June 13, 2024


Giving your Home a new Option

The Shoebox by Elie Meni

On the top floor of a historic building in Beirut sits a little abode known as The Shoebox—named for its simple, rectangular floor plan. At just 176 square feet, the all-white flat was imagined by local designer Elie Metni as a tranquil rental property for short-term visitors.

Designer Elie Metni created The Shoebox, a micro-flat tucked along the top floor of a historic building in Beirut. Her clients imagined the space to comfortably sleep two adults, while accommodating dinner or entertaining for up to five.

“The intention was to create a powerful sense of pleasure, simplicity, ease, and efficiency in a 176-square-foot layout,” says Metni. “The final design was a sort of response to what Beirut needed at that time—a counter reaction to the chaos happening around us.”

“The entire unit is designed as a flexible space that can evolve and transform into different functions for a short-term visitors,” explains Metni. 

“Knowing that the Shoebox would be on Airbnb, the challenge was to make the space’s different functions clear to visitors. I wanted to turn what is usually uncomfortable about a space into an unforgettable experience.”

Large white tiles are repeated in the bathroom, which sits at the rear of the flat. A translucent window illuminates the space with natural light. 

To minimize clutter, nearly every piece of furniture offers built-in storage: a double-size bed features cabinetry underneath; a small desk area promotes organization with specialized storage solutions for supplies and electronics; and sandwiched between the desk and dining area, a couch conceals a coffee table and foot rest underneath. “It’s the perfect place to sit down and relax after a long day outside,” Metni adds.

A view from the kitchen shows the built-in storage wrapping around the flat’s perimeter. Translucent window panels allow natural an abundance of natural light into the space while providing privacy. 

“One of the features that I really like is how bright the apartment is,” notes Metni. While most of the windows are fitted with frosted glass, a large window at the foot of the bed frames city views. “Waking up in the morning and looking at Beirut’s skyline throughout the panoramic window is super.”

Storage and electrical plugs are offered on both sides of the bed so each person can place their small belongings—such as glasses, books, and phones—before sleeping. Pendant lights hang from above to cater to late night reading.

Natural light bounces off all-white color palette, enhancing both the home’s sense of space and bright, airy aesthetic.

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