HERE, IN this newly renovated Manhattan apartment, Russian architect Peter Kostelov, has featured tucked-away furniture and used ‘versatility’ as his watchword for all the available space.
Originally the pint-sized apartment had two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and a kitchen, but this layout boxed in each space.
Instead Kostelov wanted to make the whole apartment more adaptable: the living room can easily be switched around into a dining room, while a working studio turns into a guest bedroom in no time at all.
A bed slides out into the bedroom, while a table and two benches on wheels draw out to just over two metres in length into the living room.
The narrow kitchen faces a brick wall across a tiled corridor, where wooden shelves fold out to form a breakfast table or extra counter space.
Kostelov also paid attention to providing brighter living spaces, quieter sleeping areas away from the street, more ventilation in the living room by the large windows.
Living in small quarters doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style for drab storage solutions and “it’s the only thing that will fit” furniture. It just takes a little creativity.
There is no need to paint an entire small apartment bright white; colour can add real drama to small spaces and the addition of a mirror can cleverly mimic a doorway, creating the illusion of a grander space.
Forget cumbersome wardrobes. Instead go for separate storage crates (Ikea is a one-stop mecca for storage solutions) and hanging rails, which can be hidden behind a decorative curtain.
Studio rooms are often used for everything from dining and entertaining to reading and watching television.
A flexible, well-planned lighting scheme can give the impression of extra space and create handy areas for different activities within the room.
Well-positioned lights highlight your prized possessions and as you will not have space for many, make sure they are really important to you.
Effective lighting can evoke so many different atmospheres – depending on what kind of statement you want to make.
Remember, these small spaces can be the bane of any studio dweller or owner’s life, but they can also be a blessing in design disguise.
Awkward, small spaces are often a catalyst for change, forcing you to a) clear the clutter and b) come up with clever design ideas you may never have thought of otherwise.