fold down bed

This project is part of an on-going series of projects by Studiomama which explore the theme of small space living. The brief was to turn a former minicab office building in the heart of north London – only 13m2 in footprint – into a liveable house.

Working within the fabric of the existing space we defined five ‘zones’ for the house, which provided for relaxing, eating, cooking, working, sleeping and personal hygiene.

Taking cues from boat and caravan interiors and working on a scale of 1:1 within the space itself, we created a scheme that packed the accoutrements of a comfortable life into the 13-square-metre single-storey space. We designed custom-built plywood architectural units to slot around the triangular perimeter, each one serving a different function.

Eating is provided for with a micro-kitchen that includes bespoke storage for everything from wine bottles to spice jars, and a dining table positioned underneath one of two large windows, flanked by extendable benches. Behind this wall is a bathroom – the only separated room in the house.

Sliding doors are used throughout to maximise space and one such door opens to reveal a pull-out standing desk, with storage for a laptop above and technical equipment below. Further cabinets are carefully sized for specific items such as a sewing machine and books.

A sofa is integrated into an alcove in the wall unit and a pull-out ottoman underneath adds flexibility, comfort and extra storage. In fact, all the seating includes built-in storage, discreet yet intuitive dual functions or extensions to create extra space for working or relaxing. At the end of the day, a generous double bed folds down from narrowest end of the house, revealing a bedside table and a tall narrow bookshelf on either side.

The use of oiled plywood as a consistent material throughout, and the limited pastel colour palette combined with the clever use of mirrors, connects the different zones together seamlessly, extending sightlines and creating a surprising sense of space.

The key elements of the 13m2 house were exhibited at the Viaduct Furniture showroom during London Design Festival as part of an exhibition called Minimal. We took to opportunity to ask visitors ‘What is it you cannot live without?’ 13m2 house has been widely published and was Dezeen’s most view story. Architectural Digest called it a ‘pastel dream’ saying ‘Studiomama did what we would have earlier deemed impossible: they created a fully functional, all-year-round home within just 140 square feet’ and the space was showcased in Viewpoint Magazine.


13m2 house, 2016