2022-07-04

See what it’s like to live in one of the compact sleep pods that allow 14 residents to share a single home in California

3 min read


Testing out a concept pod

Brownstone Shared Housing

  • A co-living startup’s sleeping pod design allows up to 14 residents to share a home.

  • Co-founder Christina Lennox designed the pod and has been sleeping in one for over a year.

  • Good organization is key, she says. “When you first move in, start making it your own.”

Brownstone Shared Housing is a co-living startup offering a new stackable sleeping pod design that allows 14 people to share a typical three-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-family house.

The sleep pods of the Brownstone Shared Housing home in Palo Alto

Brownstone Shared Housing

Source: Insider

Brownstone was co-founded by James Stallworth and Christina Lennox, who designed the pods from the ground up.

Brownstone Shared Housing co-founders Christina Lennox and James Stallworth

Brownstone Shared Housing

There are currently two active houses with the pods in California: one in Palo Alto that houses 14, while the second sleeps six in central Bakersfield.

A living area in the Brownstone Shared Housing home in Palo Alto

Brownstone Shared Housing

Stallworth said the Palo Alto house currently has one vacancy, and at $800 per month, the cost of a pod is less than half the rent of a studio apartment in the area.

The dining table of the Brownstone Shared Housing home in Palo Alto

Brownstone Shared Housing

Lennox spoke with Insider about her reflections on living out of one of her pods in the Brownstone homes for the past year.

Christina Lennox inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

“I absolutely love them,” she said. “When I have a house that is just mine, I definitely want pods so I can sleep, even if there was like nobody else staying with me.”

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

Unlike the futuristic design and construction of the sleeping capsules of some Japanese hotels, Lennox’s design features a minimalist steel structure and natural wooden paneling.

Assembling the sleep pods' steel structure

Brownstone Shared Housing

“The wood kind of allows for relaxation, rather than like going inside of this futuristic-looking plastic object,” she said. “It has like definitely a different feel — I would say that it’s more calming and soothing for people.”

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

It’s also taller than a typical capsule or bunk bed, with two four-foot-tall spaces within the eight-foot overall structure, giving occupants more space to sit up fully and move around.

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

Adding privacy walls introduced new problems like ventilation, lighting, and electricity access, which she remedied with fans, LEDs, and power outlets in each unit.

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

A blackout curtain at one end adds privacy and keeps all light out.

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

In such a compact space, good organization is key, she says. “When you first move in, start making it your own.”

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

Each unit has a fold-down shelf and a clothes hanger bar, and Lennox recommends using magnetic hooks for more storage.

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

“I have books and I have my headphones in there, and charging cables, earplugs, and my medications, and like physical therapy equipment and stuff like that,” she said. “I put that all in my pod.”

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

“Plants are an absolute must,” she added. “Not like not real plants, but like little fake plants and stuff like decorations.”

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

Between sleeping, working, reading, and relaxing, Lennox says she can spend up to 14 hours per day within her pod.

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

Lennox says the reaction to stories about her company has been “polarized,” but she remains committed to offering an affordable, flexible option for people who need it — especially since she has personal experience with past housing struggles.

Inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

“Our customers love it, and we’re doing this for them,” she said.

Christina Lennox inside a compact sleep pod in co-living house

Brownstone Shared Housing

Read the original article on Business Insider



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