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Coder finds DIY analogic solutions to improve SF small loft

Never much of a tinkerer, when Max Heinritz moved into the biggest San Francisco apartment he could afford- a 678-square-foot loft shared with a roommate-, he began 18 months of DIY optimization.

To convert the space for movie nights, Max added a projector and full-wall screen and created a movable plywood beam with three pendant lights that cantilevers over the dining table for cozy mood mealtime lighting and can be raised and lowered by pulley when the space transforms.

To add natural light to a space lacking in daylight, Max added dozens of convex mirrors to the skylight which bounce light around the room creating an almost underwater experience on sunny days.

Wanting a comfortable home office after leaving his job as a Google engineer, Max created his own electrified movable desk from a slab of salvaged Douglas fir. He replaced the ladder to his bedroom with a more comfortable set of stairs (with some help from his retired carpenter father) and a sliding barn door at the top.

Max also created much of the lighting in the apartment. The light above his roommate’s bed was made by wrapping corn-starched-and-glued string around a balloon, then deflating it, and finally lining it with rice paper-mache.

His latest project is Map Lamps: laser-cut, LED-illuminated maps in the shape of cities etched with streets.