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These 8 Microdwellings Showcase Inspired Small-Space Design

All entries are in for Apartment Therapy's tenth annual Small Cool Contest, the micro-dwelling style competition that pits homes with ingenious small-space planning and occasionally funky, always well-appointed decor against each other. While not everyone may love the idea of living in a micro-dwelling, this contest, broken into four categories from teeny-tiny (400-square feet) to small (under 1,000-square-feet), may inspire some to change their minds—and polish up their own digs. We picked eight of the coziest pads; you can also ogle the array and vote for your favorite on the contest site through June 13, and then again for the finalists from June 17 to 18.
Above, Josh's 500-square-foot apartment draws the eye up with high-hung pictures and vertical stripes in the living room to create the illusion of space.


↑This 350-square-foot pad in the East Village packs a punch with its smart design. The living room's wall of built-ins also serves as a headboard for the sectioned-off sleeping quarters. The space also utilizes dual-purpose furniture: the coffee table transforms into a dining table.


↑Occupier Louisa advises using white in small abodes, as seen in her 440-square-foot Astoria digs. Her use of mirrors helps throw light across the apartment, opening it up.


↑ Charlotte's 300-square-foot abode uses multi-functioning pieces like the kitchen island that serves as both a storage space and room divider, and the green credenza that Charlotte uses as a desk and a place to store serving pieces.


↑ This Upper East Side studio uses striped taffeta curtains, which frame the windows as well as divide the living and sleeping areas. The 630-square-foot space is dramatic without being overwhelming.


↑ This 500-square-foot studio uses pieces that fit into the odd shapes of the room to maximize its space.


↑Although this 550-square-foot Brooklyn pad is a 70-foot-long railroad-style apartment, the occupiers have overcome its narrowness with balanced and cool design, including suspended branches and lots o' plants.


↑In this West Village 500-square-foot studio, more is more. Here, the designer turns collections into decor and textures into an eye-catching statement. The bed alcove is sectioned off from the living room with a sliding five-foot door made from "beautiful reclaimed barn wood."