See how a family maximized their one-bedroom apartment with clever small-space solutions
Lydia W. Lee
1 of 6Thomas J. Story
Add another level
For five years, Erin Feher Montoya and her husband, Danny, relished the one-bedroom apartment they shared in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Then they had a daughter. Instead of fleeing for the suburbs, they tweaked their compact setup to make room for three. To double the square footage of their bedroom, Danny, a professional woodworker, built a sleeping loft accessed by a ladder. The crib for 1 1⁄2-year-old Orion, also designed by Danny, has storage bins below.
2 of 6Thomas J. Story
Use lines strategically
Striped wallpaper along the underside of the loft and the back of the cubbies coordinates the space. Danny made a zigzagging shelf so the nursery feels like a distinct space. Gradient wallpaper, $50/roll; grahambrown.com.
3 of 6Thomas J. Story
Soar with industrial shelving
The kitchen is outfitted with adjustable shelves, commonly used in restaurants. The open shelving emphasizes the loft’s 12-foot-high ceilings. With no cabinets, the family is forced to be extra organized and "not bring home too much stuff,” says Erin. Custom system from $800; e-zshelving.com.
4 of 6Thomas J. Story
Store in unlikely spots
Next to the sofa, the deep windowsill holds a bar, a garden box of succulents, and a revolving gallery of Danny’s prototypes. A pair of flip-top boxes store guest linens and magazines, and sub in for a coffee table.
5 of 6Thomas J. Story
Work the walls
Most of the family’s books are stored in a series of floating boxes designed by Danny, which have a much lighter look than a large freestanding bookcase. A library ladder allows access to the highest boxes.
6 of 6Thomas J. Story
Define areas with overscale art
A wall installation of vintage keys sets off the dining area from the rest of the apartment. Danny, whose business is called Key&Kite in honor of Benjamin Franklin’s legendary electrical experiment, bought a bag full of keys from eBay to create it.