Architects are known to whip up all sorts of design magic on houses designed for themselves, and the same goes for Chicago-based architect Mike Shively, who managed to nearly double the size of his Wicker Park apartment in a smart renovation. The apartment, which comprises the upper portion of this three-story, circa-1880s building owned by Shively (a separate single-family rental unit takes up the lower level), grew from 800 square feet to 1400 square feet after the second floor ceiling was lowered to make way for a habitable attic.
As detailed in a Dwell feature, what sounds like a potentially claustrophobia-inducing setup is mitigated by several clever decisions. For one, the two bedrooms in the new attic aren't connected by full-size hallways but by a narrow bridge, which makes room for an airy, two-story space with skylights in the middle of the apartment. To further ensure ample lighting, Shively put in bulbs between exposed wooden beams in the ceiling. Head here for the full story and more photos.
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