The phenomena of the shrinking apartment is a reality that many of Canada’s urbanites are facing; every year, interior designers and architects must come up with innovative ways to create the feeling of having lots of space while having less and less of it at their disposal. Take a cue from these 10 clever designs, which find ways to reduce unnecessary bulk, adapt features for more than one use, and incorporate appliances, storage, and furniture in creative ways.
This open concept apartment uses one simple structure in the center of the room to provide distinction between spaces, doubling as kitchen storage space on one side and a shelf/mantle on the living room side. This central partition and storage helps to create distinct functional spaces while doing away with any space wasted by non-loadbearing interior walls.
This layout shows a similar concept, with most of the home’s floor space being occupied by appliances and furniture; very little area is occupied or closed off by walls.
Many urban spaces require working with extra height while dealing with minimal width. In this example, the designers have created a stylish lofted bedroom and small office with an enormous array of storage shelves on the wall, accessed by ladder. A large map on the opposite wall takes advantage of the room’s impressive height, turning a confined, narrow space into an awe-inspiring, worldly display that stretches towards the ceiling. Lightbulbs dangling at various heights also serve to draw attention towards the openness created by the high ceilings of the loft.
In a tiny bedroom, a fold-out bed is an excellent space-saving solution. This design features a shelf that adds convenient storage around the outer edge. Not only have these designers outfitted the space with a fold-out bed, but they’ve also been able to take advantage of existing space with furniture that’s the proper size, like the slim dresser that fits perfectly into the corner of the room.
This living room addresses various needs, with multiple states of living in mind. The table works well as a living room coffee table, with a cushioned bench serving as the living room couch (with storage underneath!), but the array can also be reimagined as a dining room table when guests come for dinner. Likewise, the wall has been converted into a shelf unit that keeps clutter off of the floor, thereby increasing mobility throughout the small living space.
This charming space has taken advantage of an oddly shaped attic space, using a light colour scheme and a layout that takes advantage of the angled window to create a cheerful, well-lit space. A dresser has been tucked away where walking would be impractical anyway, keeping the higher areas free of obstacles so it’s easy to move about. Notice both the positioning of the table, which takes advantage of sunlight, and its slim style, which allows chairs to be tucked in closely to keep them out of the way.
Here’s a clever solution for a studio apartment; while many enjoy the open aesthetic of having their bedroom form part of the common living area, there are many who’d prefer to have the option of privacy. This translucent partition allows the bedroom corner to be opened and closed as desired, while an elevated platform contributes to the feeling of having a separate sleeping space within an open studio layout.
This kitchen occupies an odd location, with a few steep steps leading down from the living room into the kitchen space. Never to worry – these designers have added appropriate appliances and furniture that harmonize with the existing layout rather that attempting to overthrow it, with a shorter-than-average fridge to fit the small contours of the space, as well as a slim shelf to provide a subtle connection by easing the transition between the split levels of the home.
Many designers work with small spaces by opening them up; this design goes about small space living with a different mindset. Here, modular spaces are framed, supported, and separated by storage wherever you look, making for a tidy array that allows the resident to tuck away clutter. You won’t even need a storage locker with this clever design!
This small bedroom features a big quote and big personality! While space might be at a prime, a bold colour scheme and all-caps text make a high-impact statement, regardless of the size of the space.
For more fun design ideas, see this ideabook on matching your kitchen to your zodiac sign!