For architect Michelle Linden, living and working in 600 square feet poses its challenges, but one of the biggest was completing a gut-renovation on the tightest of budgets—just $25,000. Originally built in the 1950s, Linden's home wasn't optimized for today's living styles, but was located in a neighborhood rich with amenities and close enough for her husband, Cameron, to bike to work. Location trumped the lack of storage, closed-off spaces, and outdated finishes, and with thoughtful planning and cost-conscious choices, Linden, who heads Seattle's Atelier A+D, crafted a home that's short on space, but long on personality and charm.

Michelle Linden encountered a common real estate dilemma: a less than stellar home in a convenient and desirable neighborhood. Rather than scrap plans to be able to walk to the grocery store, live adjacent to a major bike route, and be close to friends, Linden decided to take on the fixer-uper.