5 Charming Shoebox Designs That Will Inspire You

Check out some design inspiration from these tiny homes around Asia.

Updated on November 10, 2017 8:11 am

Clara Lock

5 Charming Shoebox Designs That Will Inspire You

For couples or families looking for your first home, small houses are the way to go. They’re cosy, easy to clean, and can save you a pretty penny over their larger counterparts. According to property analysts, small apartments have seen a rise in popularity as they are relatively more affordable, especially in the private property market. Not convinced? Check out some design inspiration from these tiny homes around Asia.

1. Hori No Uchi House, Tokyo, Japan


Greater Tokyo is the world’s most densely populated metropolitan region, where a typical apartment measures just 365 sq ft.

To save space in urban Japan, micro homes are usually located within apartment blocks—but not this unusually-shaped house in Hori No Uchi. The narrow and top-heavy house overlooks a river, and houses a couple and their daughter.

Architects made the most of a narrow, triangular land parcel, building upwards to create an airy and spacious effect in the awkwardly-shaped house. Skylights and large windows maximise natural night in the woody interior, which has separate spaces for a kitchen-cum-dining area, study, master bedroom and even a playroom for the child.

2. Tiny House of Slow Town, Gangwon, South Korea


The Tiny House of Slow Town isn’t just small—it’s also made out of environmentally friendly materials, which helps this tiny wooden cottage fit right into its scenic Gangwon surrounds.

The house is a prototype for a series of small wooden houses that will be built to accommodate visitors to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the Gangwon province currently lacks sufficient accommodation for the sporting event.

Inside, house hardly feels tiny. The modular staircase, built flush against one wall, frees up the living area from clutter. Upstairs, a steeply pitched roof allows for comfortable headroom above a cosy loft bed.

3. The Sorrento, Singapore


It’s possible to live large in land-scarce Singapore—just ask the owners of this one-bedroom condominium, who cleverly used a glass panel divider to visually combine living and sleeping spaces. A well-designed TV console hides storage space, and an open kitchen avoids segmenting the home.

White floors, walls, and blinds lend uniformity, while hints of black and navy add visual interest to the colour palette, making the home look bigger than its 441 sq ft.

4. Domestic transformer, Hong Kong


Hong Kong is notorious for minuscule, cramped homes with some residents living in just 16 sq ft of space. But it’s no surprise that this futuristic living solution was created by architect Gary Chang, who, like many Hongkongers, grew up sharing a boxy flat with five family members. He now hopes the design of his "Domestic Transformer" flat can improve the lives of other urban dwellers.

At 344 sq ft, it’s hardly a palace, though you may be surprised at what Chang managed to fit inside. The apartment’s sliding walls shift to reveal a kitchen, sofa bed, a bathtub and even a gaming room!

5. Tiny segmented apartment, Shanghai, China


With it’s clean lines and minimalist chic interior, you’d be forgiven for thinking this apartment is in Japan. But it’s actually found in Shanghai, where a growing urban population has caused home prices to soar.

A translucent partition separates the bedroom from the living area, offering privacy while still letting natural light through. Meanwhile, steps leading to the bedroom double as seating, making the space conducive for house parties and small families.

Article originally published in EdgeProp. Edited and reposted with permission

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