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There are bedrooms bigger than the apartment Elie Metni designed in an old building in the center of Beirut’s Achrafieh district. But the 172-square-foot space, aptly dubbed the Shoebox, has a surprising flow to it. On one end, there’s a double bed with hidden storage; on the other, a fully equipped bathroom with a walk-in shower. In the middle? A teeny-tiny kitchen, which got us thinking: Who needs a fancy pantry or enormous island to get things done? 

The corner nook boasts all the essentials, minus a dishwasher (which plenty of normal-size apartments are missing anyway). There’s a sink, a cooktop, and ample counter space—the desk in the living room flips out into a bar/prep surface. Naturally, we’re stealing Metni’s organization tricks for our own spaces, big and small.

The Hang-Everything Dowel

All the cooking staples, from a bucket of flatware to small pots to dish soap, are displayed on a stainless steel rod, thanks to simple metal S-hooks. The less mess there is on the counter, the easier it is to clean up at the end of the night. 

The Seamless Backdrop

Like the bathroom walls, this space is clad in large square tiles. While a fancy encaustic backsplash would surely make a statement, the graph paper–like design lends the room a welcome sense of order. And there’s no fussy hardware to distract the eye.

The Laundry Station

By maximizing the mix of open and closed storage up top, Metni had plenty of space to bring in appliances underneath. In this case, the must-haves were a mini refrigerator and, yes, a washing machine. It’s not just a kitchen, it’s a one-stop shop for chores!

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