In big cities, space is at a premium. All over the world, the housing market has gotten rough and finding a spacious home isn’t always cost-effective. Nowadays, a lot of people are starting to feel bogged down with all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated. That’s why there’s a movement afoot to live smaller.

In more and more places, people are choosing to downsize rather than move into larger spaces. Sometimes it’s necessary to do a lot with a little because large apartments are hard to find and extremely expensive. Sometimes, living smaller is just more comfortable because large spaces full of furniture and countless things can be overwhelming.

Whatever the reason is, people are getting very creative about using space efficiently. Tiny apartments are being transformed into modular havens that can change shape with little effort. A house on wheels is no longer the sign of someone who has no roots, but the sign of someone who can do more with less and is happy to spend money on other things. The socialites of Manhattan can keep their $6 million dollar apartments, because we found eight tiny homes that you’ll wish you lived in.

The Domestic Transformer

This amazing space is a 344 square foot apartment in Hong Kong that can be changed into 24 different spaces. Architect Gary Chang calls his design the “Domestic Transformer.” With some sliding panels and shifting walls, he’s managed to solve the well-known issue that there’s not much living space left in Hong Kong. Chang proves that it’s not how big your space is, but how well you use it that matters.

The Cozy Manhattan Haven

Space is expensive in New York City. If you want a large living space, you’ll need a large bank account. If you want a Manhattan lifestyle on a shoestring budget, you have to learn how to use your space wisely. This cozy apartment is a comfortable haven from what can be the sometimes overwhelming vastness of a busy city. This resident shows that living simpler can be exactly that … simpler.

The Barcelona WonderSpace

This young man frightened his mother by purchasing a small, nasty, run-down apartment in Barcelona. What he saw was a giant space of possibilities. In his 258 square feet, he’s got a nearly full kitchen, storage, a dining table, a bedroom, a living room, a bathroom and a balcony. Push a wall, open a drawer, move a pillow and he’s got all the comforts of a great mansion, without the need for a staff of caretakers.

The Perfect Cabinet Apartment

In New York City, $235,000 will get you about 450 square feet. That’s not a large amount of space. The good news is that it’s not a dismal amount of space either. There are amazing ways you can use a small space to create a restful home where relaxing after work is easier, because cleaning up only takes a few minutes. How much space do you really need to be happy? Probably not as much as you think.

The Postage Stamp House on Wheels

California has such beautiful surroundings, why cover the land with colossal houses? If you have an 89 square foot house, you can appreciate the land around you. This adorable and efficient cottage is artistic, intelligent and rather spacious in feel. With plumbing that’s slightly less primitive, a house like this would encourage you to get out and enjoy your world while providing you with a warm, homey place to hang your hat.

The Japanese Microhouse

As a general rule, there is a strong appreciation for small things in Japan. Small can be quaint and cute, and it can also be wise. It’s easy to fit everything into a big, giant villa, but it’s also wasteful and costly. A wiser person finds a way to expand other areas of his life while he lives in closer quarters. These Japanese “microhouses” are enticing in their intricate simplicity and complete uniqueness. They will change the way you look at space.

The Midtown “Mansion”

There are more ways to say “less is more” than would actually fit in this 78 square foot bachelor pad. This architect has simple living down to a science. If you don’t need the space, don’t pay for the space. He seems perfectly comfortable in his well-used square footage because he’s decided what his true needs are. When feet cost thousands, it’s important to really consider what space means to you, and Clark Tyler proves you can be very happy in a small apartment.

The Smallest Legal Apartment in San Francisco

In San Francisco you can only live so small before the city tells you to get bigger. But if scaling down is what you want to do, there are definitely enviable ways of doing it. Patrick Kennedy can create a SmartSpace for you if you have high hopes of living in a space that’s smaller than 200 square feet. His spaces were inspired by a 75 square foot camping trailer, so more than double the size gives him a palatial amount of room to work with. And think about it-- if you’re in San Francisco, you’re not spending your days looking at your four walls. You’re out looking at San Francisco.

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