Living room by 마르멜로디자인컴퍼니

A 33sqm apartment with everything you need

Sana Salam Sana Salam

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Small apartment spaces can be a nightmare—what to keep, what to discard, where to accommodate everything that you want without it looking like a cluster bomb, become real issues. But often, these apartments can also be a cosy living experience where you're not left wondering what to do with all that empty space. Silver lining, see? The trick is to stick to some smart design ideas and hacks that will make life a lot easier and your apartment looking like a million bucks. 

The apartment we are exploring today almost appears to defy logic: there is a bedroom, a living room, a study, a kitchen, a bathroom and even a guest bed, all comfortably occupying a total floor space of 33sqm! Designed by the Marmelo Company, this apartment in South Korea manages to fit in a lot by making spaces to do double or sometimes even triple duty. Owned by a young couple, the apartment keeps it minimal and uses colour as an architectural feature. If you're still scratching your heads wondering how they did it, read on to find out more. 

A small entryway

 Corridor, hallway by 마르멜로디자인컴퍼니

블루 포인트 컬러의 현관


A designated entrance space is almost sacrosanct in Asian homes; this is where guests are greeted and where they take off their shoes to change into more comfortable (and clean!) house slippers. So, even though space was in scarce supply, leeway was made for an entryway, albeit a tiny one. A recess in the wall provides much of the illumination for the space while simultaneously breaking up the monotony of the tiny entryway. 

Big furniture in small spaces

Using any colour but white in a small space like this may seem counterproductive, but making bold choices with colours can actually pay off. Just make sure that you stick to one consistent palette or theme. The duck egg blue shade on the walls actually accentuates the high ceilings of the place, making the space appear larger. 

Another design trick: instead of sticking to small seating, which could actually emphasise how limited the space is, the architects opted to choose a comfortable two-seater (with a footrest to boot) that makes the area appear cosier. 

Double-duty pieces

 Study/office by 마르멜로디자인컴퍼니

단차를 이용한 서재공간의 활용


This is the study/guest 'bedroom' of the apartment, which is essentially an extension of the living room. Visually breaking up a space too much can lead to a cluttered look, which has been avoided here by making the study table double up as a divider between the living room and the guest bed. 

In small spaces, it is better to wall mount your storage so that no further leg room is taken up. In this case, the shelving unit takes care of both books and knick knacks while the pull-out drawers underneath the guest bed can be used to store away bed linens and towels. 

A contemporary kitchen

 Dining room by 마르멜로디자인컴퍼니

화이트와 그레이의 깔끔한 주방


You'd normally expect the kitchen (or the bathroom) to be the tiniest in a limited space such as this, but surprisingly, it is one of the biggest spaces in this apartment. Nevertheless, every square metre has been meticulously put to good use. The kitchen here accommodates a dining table that has been pushed up against the wall to make room for free movement. 

Muted grey tones tie the space together, giving it a clean, streamlined and very modern appeal. If you're struggling with your small kitchen, speak to our experts for more ideas.

Compact powder rooms

Tiny bathrooms, the bane of house owners and renters! Designing and organising a small bathroom can be a challenge, but fun too. The bathroom here has managed to fit in pretty much everything, without looking and feeling cluttered. First off, note those vertical tiles that trick the eye into seeing expanded space! And instead of an expanded mirror, two separate ones ensure that the couple can use the bathroom at the same time, without having to resort to elbow jostling!

Cutting down to the basics

 Bedroom by 마르멜로디자인컴퍼니

따스한 분위기의 원목헤드 침실


The bedroom in this apartment is a testament to the fact that even the most sparsely furnished spaces can look cosy and warm with just the right amount of attention to detail. A wall-mounted albeit narrow nightstand does the job of a bedside table while a reading lamp attached to the wall frees up further space. Storage is taken care of by the wall-to-wall closet, which is rather unobtrusive.

For more inspiration, check out 10 chic and tiny home entrances you'll love.

Has this compact home give you some inspiration for your own apartment?
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