With so many urban spaces offering affordable studio units condos just a stone’s throw away from the nearest business district or a short walk to the train station, living in cramped quarters has becoming reality for many city dwellers.
But with the following design solutions, you can help transform your small space into a dwelling with big potential.
1. Choose pieces that can be moved around. Think elements and accessories that offer flexibility and a smoother flow of traffic in any space. For example, sliding panels or pull-down blinds can enclose and open up your bed or kitchen area. Murphy beds or wall beds you can push up when not in use can free up floor space. Storage cubes on wheels offer extra seating or can be pushed back against walls to create more space.
2. Use textures to divide spaces. Forget walls or too many dividers. Instead, use varying floor textures to indicate changes in function in different areas. A wooden floor in your living or study space can transition to a carpeted area to section off your bed space. Try the same trick on your walls. Graphic wallpaper can act as an accent against your bed, while using stone or brick can create a completely different atmosphere for your kitchen.
3. Add height for more space. A high platform with pull-out drawers can double up as a place to lay your mattress on. You can also raise the area for your study desk and dresser to accommodate shelves underneath for books and other supplies. Having pieces built specifically for your small space frees you up from the limitations of store-bought furniture.
4. Make it multipurpose. Consider a sleeper sofa instead of getting a separate bed and couch. Your coffee table can function as a dining table. Similarly, your dining table can be a study desk and a vanity or dresser as well, consolidating all your desktop activities in one compact space.
5. Go minimalist. Filter through your belongings. Go through your closet and, except for emergency supplies, junk anything that hasn’t been useful in 30 to 60 days. Or, throw something out for every new non-essential that you bring in, whether they’re clothes, pots and pans, magazines or home accessories.
Decorating a small space can be challenging, but with the right clutter-busting attitude and smart, functional solutions, it is possible to turn a studio into a fun, habitable space that suits your needs and your personality.
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Have any home and organizing questions for the author? Email her at email@example.com
Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of “Popped and Popped, Too,” books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.