Tag Archives: small living

350 square feet turns into 20 different rooms

Hong Kong’s most in demand commodity is space. It is not uncommon for families sharing an apartment of 350 square feet or smaller, often with a tenant occupying one of the rooms too. But living in area’s that small call for creative solutions. Hong Kong based designer Gary Chang decided to transform his tiny flat in a stylish studio that has room for a library, a walk in wardrobe, a kitchen, a guest bed, a bathroom with tub, and much more. Making use of sliding walls, he can transform the place into 20 different rooms.

Ronald’s sleek & stylish flat packed with clever design ideas

 His friends didn’t see it, but Ronald himself knew the apartment he was going to rent would be a haven of well designed tranquility. The 22-year-old interior designer to be saw through the silver window frames, the stained red carpeting and the yellow walls and recognized the huge potential. He saw huge windows, a clever lay-out, and a very central location in the Southern Dutch town of Oss. He signed the lease and started making plans.

The same friends that were less thrilled about the place in the beginning, proved to be of great help. Together they stripped the walls, tore out the carpets and revamped the flat to what it is today. Ronald: “I knew immediately that I wanted light walls and a dark floor. This adds the sense of space and gives an instant chic appearance. By painting the toe-boards in a light colour, in this case the same white as the ceiling, one avoids the floor being like a box”. 

Sitting room with wall dividing bedroom

The dividing wall between the main room and the bedroom needed something special. Ronald wanted to keep as much light coming through into either room as possible. “A friend and I started thinking up ideas. One was having the wall rotate with a TV in it. Or maybe lowering the wall to where it would just be a partition, we thought of many things”. The final outcome is a very clever lower wall with wooden blinds fixed on galvanised steel pillars. “The pillars are actually curtain rails. It was a tough job creating this as the rails had to go through the wall to be able to support the wooden blinds. I am very pleased with the result”, adds Ronald. 

The window frames and the ceiling were painted a bright white to contrast the subtle grey on the walls. For the floor Ronald was hoping to put in a concrete floor in a darker anthracite grey. But the existing floor proved to be a bit of a problem. Ronald: “We needed to level it and sand it down to be able to put the floor in. In the end I opted for a marmoleum (vynil) floor”. 

The kitchen cupboards are covered in black adhesive foil.

The Kitchen was in perfect condition and the lay-out was great too. It would have been a shame to rip it out. Especially considering this a rental flat. But the veneer with faux-wood print had to go. “My father in law had experience in covering up kitchen units and cupboards with an adhesive foil. I wanted a black kitchen, so covered the doors with black foil. The worktop looks really good with it, so that stayed”. 

Instead of a regular dining set, Ronald chose to put in a high breakfast bar with four stools. It separates the kitchen from the main room and when not used as a table makes for extra worktop space. 

Details throughout the flat

Ronald is aspiring a career in interior design. Homevoyeurs thinks he has what it takes! 

 Photography © Ronald Cornelissen 

 Inspired? The Homevoyeurs webshop sells many books about how to decorate small spaces. A great example is Studio Apartments: big ideas for smaller spaces by By James Grayson Trulove. You can order it here.

Studio apartments: big ideas for small spaces

Living large in small spaces

My stylish and fabulous friends at Apartment Therapy (who have yet to meet me and decide to let me do their PR in the Netherlands but will, one day) areon their annual quest for the coolest small homes around the globe. Pretty much an American party but the contest does allow international submissions. 

If your house is 1200 square feet or less. You can submit 5 pictures and a floor plan. There are 5 categories: teeny-tiny, tiny, little, small and international.  You can bring out your votes too.

1200 square meters is a whopping 111 m2 by the way, which is another great example of the fact that everything is bigger in the US, even small apartments… 111m2 is considered pretty big for an Amsterdam pad. Mineis 140m2 and makes quite a few people green with envy.

Below a few examples of current entries.

Mobius' 295 square feet (27m2) NYC studio

Mobius' 295 square feet (27m2) NYC studio

Antony's 300 square feet (28m2) Brooklyn 1 bedroom flat

Antony's 300 square feet (28m2) Brooklyn 1 bedroom flat

Rajiv's Bangalore (India) 500 square feet (45m2) 1 bedroom flat

Rajiv's Bangalore (India) 500 square feet (45m2) 1 bedroom flat