Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Compact, Transforming Apartment on a Budget

When many of us see Graham Hill’s LifeEdited apartment, we see expensive custom cabinetry and moving walls and perhaps think, “I can’t afford that?” We at LifeEdited think we have some solid arguments for investing in transforming furniture and custom flourishes; and we’re trying out damnedest to help build larger developments where we can achieve the economies of scale that will make our design technology affordable to large swaths of the population. That said, we understand that many–perhaps most–people don’t have the kinda dough necessary to buy all of that stuff, much less put it in a rental apartment.

The question, “What does a renter on a limited budget do if he or she wants a LifeEdited apartment?” is a fine and vexing one. Southern Californian Nick Gebhardt has one of the better answers to this question that we’ve seen.

Gebhard put together an apartment that has much of the functionality of the LifeEdited apartment at a decidedly more affordable price-point. Moreover, all of his furniture can be transferred to future apartments.

The rental apartment that Gebhard shares with his spouse is actually a one bedroom, but he makes the living room into a second bedroom by using a murphy bed from Because of the high clearance of the bed, he can slip a low profile sofa on the frontside of the bed, making a sorta hacked version of the Resource Furniture Swing. Storage is handled by several IKEA Pax storage units. There is a smattering of other IKEA furniture such as the Laver chairs, which stow away when not in use.

The proper bedroom contains a trundle bed, which acts as a couch and provides sleeping accommodation for two more. That room also contains a large TV and entertainment system.

Gebhardt says the whole project set him back about $10K…slightly less expensive than the LifeEdited apartment. See his far more colorful description of the project called “Design an Easier Life” at his website

Major props to Gebhardt for taking on an edited life with such commitment and proving that a smart, compact home is accessible to anyone. And many thanks for sharing it with our readers.