outdoors.
In the episode, Daniel showcases his newest “green” design products which include an AC unit covered with synthetic grass, a platform loft bed made of reclaimed metal and plywood, and a foot stool constructed out of reclaimed shoe soles. He also reveals these exclusive design tips on how-to open up a tiny space:
- Loft your bed – With a lofted bed, Daniel is able to utilize the space underneath and use his hollowed out steps for extra storage.
- Position tables and furniture towards a window – Daniel arranged his kitchen counter to point out towards the window giving the space a feeling of openness.
- Bring the outdoors indoors – AC units are an eye sore, but Daniel covered his with synthesis grass to create something beautiful that transitions the outdoors indoors.
by Jessica Tenny
I work with the guys behind YouTube’s home and design channel SPACEStv (NYT) and wanted to send you the newest episode of “Tiny, Eclectic, Amazing Spaces,” a show which profiles people living large in small spaces. Michael Pozner (former Head of Retail Development for American Apparel) and Darrick Bowoski (Creative Director at Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture) take viewers on a tour of Michael’s 500 sq ft apartment, filled with more than 50 bespoke cabinets and drawers in New York City’s East Village.
Michael and Darrick also offer two pieces of advice on how to maximize and re-discover space in any teeny apartment:
- To find hidden spaces in any apartment, Michael says to try doing some “exploratory demo.” Hidden behind Michael’s bedroom wall was nearly 30 inches of dead space, all of which was turned into floor-to-ceiling white-lacquered storage units. “Don’t be afraid to punch holes in your walls,” he says.
- Work with negative space. Every step of the stairway leading to Michael’s lofted bedroom is a storage drawer. Behind that stairway is a cabinet. Michael’s advice is once you find and create a new storage space, always try to build upon the negative space that’s created.