Eric Roth

With both of their children off to college, Cape Cod, Mass.–based architect Mark Hutker and his wife, Carla, decided to live a little. “In transitioning to empty-nesting,” Hutker says, “we decided to get this Boston pied-à-terre.” As an architect, though, Hutker had to make some alterations to the standard spec of the one-bedroom seventh-floor apartment. The first order of business: Create some extra sleeping space, so the kids can stay over, too.

Making the most of a 1,050-square-foot plan, Hutker devised a set of built-in bunks that fold guest accommodations into an almost impossibly compact package. Borrowing space from the living room and foyer, the “cabinet” holds two sleeping berths, each equipped with a bookshelf, lamp, and privacy curtain. With a ceiling-hung curtain drawn, Hutker says, “it makes a tiny little room. It’s akin to a berth on a ship or a sleeper car.” At the foot of the beds, two folding panels open the bunks onto the living room. “When you’re lying in the berth, you have a panoramic view of the city,” says Hutker, who has feathered this nest so well that it will never be empty for long.