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325-square-foot cave apartment has DIY & upcycled furniture

Monica Potvin and Markel Otaola bought the 30-square-meter (323-square-foot usable space) apartment in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter during their child-free years when location was more important than space.

The tiny quarters had once been a space for the doorlady and it was half under-ground. After a makeover that included a lot of custom, DIY furniture, Potvin dubbed the home the “cozy cave”.

The couple lived here while Potvin was pregnant* and have even hosted dinner parties in this reduced volume. Thanks to some dual-purpose furniture, the place now sleeps four. In addition to the queen bed in the bedroom, there’s a couch bed for one in the living room and a nook under the stairs where the couple crafted a mattress on top of what was once a seldom-used ledge.

Much of the home is custom and all was crafted by the creative couple. Potvin (co-founder of design-build firm Fabrique) found an old pallet on the street and covered it with plastic to create a stylish coffee table (with space for magazines and books between the wood). A salvaged door is now the hallway mirror and old airplane food storage carts serve as bedside tables.

Many items are half-sized, like the bathroom sink and the refrigerator, but Potvin doesn’t view the space as less enjoyable than the huge apartment she once rented in New York. “You just don’t bring much stuff in, I think that’s he difference.  You buy food for the next few days– maybe you’re more in the moment, more kind of basic and in the moment.”

* The couple now live in twice the space across town with their 3-year-old son (see our video Tiny home cube: bathroom + kitchen + closet for family of 3)