Explainer: 10 ways to live large in cramped quarters

  • Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    One of the reasons I moved to the suburbs is because I'm a large man who would be unsafe to live with in a cramped urban apartment. Other living creatures would be liable to be trampled underfoot as I bumbled my way through the tiny rooms. Perhaps a trampling now and then is the price you pay to live in the best locations. However, even if you don't have a lot of real estate you can still live large by investing in some 21st-century space-saving solutions for the home.

  • Doc sofa/bunk bed

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    In a small living space, problems can arise when family and friends come to visit. A sofa bed is one way to accommodate these guests, but the Doc sofa goes a step further in maximizing floor space by converting into a bunk bed in just a few seconds. It looks sturdy enough, but I would call top bunk right away just to be on the safe side. You don't want to wind up being murdered by a couch. Check out the YouTube video to see it in action. Resource Furniture

    Related post: This is a couch, but it looks like a huge backpack

  • Toilet lid sink

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    Bathrooms in urban apartments can be downright unusable because of cramped quarters, which is why a combination toilet and sink can be so useful. It replaces the average toilet tank top and reroutes clean water from a flush through the tap for hand washing. So it's a space saver that's also eco-friendly. Don't try and use it as a bidet — that's going too far. Gaiam

  • 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker

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    You can pack a lot of functionality into a small kitchen if you use multifunctional appliances. The Sunpentown Breakfast Maker can function as a toaster oven, coffee maker and frying pan at the same time. That's awfully practical, but if you have some room left over you should throw in this 4-in-1 hot dog maker, popcorn popper, vegetable steamer, egg boiler and bun warmer. After all, sometimes you just want to be able to throw together a nice plate of hot dogs, popcorn, vegetables and hard-boiled eggs after a hard day at work, then wash it down with a pot of coffee. It's delicious and nutritious. Amazon

  • Fusiontables

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    Have you ever wanted a game room, but lacked the space? Fusiontables is one way you can have both a game room and a functional dining space without having to compromise on square footage. That's because these elegant dining tables quickly convert for billiards — even increasing in height for proper play. Just don't get confused — that cue chalk may taste exactly like some meals cooked in your home, but it's not for eating. Fusiontables

    Related post: A coffee table with a hammock for your cat

  • Bibliochase chair

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    I recently helped someone move who had very little furniture, but enough books to fill a wing of the Library of Congress. I explained to him that we have these things called "e-readers" now and they've become quite popular. But I'll admit that a shelf full of real books can add a lot of color and life to a room. One way to compromise on this and save space in the process is to use one of these Bibliochase chairs. It's a bookshelf and chair all-in-one. Nobodyandco via Nerd Approved

    Related post: It's a bookshelf! No! It's a table and chairs!

  • Vertebrae bathroom

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    We discussed a toilet lid sink earlier, but a far more extreme (but less unsettling) solution would be to employ this unique Vertebrae bathroom. It houses everything you need along one vertical spine — from an adult-sized shower and a kids-sized shower on top, to storage and controls in the middle, to a sink and, finally, to a toilet. Finally it's socially acceptable to go to the bathroom while showering and brushing your teeth, all at the same time. Design Odyssey

  • Casulo

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    The Casulo concept takes compact living to extremes by fitting all the furniture you see here into a box that measures only 31" x 47". Supposedly, It takes only about 10 minutes to set up (no tools required) and includes a bed, stools, a bookcase, space for storage, a closet and a desk. Needless to say, if my friend had a Casulo — and fewer books — I would have complained about helping him move a lot less. Casulo

  • XFit home gym

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    A lot of people would love to have a home gym, but not everyone has the space for one. The XFit can remedy that situation with a design that packs treadmill and weights, along with a 19-inch LCD television and DVD player, into a relatively compact wardrobe. Of course, if you can afford to spend $6,427 on a gym-in-a-box, which is what it costs, you could probably afford a bigger place. XFit

  • Bedup

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Having a sofa that converts into bunk beds is fine for guests, but what about saving space in the master bedroom? As the name implies, Bedup simply lifts up into the ceiling and out of the way, leaving you space to use your bedroom as an office or gym during the day. It's kind of like an old Murphy bed, but more high tech and less like something you would find in an old, seedy apartment, resulting in an inevitably painful sitcom-esque situation. Bedup

    Related post: It's an entire office — in a wheelbarrow

  • Cardok

    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Somehow I don't picture James Bond having a garage filled with a fake Christmas tree, old furniture and a leaf blower. No, he would probably use the Cardok. Basically, it's a car elevator that stores your vehicle safely underground without spoiling the landscape. There are even versions that stack one car on top of another to maximize your parking space — if not your fake Christmas tree storage. Cardok

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