Man Turns Small NYC Apartment Into $1M Foldout Home


Expensive Living Spaces

We have all seen an increase in prices for the living spaces we live in today, which has become an issue for many. But someone has taken it into their hands to try and solve that problem.

Manhattan is one of the country’s most expensive areas, but even this 420-square-foot apartment sold for a mind-boggling one million dollars! But there is much more to this apartment than you’d think.

It Sounds Like Magic

Public Domain

A 12-person dinner party could fit inside this micro-apartment, along with two overnight guests. It is also equipped with a home theatre, making it easy for the owner to change the ambiance inside instantly.

But the question stands: how can it fit that all into a 420-square-foot space? Is this a magician’s house? You would be surprised to know how it was all achieved.

He Would Make A Major Profit

Public Domain

Graham Hill purchased this apartment a few years ago, costing him $280,000. But the TreeHugger and LifeEdited founder managed to push the selling price up to three times more.

What had changed about it which pushed the price up so much? Graham knew he would be well set if he managed to sell the apartment, but one question remained.

Is It Worth It?

Public Domain

From a business perspective, what he was doing was a smart decision. However, others would beg to differ. Many people wondered about how unreasonably high the housing costs have become.

But you will soon see what makes this apartment different from the rest. However, whether or not it is enough to pay one million is an answer you would have to give yourself.

A Competition

Public Domain

It had cost Hill an extra $365,000 to renovate the apartment. After purchasing the apartment, he sought to make a competition out of it.

Catalin Sandu and Adrian Iancu were Romanian architecture students who looked at over 300 entries to find the winning design. When they came across Hill’s apartment, he said he had designed a genius apartment for a genius person. What made it so?

Master Bedroom

Public Domain

You wouldn’t know there is a master bedroom until you pull it out from the walls. What’s more, you can pull out a shelf that not only acts as a support for the couch but also has books and plants.

As impressive as that is, the 420-square-foot apartment can hold much more than just one bedroom. What if you are looking to have someone over?

A Second Room

Public Domain

There is no need to panic when you have a surprise visit from any of your friends. This apartment makes it easy to accommodate them by pulling out a wall that slides to the middle of the room. This way, the room could be divided, so you and your guests have your own private space.

It has been designed to be light enough for one person to unfold and set up, especially for those last-minute arrangements. What adds to its charm is how easy it is to clean up once the guests have left. All you have to do is pull it back in.

Where Do They Sleep?

Public Domain

But where do they sleep? The beds for the guest room are designed the same as the master bedroom and can be pulled out from the walls.

There is a sliding wall which the two bunk beds are pulled out from. What makes this guest room more impressive is the added privacy that comes with the curtains. But there is still much to see.

Working From Home

Public Domain

Considering the times we live in, we have to think about where we will have the space to work, and it has become an important concern when looking for a new flat.

This apartment ensures there is no need to worry. A desk can also be pulled out from the walls and equipped with a monitor and keyboard. But that isn’t all.

An Important Part In Any House 

Public Domain

We have seen where to sleep and work, but where do you cook and eat? That is one of the essential spaces within any household.

But that is another thing this apartment has covered, and it’s something they refer to as “the goliath.” You might wonder why that is, but you will soon understand why.

Big Dining Table

Public Domain

We mentioned a dining room with the capacity to host 12 guests at the beginning of this article. There is a humongous dining table that you can pull from the kitchen counter.

You can also fold it and unfold it as you will, depending on whether you want it to be bigger or smaller. Whatever the size of the dinner party you want to host in this flat, you can do it.


Public Domain

As for the kitchen, it comes equipped with everything you could wish for: you got a combination microwave/convection oven and a fridge and freezer that you can pull out beneath it. 

There’s also an energy-efficient dishwasher and burners that slide right out, as well as a deep-basin sink, along with plenty of drawers and a spacious counter.

Entertainment Center

Public Domain

With all this, you may be surprised to know that there is still room for something else. But there is. Even inside 420 square feet, there’s room for not only a kitchen, two bedrooms, an office, and a dining room.

The apartment also has its own entertainment center. And even though it’s pretty modest, it does the trick. Check it out:

Big Screen

Public Domain

You can display a big projection screen from the big sliding wall. You just have to fold up a flap and pull it down for a huge TV or movie screen.

This is a prime example of doing the most out of limited resources and space. Wit and intelligent design can beat even the most challenging circumstances.

All In 420 Square Feet


Considering it’s in the middle of Manhattan, would you pay 1 million dollars to live here? Or would you consider it only if the price was a little bit lower? 

This is not the only micro-apartment in the world; here, we have compiled a few more for you to see. While some of them actually seem cute and habitable, others will make you think about how overcrowded and unaffordable the world is becoming. Check them out.

Brooklyn Loft

Public Domain

The foldable apartment is not the only tiny housing option in New York. The Big Apple is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so it’s not surprising that many New Yorkers are resorting to giving up some space in exchange for affordability.

This Brooklyn couple, for example, turned their 460-square-foot studio apartment into a modular live-work loft.

Trailer Home

Baltimore Sun

In Pasadena, Maryland, Greg Cantori has built a cute and cozy 238-square-foot tiny home on top of a trailer for him and his wife to live in once they retire.

In just 238-square feet, Cantori has managed to fit in a kitchen, a living room, and a bed, although you need to climb up the stairs to get there.

Symon Hanczar’s 140-square-foot Apartment

This right here is one of the tiniest designer apartments in the world. It was created by Polish designer Szymon Hanczar, and it’s his residence in the city of Wrocław.

It’s just 140 square feet, but it’s equipped with everything a single person would need to live comfortably. There’s a sleeping platform above the kitchen and bathroom, a suspended seating area, and a wall-mounted bike rack.

Anne Rolland’s Parisian Studio

This Parisian studio was designed by Anne Rolland. It’s located inside a 17th-century townhouse. Before Rolland undertook the renovation of the space, it had been abandoned for 70 years.

During the renovation work, Rolland removed plaster walls to uncover the original limestone masonry. Graphic-patterned tiles were added as an homage to old-style Parisian bars. Now let’s take a look at the apartment’s structure.


A birch-plywood storage unit separates the bedroom in a raised corner of the apartment from the kitchen and living space on the other side. 

“The furniture system incorporates a desk, a dresser, drawers, and cupboards,” said Rolland. “I used Scandinavian-style birch plywood as it is a resistant material and doesn’t require finishing.” But what about the bathroom?

It’s Right There

It’s to the left of the bedroom, and it’s perfectly equipped with plenty of room, a toilet, a shower, and a sink. In all honesty, it looks even better than some hotels’ bathrooms!

But that isn’t all. With this apartment, there’s more than meets the eye. It includes a secret underground room you can access through a mechanical trap door and a set of wooden stairs.

An old Slurry Pit

The secret underground room used to function as a slurry pit; in other words, a dam used by farmers to gather animal waste. Now, it serves as a home cinema and music room.

“The man who lives in the apartment plays guitar, so the downstairs room will be a music box and home cinema,” Rolland said in an interview. “That way, he can make music and watch films without annoying his neighbors.”

Let’s Take A Look At Asia

AP Photo – Koji Sasahara

In Japan, people in their 20s often choose smaller housing options not only because of their affordability, but also as a statement. 

“I used to be an office worker, but I quit two years ago,” says Akagi, pictured below. “I couldn’t take wearing a suit and taking the same train to work every day.” He pays $300 a month for his 108-square-foot apartment.


Public Domain

“Large houses in most cases are boring because they don’t show any character,” he argues. “But small houses don’t hide anything because you can see, ‘Oh, this guy is wearing these shoes.’ You walk in and see his personality.”

He may have a point. However, to many people, small apartments are not a choice, but their only option. Take a look at the following pictures:

Hong Kong

Vincent Yu

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world; the city has recently witnessed an unparalleled rise in living and housing costs, which has led many Hongkongers to look for alternative, cheaper housing options.

Some people are living in these: they’re called OPods. These tube houses are designed by architect James Law and made from giant concrete drainage pipes.

The OPod’s Inside

James Law Cybertecture

James Law has whitewashed the interior walls, lightening the industrial aesthetic. The tube has a flat wooden floor to make it easier for the occupant to walk across this eccentric apartment.

There is a bench seat that can be folded down to serve as a bed, with the cushions doubling as a mattress. The OPod has room for a mini fridge, a microwave cooker, a rail to hang clothes from, and a stand to place the occupant’s personal belongings.

A Vision For The Future


James Law’s vision is to have these 100-square-foot tubular structures piled up on top of one another in strategic areas of Hong Kong’s city center to grant affordable housing.

The architect believes that a resident could happily live in the OPod for one or two years, and thinks the tubes would appeal to “young people who can’t afford private housing.” More Hong-Kongers have thought of other alternative options in the midst of the housing crisis.

Egg House


Dai Haifei, pictured below, made headlines in 2010 when he lived for a few months in a homemade egg-shaped mobile house, located near his office.

The egg-house was made of bamboo strips, steel bars, heat prevention and waterproof materials, and sacks filled with wood chips and grass seeds. It has a solar panel to make it energetically self-sufficient. Take a look at the inside:

They Tried To Kick Him Out


“The egg house is a place to sleep. My clothes are under the bed, nothing expensive,” Dai says. “I don’t pay rent, I don’t need to think about saving money when eating. I bought an annual pass to a swimming pool. I go swimming after work every day and then take a shower.

“I was told to move. The house is placed on the lawn of a courtyard. It’s not even the company’s property. Some time ago, the property owner came to tell me to move, but I have no place to move to. They could not do anything to me. Now they just let me be.”

60 Square Feet

Tyrone Siu

However, most Hong-Kongers forced to resort to tinier, more affordable housing options don’t have access to cute, cozy apartments like the ones we’ve seen. 


Pictured below, a mom prepares food while her son sleeps in their 60-square-foot apartment. This family pays $487 a month for rent. This is not an unusual situation in the city of Hong Kong, and we might soon be seeing similar things in the West.


In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.