Product designer turns 271sq ft into a
DANIEL LICALZI: I love living in a small space because it’s kind of like a design project in itself. I enjoy figuring out how to create spaces that I didn’t normally know existed. I’m Daniel LiCalzi. I’m a product designer. This is my 271 square foot apartment in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been in this apartment for about nine years. I was going to Pratt Institute, and needed an apartment close by. This was advertised on Craigslist as an apartment with a small, eat-in breakfast nook. It turned out to be much smaller than I expected, but I liked it because it was on the third floor and it had a view of the trees. Sometimes the city drives me nuts, so I like my home to kind of feel like I’m up in a tree. When I started my company, DesignSense, I needed more room to do my work. I needed a desk, I needed an open area where I could work on projects, and I also needed to sleep, eat, have some friends over. The whole redesign of the apartment started with the loft. And by living here for six years, I knew all of the nooks and crannies of how to squeeze it in and maximize the space as much as possible.
A lot of loft beds have four legs. I didn’t want that. So I figured out a way to have a platform built into the storage unit that allows for four steps instead of the ladder, because I knew I would probably fall down that ladder, eventually. The materials, some of it was purchased. A lot of it was reclaimed metal that I had to grind off all the rust and restore. All the wood, though, is just standard furniture ply. Storage is a major issue since I only have two small closets. Adding bookshelves and storage really allowed me to put things away and open up the space more. There’s doors that open down for easy access to DVDs or Blu-rays or video games. There’s doors that open up that hold all my stereo equipment. I really don’t like to clean, so that drove a lot of the design. Everything can be Swiffered and dusted really easily. The apartment can be clean in a half an hour, max. I’m a product designer. I design home goods, interiors, and space design. We’ve already had a couple products out. One of them is the measuring light. Basically made with 280, 300 feet of measuring tape.
Another project that I’ve been working on through DesignSense that’s actually patent pending is a product that actually solves a problem. It’s a synthetic grass. It dampens the drips from the air conditioner above you. It also turns something that’s an eyesore into something beautiful that transitions the outdoors indoors. Another thing that I’ve designed in this apartment is the foot stool. It’s made out of reclaimed Vibram shoe soles. The only other room I have in the apartment is the kitchen, but the only problem was it had no counter space.
I came up with a design. The counters and the lines of the counter space point you out the window, so you feel like you’re in a bigger space. Pots and pans just have a really nice aesthetic to themselves, and if they’re organized and grouped in the right way, it just looks great and pulls the space together. Even though it’s a small space, I feel like I’ve managed to make it comfortable and make it my own. And I love coming home to it, I like working in it, and I like hanging out in it. -Are you a social media darling? Do you like to hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even Tumblr? If so, you can check us out at all those places, or, of course, you can just click subscribe right here to see what we’ve got going on.
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