Man Crams Soaking Pool, Video Lounge, Cafe Into 182 Sq Ft Apartment

Steve Sauer’s “pico-dwelling” is a 182 sq ft apartment he has managed to cram a soaking pool, video lounge, and cafe into without feeling cramped in the slightest. Most of the furniture comes from IKEA, natch.

The entire apartment has three living levels in a 11-feet-3-inches wide, by 16-feet-2-inches deep, by 10-feet-4-inches tall space. It contains two beds, a full kitchen with dishwasher, a bathroom with shower, closet space, a dining table, and storage for two bikes. One of the major design secrets was to include three living levels within the space.

The dwelling was seven years in the making. Steve’s day job is designing aircraft interiors for Boeing so he has a bit of a leg up on the average DIY-er. His site shows his steps.

An amazingly inspiring and economical use of space.

Tiny apartment shows the value of a good fit [Seattle Times via Tiny House Blog]


Edit Your Comment

  1. c!tizen says:

    3 living levels in a 10′ 4″ tall apartment doesn’t feel cramped? I find that a little hard to believe. I mean, bravo for the effort and getting all of that shit in there, but come on… look at him, I feel cramped just looking at that picture.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think the majority of adjustment comes from having all those corners and maneuvering your body so not to get a corner jabbed into your hip. I personally couldn’t do it, but it appears that he had a few parties while he was crafting the apartment so it is certainly feasible to put a bunch of people in there.

      We could never do it. We had a 700 sq. ft. apartment and having more than two guests there seemed cramp.

      • c!tizen says:

        the question is, what KIND of parties can you have in such cramped quarters?

        Answer: the BEST kind.

        • mythago says:

          Not with that tiny little elevated bed, you can’t.

          • lockdog says:

            Didn’t notice that the “floor” of the bedroom is a piece of tempered glass that looks down into the shower, did you? I had to go through the pictures three times to figure it out.

  2. Angus99 says:

    It’s the ultimate dorm room.

  3. amgriffin says:

    Looks pretty darned cramped.

  4. somepoet says:

    I’m guessing no extra space was allotted for lady friends because…well…yeah

    • Chumas says:

      My thought exactly. No room in there for adult entertainment.

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        It is ok because most women would not be turned on by this sort of efficiency. No lady friends for him.

        • Skyblacker says:

          Are you kidding? I am a woman and I am extremely turned on. It’s so neat and organized!

          And since most women subconsiously judge men as potential breadwinners, will you look at that fantastic use of resources? This man could have you living comfortably through the apocalypse or a real-estate bubble!

    • Mecharine says:

      Its got a second bed, so there’s room for 2 women in his room.

  5. kitty says:

    He designs aircraft interiors for Boeing

    …yet he can only afford a 182 sq ft apartment? How much does Boeing pay him again? :)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s not about what he can or can’t afford – some people do things just because they can, and when you have that kind of experience, why not do something like that? If you read the Seattle Times article he’s very clear about many of the reasons why he did it, including “because it would be fun.”

    • girly says:

      “He designs aircraft interiors for Boeing”

      I was surprised that was the lead-in to a question. I thought you were providing an explanation!

    • aloria says:

      In Manhattan these sort of digs would be considered baller. I live 15 minutes away in NJ, and my NYC friends are constantly blown away by my 900 sq foot condo, the mortgage for which costs about the same as their closet sized rentals.

  6. Chumas says:

    That kinda house will make dating kind of hard.
    “Honey, this is my home.”
    “Where’s the rest of it?”
    “This is it.”
    “My purses at home have more closet space than this. Are we in your mothers basement?”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s a small physical space, but since you can get to two different levels, I think it’s actually quite creative and I don’t think anyone would take a look at this guy and think he’s a loser or bum just because he’s managed to double his space. And he built a lot of it!

    • craptastico says:

      does your purse at home have 3 levels?

    • howie_in_az says:

      “Are we in your mother’s basement?”

      From the article: “… on the basement floor of a 102-year-old apartment building…”


    • mythago says:

      The right person for him would find this apartment awesome.

  7. ichiban1081 says:

    Looks like my first apartment in Brooklyn minus a giant TV and pizza boxes.

  8. NarcolepticGirl says:

    So.. can you own an apartment?
    I mean, if renting an apartment, I would find this to pretty much be impossible unless the landlord didn’t care.

    I would live in this thing. I like small little spaces.

    Wait, where’s the toilet?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s a condo. I can’t tell from the photos he has where the bathroom is, but it does exist. The toilet is mounted directly to the tiled wall so it saves space.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        So are condos basically apartments that people can buy?

        • craptastico says:

          typically they’re either that, or sometimes in the burbs they’ll look more like townhouses. either way you own them, but generally have to pay monthly condo fees for maintainance of common areas

        • ilovemom says:

          I always thought the use of the word condo was just a way of saying “yeah, I own this” (with the implication that ownership is superior to renting). But apparently the term condominium implies ownership of a part of a building with some shared common facilities. My translation: you can’t say you’re renting a condo, but you could refer to the condo you own as an apartment (of course you give up the prestige of ownership in doing this).

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            I believe you can still rent condo’s, but your renting from the owner of the unit instead of the complex and would probably be surrounded by largely owner occupied units.

            I believe most condo’s have bylaws that limit the percentage of units that can be used as rentals so they don’t become renter dominated. Once that is reached an owner wishing to rent their unit has to go onto a waiting list.

        • Tim says:

          Pretty much, yeah. You own your apartment, and you jointly own everything else (common spaces, the parking lot, etc.) along with every other condo owner.

          What confuses me is that some people refer to condos like this as apartments. When I think apartment, I think rental. When I think condo, I think condominium ownership, which is a specific type of ownership.

        • c!tizen says:

          No, no silly they’re rolled up rubber or sheep skin “tubes” that guys put on their di… oh CONDOS, yeah that’s basically an apartment you own.

        • aloria says:

          Yes. Around here (NYC area,) most condos are units in buildings that used to be or are build like apartment complexes. In other places, it may be part of a duplex or a floor of a townhouse.

    • Hoss says:

      Maybe it’s a regional thing. I’ve never seen a condo called an apartment either

  9. RayanneGraff says:

    That is freaking awesome. I could live quite comfortably in such a space :)

  10. seachristie says:

    I would LOVE this. Great for a single person. Two people.. that’s pushing it. This is my dream for when I move out.. sadly this trend hasn’t caught on in the midwest ;)

    • RevancheRM says:

      Had much smaller personal space on my aircraft carrier, and that was me not having to share a two-person stateroom. Plus it was a stateroom…imagine living for 7-9 months with the only personal space being a large coffin (as per the majority of a ship’s crew).

      I saw this space here and said, “Yeah, I’d love it.”

  11. howie_in_az says:

    I think my master bedroom is larger than his entire apartment.

    … which means we can totally fit a soaking pool in it!

  12. tomok97 says:

    Is this ADA compliant? :)

    • DarthCoven says:

      Your mother is ADA compliant.


    • Skyblacker says:

      Well, it’s so small that everything is within arm’s reach. So if a wheelchair-bound person had sufficient upper-body strength, yeah, I think this could work.

  13. dreamfish says:

    Secretly, you’re all jealous.

  14. smo0 says:

    There are websites dedicated to “tiny” or “minimalist” living…

    it’s a new phenomenon…. part of this “reduce your carbon footprint” lifestyle..

    I applaud this, and it shows what you can really do with space.

    If there were more green living places in my city, I’d choose that… in a heartbeat.

  15. Thyme for an edit button says:

    looks really cramped to me

  16. Captain Walker says:

    Imagine what he could get in his underwear!

  17. chaesar says:

    cool use of space but it has “single forever” written all over it

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Well, nothing’s stopping him from selling it if he meets someone and wants to marry or live together.

  18. Tim says:

    That’s a pretty good photographer. Nice use of a wide-angle lens to distort the edges of the photo and give them an outward direction … makes it seem bigger.

  19. hotcocoa says:

    Reminds me of my freshman college dorm room all over again…I opted for a super high, lofted bed, slung a hammock underneath, and set up a floofy rug and pillows under that…3 levels of comfort, but not exactly “spacious.” Just made the most of what I had.

  20. DariusC says:

    I bet you I can fit a ton of shit in a small space too!

    Not that impressed… now if he did it with enough space to easily move around without getting killed by a corner, cool…. even better if he can round out the corners.

  21. Harry_Greek says:

    It’s 3am, you are deep asleep and you suddenly need to take a piss.

    Have fun climbing through that jungle gym you call your bed/living/TV room.

    • Bohemian says:

      Add drunk to that list and I think you would have a major problem.

      • Mecharine says:

        The likelihood of you hitting the endzone while drunk is infinitesimally small whether you live in a 1000 sq ft or 100 sq ft apartment.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      You probably wouldn’t actually have to leave your bed to piss. I mean, it would take some practice and all, but after a few months you’d be able to whiz in the dark and hit the toilet every time! Of course, you’d have to make sure to ALWAYS leave the lid up…

  22. Hirayuki says:

    Wow. I wouldn’t want to live there, but I sure would like to spend a night or two in a space like that. There’s a fine line between cozy (which I love) and cramped (which I don’t). If this were available as a vacation rental in some of my favorite travel spots, I’d book it in a heartbeat.

  23. teke367 says:

    Suddenly, my 550 sq ft apartment seems glamorous.

    On thing though, closet space. it says it has closet space, but doesn’t give details. I technically have closet space, but i wouldn’t consider the amount I have to be a “selling point.” And I’m a guy, I didn’t think I’d need much, but I was wrong.

  24. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    You know I always wondered how Cosmo Kramer’s “levels” would of have looked in his apartment had he actually followed through. I think this is it.

  25. Boylerules says:

    Why is an engineer at Boeing living in a 182 sqft appartment?

    I get downsizing and living simply, but this isn’t it. This is cramming lots of stuff in a ridiculously small space.

    • mommiest says:

      My first thought was that he was also living cheaply, and either socking money away or giving to charity. Or maybe he travels a lot; he probably doesn’t mind spending time on airplanes. Whether he purchased or rents, his cost of living is probably very low.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        That’s what I was thinking. Maybe he travels a lot for Boeing and didn’t need a huge space to live in. His ideas are pretty cool. The downside to things like this are with so many built-ins and custom things, it’s hard to change or replace anything. The basic premise can be upped a little bit to larger spaces…especially since the pictures don’t show a bathroom door so that could be awkward.

    • shepd says:

      I think he’s just trying to figure out how to make the seats smaller.

  26. Blueberry Scone says:

    This is pretty inspiring, actually. I live in a single-family home that is larger than his place, but it seems cramped. I think it’s because we under-use the walls. I’m not saying you need floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in every room, but it might not be a bad idea to incorporate more shelving – I have quite a few bare walls (save a picture or two).

    • mommiest says:

      I’m a big fan of the Not So Big House books by Suzanne Susanka. They really challenge the reader to think honestly about how we live, and how we can live well in smaller, more beautiful spaces. We are using a lot of her ideas in our house, which is smaller than any of the new construction around here.

  27. MonkeyMonk says:

    I personally find this awesome.

    I’ve lived in about 6 different apartments/condos over the past decade and my favorites have all been the smaller ones (500–900 sq. ft.) that were perfectly designed. There’s something harmonious about having absolutely ZERO wasted space.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      Well said. And the less space you have to fill with crap you don’t need, the less tempted you’ll be to buy crap you don’t need.

  28. aliasmisskat says:

    Is this guy a Rose Hullman grad? A lot of their students do things like this (albeit not quite as nicely) to their dorm rooms.

  29. H3ion says:

    He has eighteen children.

  30. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I have a 782-square foot house and it seems cramped to me. I’ve read some of those tiny space decorating books, and they advocate using walls and the spaces above doors and going vertical, although not to the extent this guy did. It’s pretty darned clever, actually.

    I definitely need to rethink the space rather than trying to move stuff around / get different stuff.

  31. Sydney2PR says:

    I love it. I think it’s practical, efficient and something that will last a long time.

    And considering his total cost, I think the cheapest solution to owning your own property.

  32. Difdi says:

    This man is my Hero.

  33. Spiro_Agnew says:

    I am guessing that he is the kind of guy that has Stashitware and is able to fit all of his hockey goalie gear in it.

  34. OhWhataWorld says:

    This explains why air travel is so cramped.

  35. Zed says:

    So what happens if he (God forbid) sprains an ankle/knee or worse breaks a bone in one of his limbs and temporarily loses mobility.. How the HECK do you get in and around to your bed!

  36. WickedCrispy says:

    Aircraft Interior Engineer… or Japanese? You be the judge.

  37. bumblefoot2004 says:

    Where’s the wading pool? What is a wading pool?