Kalyn Johnson
Special to the Daily

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October 26, 2012
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Home Trends: Functionalizing your mountain micro-unit

In last week's article, I visited the topic of micro-units and their increasing development all over the world. With these micro-units sizing less than 500 square feet, Summit County has been on the micro-unit map for years.

Small condo living popularity with second-home owners and first-time home buyers has reinforced the fame of the micro-unit. Their appeal for reducing carbon footprints has also made these exceptionally small living spaces a true friend to those working to live green. The concern, as you can assume, with micro-units is where you put all of your belongings and how to effectively make practical use of such a limited amount of space.

The allocation of your daily life and possessions into less than 500 square feet can be a real task. Cathy Lara of Houzz.com describes how designer Darrick Borowski creates a suitable home within a mere 220-square-foot studio. Borowski's first step was to separate the basic functions that will take place within the unit: Eating and cooking, sleeping and lounging, working or paying bills, showering and pampering. Borowski put all of these functions on a spectrum to determine what functions are primarily taking place. This allowed him to design the micro-unit according to the habitant's daily purposes given that he believes a smaller space should not mean that the dweller should have to lower or limit his or her living standards.

With the allocation of living standards defined, Borowski then organized the small studio with colors to represent each function that needed to be preformed within the space. I have included an image depicting the diagram that demonstrates his strategy. As you can see, Borowski was required to layer the functions to create a "hybrid space" where all activities had their place. He didn't sacrifice anything, but instead found a way to allow all of the dwellers tasks to be in one 220-square-foot space.

Now it's your turn. What are your daily functions that need to be incorporated into your micro-unit? If you are more likely to spend time cooking in the evening or out and about until later at night, you may not require an area for lounging where you can watch your favorite TV shows. You may opt to have less of a seating area and more space allotted for storage, cooking or paying bills.

Everyone's needs are different. Cater the space to suit your personal requirements. After you have everything organized and settled to fit your functions, put your design preferences into action. Create an intimate, modern, eclectic or contemporary atmosphere to complete your micro-unit. Keep in mind that your decorating efforts should follow the boundaries set by your function allocation. Add lounge seating of your taste in the space that has been set aside for lounging. Place a desk in your working or bill paying area. Minimize your clutter and do not add decor in areas where they are not designated.

Small space living can be made functional and easy with this process. If you are struggling, start with a blank canvas by clearing out the space to start from the base of the unit. From there, you can build your perfect micro-unit in the mountains.

For more home style tips and information visit ifurnish and More Space Place in Frisco or email Kalyn Johnson at kalyn@morespaceplaceco.com.


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The Summit Daily Updated Oct 26, 2012 11:48PM Published Oct 26, 2012 11:46PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.