More and more apartments are being built with minimal square footage and yet more and more people are working from home. This poses the inevitable problem of how to combine public and private spaces within one small open plan. An artists studio in Bolzsano, Italy has addressed this problem head on with a creative and cost effective solutions thanks to London based designer Harry Thaler. Here some of his custom pieces showcase how floating cubes of pine wood transform into bedrooms that can be easily moved around for optimum space adjustment via their castors. Complimenting the two Murphy beds is a large worktable / dining table, a couple of fun pine chairs and a floor lamp complete with pine base.
When its time to entertain, or have a meeting, the Murphy beds can be closed up tight. There is no giveaway as to what the large cubes contain. Guests or work associates would simply view the furniture as a storage shelf and a private work station. The cubes look completely at home next to their complimentary pine furnishings by Thaler.
When opened up the master bed offers a window on one side and a wide-open wall on the other. A weighted pulley operates the window covering so that it can easily be pulled down from the inside, while the large door opening uses a standard push / pull system. Outfitted with an interior light, the resident can still work or read in bed long after they have closed up and a 12″ flat surface next to the mattress offers the perfect place to place their phone, pad or book when its time to call it a day.
The back of the master cube is outfitted with a linear closet. At 5′ long it is bigger then many closets in small apartments. To switch it up Harry Thaler finished the interior of the closet with black mdf and incorporated two long drawers with an open shelf below, a black hanging rod and a full-length mirror.
The second closet even has built in lighting.
The smaller Murphy bed operates in a standard pull down fashion. When opened a row of narrow shelves flank the bed offering plenty of personalized storage. A light chord travels through the framework for the necessary bedside lighting and the complete unit is on wheels for easy relocation.
When closed the smaller Murphy bed resembles a storage unit and blends harmoniously with the other pine pieces in the room. The pedestal foot that supports the bottom of the bed protrudes from the cube and doubles as a handle for opening up the bed.
Beside the dining / conference table is a workstation of interesting proportion. Resembling an oversized wall mounted storage cube, the station incorporates a long and wide work surface that easily could support four people. Wrapping up and over the table top creates the perfect place to pin a calendar or clip board while the ceiling of the unit not only supports lighting but offers extra storage space above. Also on castors this station is as flexible in its location as the Murphy beds are. In the distance, past the dining / conference zone is a series of rectangular storage units that mirror the proportions of the desk – but in a smaller scale. These pieces are extremely versatile and allow for all sorts of activities but do not confine the space due to the clever use of pale pine, simple profiles and sight lines that pass through the pieces.
Thaler also designed this industrial looking floor lamp. The pine box keeps the weight of the cantilevered arm from tipping over while at the same time the choice of pine ties the light to the rest of the custom furnishings for a cohesive décor statement. Behind the light is a section of pine boards that appear to be leaning casually against the wall. These panels are actually an integral feature to the residence allowing for a more private work station.
The Pine panels open up to create a two sided privacy screen allowing those that want to work the ability to do so within a more private zone, allowing others the freedom to socialize without interrupting the work behind the screen. While these pieces where all created for Atelierhouse – an artists residency studio in Bolzsano, Italy – the same concepts can be applied to any small studio apartment and Thaler’s designs of simple, movable pine furniture show how easy it is to live and work from home – no matter how small that home is.