Making the most out of limited space is a skill that can take years to perfect. But Elii Architects upgraded a tiny home in Madrid with some amazing space-saving features you won't find at IKEA. The quirky 620 square foot attic loft has an impressive variety of hidden compartments, trap doors and even a retractable dining room set. These features create a sense of expansiveness while lending the home an eccentric spirit.
The owner of the studio, Dido Fogué, worked with the design team to not only achieve the optimal amount of useable space in her little Spanish haven, (nicknamed the Didomestic Home) but to do so in her unique style, which she describes as “a heavy metal fan that is very fond of Hello Kitty.” Elii Studio, the Madrid-based architecture and urban design specialists, began the project from a theatrical point of view. The home renovation focused on creating many quick “scene changes” as necessary depending on the circumstances.
For optimal interior living space, the designers added a series of lightweight partitions that roll on rails. This creates the ability to add an extra, private bedroom for guests, as well as separate the kitchen and dining room. For interior lighting, the opaque panels on the partitions let natural light pass through the studio whether the partitions are open or closed.
While traditional space-saving solutions were implemented such as making space under the stairs for storage, the designers went above and beyond (literally) by adding secret compartments within the structure itself. Using the space between the floor joists, they were able to create maximum space efficiency and much needed functionality within the tiny home. “The hidden compartments were the starting point of the project,” says Elii designer, Eva Gil Lopesino. “We located them in between the wooden beams in order to make the most of the spare space.”
For dining space, the designers rigged a creative system that gave Fogué a complete retractable eat-in kitchen. With just a crank of the handle on the wall, a bungee cord pulley system opens the ceiling tiles, which convert into an adorable picnic bench/table combo. Additional tiles offer more storage cabinets in the kitchen and extra counter space is pulled directly out of the wall.
For living space, the homeowner has several comfy, but unconventional features at her disposal, such as a hanging hammock that’s accessible behind plywood panels. In fact, there is a veritable magical wonderland of surprises that can be found hidden behind the many walls inside the studio. In addition to the hammock, a whimsical swing and even a disco ball can float down at a moment’s notice.
Although some of the tiny home features may seem a bit frivolous, the owner and the designers were not only able to add emphasis to the homeowner’s particular design style, but also managed to cut costs in a number of ways. Most notably, inexpensive oriented strand board plywood was installed for the flooring. “We have used OSB in other works and we loved the result. It is warm and, at the same time, industrial,” says Lopesino. “It’s finished with some wax to protect it and to be able to walk barefoot over it.”
The entire renovation of the Diomestic Home from the partitioned walls to the secret compartments and the mansard roof was completed for a reasonable cost of just $75,000.
Photos by Miguel de Guzmán