Former Dragons’ Den star Simon Woodroffe creates the four-in-one flat

Lia Grainger
Shine On

It's part theatre set, part Japanese technology, and part modest apartment, but mix those three ingredients and former British Dragon's Den entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe has managed to turn a one-bedroom flat into an impressive four-bedroom flat.

He's calling it the Yo! Home, and he's confident that it's the way we'll all be living in the future.

Woodroffe made his name with Yo! Sushi, a popular Japanese food chain that launched in the UK in 1997. In 2008 he branched out to bring the pod-style hotels so popular in Japan to Gatwick and Heathrow airports with Yotel.

Apartments were the next logical step, reports The Independent.

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His "Yototype" contains, in effect, an 80-square-metre (861-square-feet) living room, an 80-square-metre bedroom, an 80-square-metre kitchen and an 80-square-metre dining room. There is also a cinema, one bathroom, storage and small built-in wine cellar.

The living room with built-in furniture is sunken into the floor of the main space, and the bedroom glides down from the ceiling to fit squarely on top of the living room when it's time for bed.

There is an office space with a desk that converts into a single bed that can be cordoned of by a sliding Japanese screen to create a small guest bedroom. There is also a large TV that descends from above to be viewed from either the living room or the bedroom.

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Woodruff used to design stage shows for Rod Stewart and other big name rock tours, and has used the weighted pulley systems common in theatres, so that the home will not rely on push button technology vulnerable to breakdowns.

With about half of Canadians currently living in urban centres and the price of real estate at a premium in many cities, it's possible Woodruff's design could have some appeal over here on the other side of the pond.

But those eager to get themselves into a Yo! Home should remember one thing: if you get in a fight with your spouse, good luck hiding in the bedroom while they pout in the den.