Making the most of a small space — or “microliving” — is on the rise among Chicagoans who want to live simply and stylishly in popular neighborhoods. In the past two years, 31-year-old real estate minimogul Jay Michael of FLATSChicago and his two business partners have embraced the trend, buying up old buildings in Andersonville, Edgewater, Lincoln Square and Uptown, then remaking the run-down properties into thousands of chic apartments for the young and upwardly mobile. This unit in the Edgewater building, dubbed No. 5718 ($1,000/month; rents vary based on unit and building), makes its debut at the beginning of March, and — thanks to some help from the design team at Chicago-based CB2 (which will offer all FLATS residents 10 percent off of their purchases) — demonstrates just how fabulous 400 square feet can be.
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Sectionals: “They can work well in corners, which are typically unused space, and seat at least six people. They can also serve as a guest bed when you have overnight company … the kind that aren’t staying in your bedroom.”
Small style: “For the model unit, we wanted to partner with a company that knows big style in small spaces. Everyone says they understand that concept these days, but CB2 really does create furniture that lives perfectly in apartments.”
Louise, Michael’s French bulldog, is the FLATS mascot and makes many appearances in their materials.
By Amalie Drury