When you live in a 309 sq. ft. apartment, the bathtub doubles as a couch

Michelle Tennant and Andy Knight had a few things on their wish list for their new home: a large kitchen, a spacious bathtub, a home theater, and a gym. That wouldn’t be a problem in many suburban houses, but the couple wanted to live in the Central district of Hong Kong. They ended up with a 309-square-foot micro-apartment, but with the help of Laab architects, they were able to cram everything in by making it transformable.

Prices are so high in the area that the transformation cost about the same as it would have to purchase an apartment with only 30 to 50 more square feet, according to the firm. Instead, Laab designed it so each area has multiple functions. The bathroom has four configurations: one with just the bathtub, another with the bathtub separate from the sink, so someone can bathe in privacy, a third with a second tier for TV watching, and finally a guest bedroom setup. “Achieving this level of flexibility in this area and others required over 30 design iterations and large amounts of experimentation,” according to Laab. The apartment also has smart features, like app-controlled Hue lights and an August smart lock for keyless entry.

You can see in the video how some of the transformations take place. Storage shelves lower from the ceiling, floor panels flip up, walls slide out, and bookcases swing open. When you think about it, it makes sense. When the bathtub is sitting empty, why not cover it up with a cushion and turn it into a couch?

It’s not just the couple that lives in the 309-square-foot space, though. They have three cats: Banoffee, Dumpling, and Tuxedo. Laab also designed with them in mind, including a catwalk around the ceiling, cat ladder, hidden litter box under the bathroom sink, food bowls stowed in the kitchen cabinets, and a hidey hole, so they can get away from their owners (and each other).

Smart Home

Amazon and Best Buy drop the price of the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Sensor

Amazon and Best Buy have cut the price for the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with built-in Alexa and a Room Sensor. The Ecobee4 made our Best Smart Thermostats list thanks in part to its ability to monitor temperatures in 32 areas.
Gaming

These awesome free-to-play games might be even better than the ones you paid for

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Buying Guides

Want a home command center? These smart displays put you in charge

Which smart display is best for you? A lot of smart speakers with a screen have been released lately. Whether it's Alexa or Google Assistant, here are a few of our favorites available now.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Smart Home

A giant carb-free potato has just become an Airbnb rental

Airbnb's growing collection of quirky rentals just got a little quirkier with this latest addition, a giant potato prop that once toured the country promoting Idaho's most famous crop.
Product Review

The Schlage Encode Wi-Fi smart lock shuts out the competition with looks, style

Easy to install and easy on the eye, Schlage Encode’s integrated Wi-Fi and third-party platform support make it a fine choice for the smart home. We took it for a test run to see how well it worked.
Smart Home

Amazon’s Alexa reviewers reportedly have access to customer home addresses

We already learned earlier this year that when you talk to Alexa, Amazon employees may also be listening. Some employees who review Alexa recordings may also have access to user addresses and locations.
Mobile

Google Assistant for Android and iOS wants to tell you a story

Just in time for National Tell a Story Day on April 27, Google has added the ability for Google Assistant for iOS and Android to read you a story. So now there's no excuse for not catching up with a good book.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Product Review

Arlo’s doorbell is missing a camera, but ease and style make it a great addition

A lack of an integrated camera means that the Arlo Audio Doorbell isn’t as versatile as competitors, but a low price, simple installation and smart features make it an easy add-on for Arlo smart home fans.
Smart Home

This Amazon Echo and Pandora Premium smart speaker bundle saves you $138

QVC just took online merchants to school with a massive discount on the second-generation Amazon Echo with a 3-month voucher for Pandora Premium. The minimum you save is $128. Save off $10 extra with TAKE10 code for first QVC orders.
Mobile

Bothering the bots: Funny questions and commands to pose to Google Assistant

Communicating with Google Assistant can be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of fun questions and commands to add a little entertainment to your oft-rigid conversation. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

Keep your stuff safe and porch pirates away with the best home security cams

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.