In our era of rapid-event, fast paced living, in a world that is becoming increasingly expensive, small domestic spaces are becoming more and more the norm. Utilising space in the most effective and efficient way possible can guarantee that we make day-to-day life as smooth and stress-free as can be. After all, we often neglect that we spend so much of time in our homes, the place where we relax, read, sleep, cook, socialise, conduct so many of our fundamental activities and provide the foundation for the rest of our day to day activities. For most of us, home is where the heart, soul and everything else resides—it’s crucial to make our homes a place that complements our personalities and needs, even if they are space-limited.
Here’s a few neat examples to provide a little inspiration on how to utilise confined spaces in close apartment settings and create the comfiest of homes that are unique, cosy, warm and above all, uncluttered.
Living in a cramped 40sqm metre apartment with very little space to move? Here’s a solution: remove all unnecessary clunky furniture and replace with well-designed pieces that offer smooth, clean lines and minimal clunk. In this example, the designers have employed unimposing, Danish-style furniture that has thin timber lines. Additionally, a feature wall with ‘bookshelf print’ wallpaper with reclaimed vintage ladders and carefully chosen accessories work in unison to drastically increase this space’s sense of openness.
A balcony is often a difficult place to furnish or decorate—on the one hand, you want it to be inviting, a space to relax, breathe fresh air and lounge; on the other hand, too much lounging and comfort can create a space that is too sloppy and disorganised. Without the ability to install shelves and modulated furniture, how does one minimise the mess? Simply reduce the amount of furniture on the balcony—the smaller it is, the less it should have. In this example, the designer has employed a modem beanbag for lounging comfortably, plus two clean chairs for hosting others. All that’s needed to create a functioning and clean space is minimal accessories and furniture.
When space is minimal, it is best to think creatively and employ as many space saving ideas as possible. Consider a bed with a gas lift mattress, which can easily store linen and other items underneath while leaving your cupboards and robes free for all of your clothes.
Some apartments, particularly heritage buildings, are blessed with an abundance of space, in the form of high ceilings. This space gives an immediate roominess but does not often help with space on the floor. If you have an apartment with wonderfully high ceilings, consider raising the bed level—creating a mezzanine of sorts, the space underneath can be well utilised for smart storage.
A typical problem, especially in apartment kitchens, is a dearth of cupboard space. A fine solution to the space conundrum is though fixing rails to spare walls and hanging all your fancy kitchen utensils, copper pots and pans from them. Let your items hang, make an aesthetic addition to the vibe of your kitchen, and save space while simultaneously having everything you need within reach when whipping up your nightly meals.
Certain apartments are just not big enough to include a dining table. If this applies to you, consider including a kitchen bench without cupboards beneath it—it can then double as a breakfast bench or dinner table, as well as a fine preparation space for cooking.
Bereft of space, it is often difficult to justify room for a small workstation or study. Got a room currently used for storage that seems far too small for anything else? Consider reworking the layout of the room to accommodate a desk with cupboards to adequately hold all of your books and belongings while allowing space for a small home computer.