As rent prices and population rates both continue to soar — while wages remain relatively stagnant — the United States has enjoyed a trend toward space-saving innovations. Companies like IKEA have been capitalizing for years on this modern dilemma, offering streamlined furniture perfect for small layouts, but now apartments themselves are shrinking. For more and more residents of the world’s most bustling cities, micro apartments are a practical and sustainable lifestyle choice.

According to the Wall Street Journal, micro apartment dimensions are usually limited to 300 square feet, but some units offer more.  There’s a waiting list for 337-597-square-feet units in Boston’s Factory 63.  And according to Forbes, New York’s first micro-unit community is now officially in development, with 55 separate residences designed by the winners of a city-wide competition.  Proposals are even underway to decrease square-footage minimums in San Francisco, California.

When dwellings are designed to be as practical as possible, residents don’t just reduce their carbon footprints; they also see an increase in time spent outdoors and a decrease in wasteful purchases. Paring down to the bare necessities is no longer a last resort; while tiny living spaces have historically been linked to poverty and overpopulation, today’s renters see them as a trendy mixture of minimalism and versatility.

Furniture, walls, and fixtures almost always serve multiple purposes in these spaces, from bookshelves that divide rooms to dressers that double as loft staircases. They also enforce an emphasis on vertical design; developers can prevent claustrophobia, increase storage space, and save on artificial lighting by simply extending ceilings and windows a few extra feet.

If you need help in the Western US, please contact Ed LaCivita or Craig Sullivan at Parkwest General Contractors.  Their background in commercial and hotel construction allows them to find the perfect balance of comfort and efficiency for your micro apartments.

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