It's always challenging to make a tiny apartment feel more spacious than it actually is, so we're impressed with the smart design techniques architect Tim Seggerman tapped into to make a 240-sq-ft studio feel spacious and airy. Located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, this brownstone unit was masterfully renovated into a gorgeous and efficient space lined with bright, blonde-colored wooden panels. The final result, which Seggerman described as a "crafted jewel box" to Dwell, was inspired by the master craftsmanship and carpentry of Japanese furniture designer George Nakashima.
When the client first reached out to Seggerman for his architectural expertise, Seggerman described it to Dwell saying, “you couldn’t imagine a place that was more messed up.” The client’s original apartment felt cramped and tiny even though the studio took advantage of a loft-style layout, with the bed located above the kitchen area. To create the illusion of space within the same 240-square-foot footprint, Seggerman created a new living environment surrounded by high quality woodworking, joinery, and space-saving techniques. So as not to detract from the beautiful wood paneling, the lighting is mostly recessed behind papyrus panels.
Since the client is a college professor and an anthropologist, Seggerman created two libraries to store her books, one on the first floor and the other on the second. The second library, located next to her bed, is designed like a cubby with a banded maple ceiling. Built to match the client’s measurements, the library is perfect for crawling into, and wraps around the back end of the apartment. The rest of the space shows off Seggerman’s fine attention to detail and a variety of wood materials, from the chamfered ash-and-beech staircase to the slide-out desk made from red birch slats.
Images via Tim Seggerman