In my previous post, I presented one-piece furniture options for both sleeping and sitting.

I’d almost decided on a convertible sofa (see example of how one works) until I realized the footprint would squeeze out room for a coffee table (as I may have mentioned, my place is teeny tiny). I stumbled upon a suitable piece from Scandinavian Designs that seems to defy categorization (see pic below). Is it a daybed, a chaise, or as the company calls it, a chaise futon? It really has no resemblance to a futon. To me, it’s a cross between a chaise and a daybed, but let’s agree to call it a chaise.

Hybrid chaise lounge and daybed with small footprint.

Hybrid chaise/daybed with a small footprint.

Enough Room for a Coffee Table

The chaise is only 30 inches deep, which leaves plenty of floor space for a coffee table and ottoman. Although the carbon footprint is larger than I’d like, the physical footprint is perfect. In all the browsing I’d done, both online and brick and mortar, it was the smallest, lightest, and most versatile. While it wasn’t my first choice for sitting comfort (no backrest), its practicality won out.

The top folds out to queen size if I ever need extra sleeping space. But for now, I lay a cushy piece of natural latex foam over it to sleep. I’m brainstorming storage ideas for the foam—turns out latex is heavy, making it bulky and cumbersome to roll up and store. I could find lighter options, but I already own this foam and it’s super comfy. And natural latex is cleaner and healthier than lighter, more processed options such as memory foam. I also have a wool/cotton topper, but it’s actually heavier and bulkier than the latex foam.

Is Blue a Big or Small Color?

Of three eye-popping colors, I chose turquoise. Even though it’s bright and brilliant, the color is less obtrusive than red or purple in a small space. Plus I just like the color.

Some small-space designers advocate light or neutral colors to maximize the feel of a space. But other designers disagree. In any case, I didn’t have many choices in this size footprint, so I’ll work with the color whatever the effect.

Good Fit and Find

Overall, the combination sofa and bed is a great choice for a very small space or as an extra sleeping space in a guest room or office. If I must say so myself, good find!

In my micro-studio I have room for a sofa or a bed but not both. One piece of furniture that serves both functions seemed like the best solution. Here were the choices and pros and cons of each:

  • Sofabed—A traditional fold-out sofabed is labor-intensive to operate, the mattresses aren’t the most comfortable, and the footprint can be deeper than other options. But they do have a back and arms, the best for sitting comfort
  • Convertible sofa—A sofa with a click-clack fold-down back is less labor-intensive to operate than a sofabed, but folding it down can require moving it out from the wall or letting it sit out permanently a few inches from the wall (in my studio, every square inch is vital space)
  • Futon—Futons are bulky and clunky to operate. I don’t mind sleeping on a futon, but I don’t like sitting on the steep angle in upright position
  • Daybed—A daybed usually lacks a built-in back and arms, making it the worst choice for sitting comfort. But they’re user-friendly for sleeping and you can find them with shallow footprints
  • Traditional bed—I could have gone the obvious-bed-in-the-studio route and loaded up a small bed with bolster cushions and pillows, but I preferred a living room aesthetic over a bedroom one

To my earlier point, furnishing a tiny space is not a tiny task! I think I could have written the entire Wikipedia in the time it took to suss out a solution. Next, I’ll show you what I found.

 

While my apartment stays the same tiny size, my vocabulary is expanding. Lately I’ve been tossing around the terms footprint and double-duty like I’ve been micro-living for decades.

Example Usage: That ottoman’s footprint has Godzilla stamped all over it. And you can’t even store anything in it—I need a smaller one that does double duty.

OK, I don’t really talk like that, but you get the picture.

The words also help as shopping parameters to weed out impulsive purchases. When shopping for The Tiny Apartment, I try to find the smallest possible footprint for any given item. If it can also serve more than one function, it immediately goes into the shopping cart.

Photo of cute vintage coffee table.

Cute (oops!), I mean cool vintage coffee table that has no storage options.

For example, even though I love my smallish vintage coffee table (that’s also adorable), it’d make more sense to find a table that can store my keyboard and other things out of sight while not in use. (Please note, cute and adorable are two other words that crop up often around small things. It will be challenging but I’ll try to use them sparingly.)

If I were more entrepreneurial, I might open a home goods store that stocks only small things. I might call it Slim’s.

Photo of cute vintage coffee table with keyboard on top.

Cool vintage coffee table with keyboard (and tons of other stuff not shown) cluttering it up and masking its cuteness.

I got a late night phone call from fellow micro-dweller and friend Alan alerting me to this year’s San Francisco Mime Troupe show “Oil and Water.” The Tiny Apartment is featured in the show! Okay, not my Tiny Apartment, but a tiny apartment. Two characters in the show live in a micro-apartment, and wackiness ensues as they try to share the tiny space with themselves and visitors. In one bit, two visitors enter and everyone moves around the space like sardines in a can. Sounds hilarious.

The Mime Troupe addresses socially relevant material, and micro-living is a hot topic these days, so that’s how my and Alan’s living situations ended up featured in the show.

For all my non-Bay Area readers who haven’t seen a Mime Troupe show, it’s not pantomime. It’s actually loud and raucous satire and it’s a lot of fun.

Support the Troupe(s)

The SF Mime Troupe, now in its 54th season, is an institution in the Bay Area. But the 54th season almost didn’t happen due to a lack of funds. With seven more free shows in the parks this summer, I hope people, myself included, go out and support the show (they accept donations).

Up and Coming: TINY at Large

Escaping the four walls of The Tiny Apartment, thetinyapartment.com will venture out and report on various happenings in the micro-living community. Later we’ll take a closer look at Alan’s micro-apartment. At approximately 300 square feet, I admit to some bouts of square footage envy.