Practicing in New York for the past 13 years has taught Nicole Migeon, AIA, to make the most of limited space. That expertise proved invaluable when she began designing a 400-square-foot studio for herself and four employees in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood.

Her firm’s structure is flexible; when Migeon takes on a bigger project, she brings in outside consultants and designers to supplement her core staff. “We expand and contract as needed,” she says. The office reflects this versatility. A built-in teak furniture piece serves as guest seating, storage, a work surface, and even a planter. At night the striking storefront window, custom-made from stock parts, transforms the studio into a glowing light box.

Migeon also deploys the space as a gallery featuring work by local artists. It easily morphs into a venue for exhibition openings: Shelving above each workstation hides computer equipment, and space-saving pocket doors bring privacy to the conference room and pantry, as needed.

Along with its roles as an office and a gallery, the studio acts as a showcase for the firm’s design skills. For example, the bathroom is intentionally oversized and lovingly detailed, much like one of Migeon’s many residential, hospitality, or spa projects. “I wanted to show people what a spalike bath would look like,” she explains.