My apartment in New York is too small to fit a desk. (Hooray for working from the couch!) At least I thought it was, until now. Flatmate, by Michael Hilgers for the German design company Magazin, is an isty-bitsy sliver of a desk that’s only 5 inches deep, front to back. Yep, we said inches, not feet. According to the marketing materials, "When closed, FLATMATE has a floor area of just 0.09 m² [about a square foot], making it probably the smallest fully equipped bureau on the market."
When they say "fully equipped," they aren’t kidding. Pop open the top, and you’ve got a 16-inch-by-28-inch flat surface—big enough for a laptop, a mouse, and a keyboard. Grooves in the backboard can accommodate three metal shelves (they come with the desk), allowing you to stash everything from paperweights to your iPad. A fluorescent light and power outlet are embedded in the top of the desk, virtually hidden from view. Then, where most desks have pull-out drawers, Flatmate has a cabinet that opens from the sides. There, you can store papers, CDs, and even a 17-inch laptop. The whole thing attaches to the wall with a V-strip and two screws.
It’s a tremendous feat of economical design. And if I didn’t know better, I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone else who lives extra, extra small. Unfortunately, Flatmate is only available in Europe: "We cannot send this overseas, as the freight would be enormously high," a Magazin spokesman tells Co.Design. Economical about shipping, too! Sigh. Guess I’ll stick to my couch.
[Images courtesy of Mazagin]