If you are looking for a wallbed or Murphy Bed in the greater Seattle area, it is pretty easy to find us. The challenge we face in our business, is making ourselves known to folks who DON’T KNOW they are looking for a wallbed! One of our main purposes of blogging is to try to stimulate discussions and get people thinking about how their space is being utilized. Once the evaluation starts, questions and solutions are going to follow.
I love Make: magazine. Their projects are always interesting and they are famous for “hacking.” Hacking is where you take something (i.e. an old TV console) and turn it into something new or more efficient (an aquarium). Last week they presented an over-sized example of a fabulous hack. The town of York, Alabama lacked an outdoor community space. The town had many abandoned houses and overgrown lots. One of these houses was chosen, materials were salvaged to reuse in the rebuild, and a design was picked. They built a new little house, in the same style as the other houses in town but here is the cool part: It UNFOLDS into outdoor seating for 100! Here is the video:
And here is the article: http://makezine.com/2013/08/19/open-house-no-really/
When the seating is not needed, the house folds back up and tucks away!! The lot it sits on, is now a park and enjoyed folks daily. Much more so, than if the seating was taking up the space all the time! This is Economy of Space applied! It is not complicated to operate. The footprint when it is closed vs. when it is opened is about 1:5. It can be used as often or seldom as needed. Wait…are we talking about a Community Center or a wallbed?! Can you see how that way of thinking: breaking down the functions within a set space; can help revise how you see and use your own space?
Another way to look at the Economy of Space is through the actual costs. How much does your home cost to run every month (mortgage+insurance+electricity+repairs+gas…)? Divide that by the square footage of your home. That gives you the “$/sq. foot/ month” ($) value of your space. Now, measure your guest room in square feet (g). Here’s where it gets interesting. Multiply ($) x (g) x 12= the cost of your guest room per year ($Y). NOW, divided that by how many days a year that room is used (U). The cost per day of use will be ($Y)/(U) Let’s say it costs $1.25/sq. foot; and your guest room is 11’x8’ or 88 sq. feet; and there are 12 months in the year; and guests stay there 11 days a year: ($1.25)x(88)x(12)+=($Y)=$1320… $1320/11=$120!
Let me explain that to you: you are spending $1320 a year for a room that is used 11 times. Every time it is used, it costs $120! Now let’s change one thing: the configuration of the room into home office/ reading room. Let’s swap the regular queen sized bed, which takes up a huge part of the real estate of that room, for a wallbed. Set up the office and cozy chair. Now, how often will you use this room? In a year, let’s say 243 days. Our ($Y)/(U) equation now becomes: $1320/243= $5.43!! Doesn’t that make more sense (or cents)?? Welcome to the Economy of Space!
A writer was talking about storing things in their home and wrote this: “…but that got me thinking about how much our space costs us. I figured that we pay approximately $1.65 per square foot per month for our space. This means that if something is taking up 1 square foot of space but it’s value is low, over time we basically lose money because the value of the item taking up the space is worth less than what we pay for the space. Additionally, the more efficiently we can use the space the better value we are getting for our money.” –shannonkay from gspn.tv forum
So there you go- hacking, math and economics! Mr. Z was right! Story problems are everywhere!
Now you see it. Now you DON’T!
We are the Great American Wallbed Co. in Bellevue, WA.