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.

Furniture Fit for an 81 Square Ft Home

One of the biggest mistakes you can make decorating a small space is shoehorning furniture designed for more conventional spaces into your compact space. If the space you’re working with is 81 sq ft, not only is there no space for conventional furniture or much stuff, there is no room for error–every square centimeter must be thought out and purposeful. This was the challenge Vancouver-based designer D Calen Knauf faced when he was commissioned to design furniture for some short-stay, single occupant dwellings.

Beyond the space constraint, Knauf had to design the furniture with sustainable materials and it had to cost less than $500CAD. His Nine by Nine collection is his response to these challenges.

Every aspect of the furniture was designed to reduce visual clutter. Knauf explains some of his methodology:

We used wireframe-style construction to open up the room wherever possible instead of closed in panels. When flat panels were needed, we used bent steel for its low visual profile. By orienting the hanger rack so that the clothes face the user instead of the conventional method, the wardrobe unit can be pared down to 12 inches deep, taking up less of a footprint into the room. One of the four beams has been removed so hanging clothes are more easily accessed. Even reducing visual clutter helps make a room seem bigger, so we included a cable well behind the desk so the user can keep important things on the desk and power cords out of sight.

To keep with the sustainable theme, wood is locally sourced fir ply. In order to keep prices in check, the number of items were kept to the bare minimum and designed to be multifunctional, like the wardrobe drawers that can also be used as standalone storage units.

Knauf’s design definitely supposes a resident with virtually no possessions–and possessions he or she is willing to display. But we like the reasoning behind his design and its clean, modern and utilitarian aesthetic. If we had to live in 81 sq ft, this might be how we decorate it.

Image credit: D Calen Knauf