Tiny flats are cool. It’s cheap(er) to buy, easy to heat up, can be furnished on a tight budget and it’s super quick to clean the whole thing; plus (as a bonus) you won’t fall into deep depression each spring, when the time’s about right for window cleaning – small flat, fewer windows, less boring housework :)
The best thing about a studio or one bedroom is that it can be sooo cozy & personal. Nothing’s better that curling up in your nook on a rainy day, or chill with an ice cold drink when the sun’s out!
So, that was the good stuff about living small, but yeah, there’s a downside as well – nothing fits at all. And then, after spending about 2 years in the same flat, NOTHING fits at aaall. And what then? You could apply the ‘I bought a new blouse, let’s throw out an old one’ strategy – but this definitely won’t work with shoes and bags (right, ladies?).
You obviously don’t want your flat to look like a warehouse, hence, ideally, everything has to be stuffed in a cupboard. Now, to avoid this hassle, you need to plan things out in time – if possible, before buying/renting/moving into your new home. Here’s the golden formula – count with 2/3 more stuff than what you currently own and plan your storage well ahead – do believe me, this is basically the most important thing to look at, when considering moving homes, it’s so much more important than the kitchen, or the bathroom, or the colour of the carpet… think about it this way – if you buy a new dress that doesn’t fit you, it could be as fancy as hell, it’s still useless.
Most importantly ask yourself these questions (note: these work all the time regardless of property type):
1. Where can you fit the wardrobes? Is there plenty of space for all the wardrobes you would need?
2. Where will you store coats, jackets, shoes and bags? Not to talk about hats, gloves, scarfs…
3. Where will you put the stuff that you rarely need (Xmas décor) or things you just wouldn’t throw out (like that scented candle that’s half way burnt down already, and you still planning to light it on a cosy winter night).
If you got all the answers, happy days, you found your perfect match storage wise, if not, that means you won’t fit in that new home, so DO NOT MOVE IN. End of story.
Good, now here are the tips on how you do the designing bit – demonstrated through a really cool flat I found the other day on the web.
1. Storage from top to the bottom
Don’t you worry, it looks just FINE. It’s doesn’t look warehouse-y, it is not overwhelming and it won’t kill your space. Do not forget to buy a mini ladder at B&Q. The cupboard top doesn’t help you in any way, it’s always dusty, and somehow it always gets filled up with IKEA storage boxes over the time. With different ones, of course, as you could never find the same one again :)
2. Kitchen cabinets – fill all the space that you’ve got
Fill all the upper space available in your kitchen with cabinets, shelves, hooks, anything that makes the empty walls useful. As I prefer a tidy look, I would use 90% closed cabinets, 10% open storage – very similar to what you can see on the picture below:
3. Divide spaces with storage facilities
This is the coolest design solution in this flat, and I am a big fan of such brilliant ideas. So we have a light and airy white cupboard functioning as book shelf in the living room, as kitchen cabinet & counter-top in the kitchen, as well a beautiful space divider. The dining area is visually segregated from the rest with a gorgeous black frame. LOVE this! it even has retro drawers, like my great-grandma used to have in her kitchen. I actually remember this. It was a green table, with loads of cutlery inside of it drawers. :)
The framing concept is also used across the room in the living area – I have to admit that this a brilliant 3 in 1 solution: plant storage shelf, artwork/wall decor, plus it makes the space more dynamic. As an absolute bonus, it can be used as mood lighting too :) Can you think of any other wall decor with so many cool features?
This sofa is just the perfect size for the space available. It isn’t too small, 2-3 people would easily get comfy on it. The pouffes are so cute, love the yellow colour spot – these could provide some extra seats for guests.
Here you can see the hallway; as the space is really small I find it practical to use the kitchen cabinet theme here too and continue/begin the built in furniture right in the hallway. It provides a unified look and continuity to the space.
4. Use ALL the space available
This is a popular solution for tiny home offices – most people would need a desk somewhere in the house for occasional work from home. When possible, I would cut a corner of the living room for this purpose, but if there is not enough space it could be located in the bedroom as well. The empty space above the desk can be used for storage. Closed cupboards can hide paperwork, printer and stationery, while open shelves could be nicely organized. Always choose a light and bright colour to keep the look airy.
I think these upside down greens are seriously cool, even tho they are artificial, I believe you can buy something similar in IKEA – I am not sure whether these function as pendant lamps as well, or they’re just for decoration…
5. Don’t just build walls – build storage walls!
Every inch counts when it comes to small flats. If you’re building it all up to make it really cool, consider replacing your walls with wardrobes – it’s another brilliant 3 in 1 solution: it is a wall, it does the job – segregates the space; it is storage – ultimately making your life easier and better; plus, as a bonus function it will soundproof the place a lot better that plasterboard.
6. Use your bed
I mean, the extra space below it. Make sure you invest in a bed which has some sort of storage underneath. Not necessarily bookshelves – as we see here, but you know, drawers or something for your sheets & duvet, blankets, throws, extra pillows, etc.
7. Install built-in cupboards around your window(s).
I know that now you’re thinking of a traditional English cottage with rose patterned upholstery :) but it doesn’t have to be like that. Modern spaces can handle it too, if you do it a bit different – a fully built in window looks brilliant and again – it counts as a 3-in-1 as you’ll get a wardrobe, a cosy reading nook for lazy Sunday mornings and a bit of heat isolation too for those cold winter days. If done right, it’s gorgeous, just look out for the opportunity.
8. Squeeze in the longest bathroom cabinet possible
Yep, it gives the space a bit of depth, as well as extra space for storage on top of it. you ca display your pretty perfume bottles and dump the rest of the stuff in the drawers.
If you like the pocket organizers on the shower walls, you can buy similar ones from Normann Copenhagen here. They have gorgeous new colours available in their range. Cheer up your space! :)
You’d like to keep these tips for your next refurb? Download the below (printable) – it lists all the 8 tips, plus 2 bonuses for cleverer wardrobe design.
*By downloading this free content you will get access to the Design Like A Pro resource inventory, where you’ll find designer tips & seasonal shopping lists.
Do you have further tips? Go ahead and share it with us, in the comments below!
Apartment pictures via Fészkelő Magazin.