Inside Aaron's Apartment: A Most Amazing Bedroom

This is the first in a series of articles profiling some of the most unusual, noteworthy, and spectacular dwellings in the Lower Haight.


This is Aaron Latzke's office.

Located halfway down the hallway of his apartment near Page and Divisadero, it's a smallish room, measuring about 9.5 by 12 feet. As you can see from the photo above, the room is outfitted with a desk, printer, shelves, and the like – standard home office stuff.

But what you can't see in the photo above is what makes the room truly incredible. Because this is also Aaron Latzke's bedroom.

Aaron has been living in the apartment for about five years. He found it through a teammate on a local rugby team when he first moved to San Francisco, and has stayed ever since.

Originally, Aaron claimed another, bigger bedroom in the apartment as his own. But about a year ago, he quit his job doing mechanical engineering in the semiconductor industry, and decided he'd opt for a smaller, cheaper room while he figured out what to do next.

Aaron had saved up some money, and decided that, rather than pursue a new job right away, he wanted to try starting a company of his own.

He had an idea for a pretty ingenious product. It's still under wraps, but in broad terms, it harnesses energy from an everyday activity and uses it to power common devices. Developing the product would require a lot of research and a lot of prototyping – much of which Aaron would do at home.

All of these factors – the spending of so much time in the apartment, the smaller bedroom, the tinkering with mechanical devices all day – led to an invention.

Aaron realized that he could effectively double his living space by using his bedroom as an office during the day. But that would require doing something with the bed.

So, Aaron did something. Or, rather, he engineered something.

Over the course of about two months, Aaron designed and built a platform to serve as the room's new floor. (Fortunately, the room has very high ceilings).

He added extensions to the room's heater and power outlets so they could pass through the makeshift floor.

Near the room's entrance, he built a set of stairs – but because they would have to rise so quickly to reach the floor's height, he designed the stairs in a unique configuration that allows a person to take normal-sized steps but rise several feet very quickly.

Finally, Aaron covered the frame in plywood, and the new floor was complete.

But where's the bed?

It turns out, the bed is concealed under the floor. The center panel of the floor itself rests on a track and mimics a garage door — Aaron can retract or expand it by turning a knob beside his desk.

The knob connects under the floor to a motor Aaron salvaged from a power drill. It spins clockwise or counterclockwise, powering a pulley system that advances or retracts the floor.

The result: a bed that can be exposed or covered in just a few seconds, transforming the bedroom into an office and back again as necessary.

Aaron says his landlord, who lives in an apartment above the unit, is OK with the construction, as are his roommates. Though the motor didn't strike us as particularly noisy, Aaron tries to wait until all roommates are awake before activating it in the mornings.

In general, he's happy with how the project turned out, although there are some elements he thinks need improvement. He would give the plywood some sort of finish or paint job, and use a quieter motor, for example. He also now realizes that having the bed sunken into the floor isn't ideal – finding a way to lift it up to floor level would be a key feature of version two.

Sadly, Aaron doesn't plan to stay in the apartment very long. Another year or so and he'll be moving again, so any additional modificiations don't seem worth the effort. He'll likely dismantle the structure, assuming the next tenant doesn't want to keep it.

But Aaron seems at peace with the idea of tearing down the impressive contraption. It served its purpose, and he doesn't put much stock in the permanence of things anyway, he says.

Besides, with all the ideas and inventions he's working on, who has time for sleep?

We'd like to thank Aaron for letting us take a glimpse inside his apartment. If you think your home could be worth profiling on Haighteration, please let us know! tips [at] haighteration {{dot}} com.