When it comes to small apartments and homes, open-plan layouts are a given; walls and partitions only serve to cramp up the space and cause visual fragmentation. And obviously, we're all for open-plan layouts but there are times when space separation is an absolute necessity. Whether it's because you're sharing an apartment and require privacy or simply because you need space for your storage.
But smartly dividing an already small space into functional room is not an easy task and can end up backfiring terribly. In walks Milan-based Ristruttami Architects who specialise in small space living. They've converted this 80sqm apartment into a gorgeous space by employing simple and cost-effective tricks that create multiple living areas. The space has been divided into a living room, dining area, kitchen, one bedroom and two bathrooms. Thanks to its unobtrusive separations, at no point do you feel as if there are too many separations.
We are duly impressed by this simple but rather exceptional interiors. Take a stroll and let us know if it catches your fancy too!
From this vantage point, you can see the overall layout of the house. Before setting out to design the house, the architects had a floor plan in mind, which they then set out to execute meticulously. Having a preplanned floor plan is always a good idea particularly when it comes to small apartments.
The colour scheme is predominantly white, which is an airtight way of ensuring that a small space looks brighter and more spacious than it actually is. While it appears to be an open-plan layout—and in a sense, it is—the architects have divided up the space by using different yet subtle separators.
From the other end, we can get a closer look at the living area and how it's separated from the dining area with a single pillar. By maintaining an organic flow, each zone here has enough room to breathe and stand alone as an individual space.
Colour blocking is a common technique to visually divide spaces; here, the architects have slightly modified that by applying bursts of colour to the furniture rather than on wall surfaces. The bright yellow shades here clearly demarcate this space from the more subdued dining area. Notice too how the floating shelves take up minimal space while providing the same functionality.
It seems almost impossible that in an 80sqm apartment, there is so much free-standing room that the architects could factor in a spacious dining area as well as a roomy kitchen. The owners did have to shed off any excesses so as to avoid clutter but design choices such as a smaller circular dining table (instead of a large rectangular one) helped to make tons of room. Here, a simple extension of the wall helps to separate the dining area from the kitchen, creating more intimate and functional zones.
Thanks to the fully-integrated and crisp white kitchen, the space looks all the more brighter and airier. For more smart kitchen design ideas, speak to our experts.
If you hadn't guessed already, the most unusual feature about this bathroom is that it extends into the wall space of the bedroom. A shower stall has been installed into this space and fitted with a transparent glass door, almost making it appear as a separate room! By doing away with a tub, the architects also ensured that the space here is opened up.
The continual flooring between the bedroom and the bathroom—thanks to the discarding of the curb—also helps the spaces flow together while having clear delineations.
There are so many things we love about this space-efficient bathroom! The floating toilet and vanity adds floor space and makes the small bathroom appear more open. The narrow wash basin enhances the lightweight feeling of the whole space. Small bathrooms usually don't have enough leftover real estate for storage (unless you wall-mount it) but here the architects were lucky. Instead of opting for a vertical cabinet, they chose to go with a low-lying Egyptian blue storage cabinet that adds a whiff of drama to the minimalist bathroom.
To see another apartment that uses colour to its advantage, check out A city apartment full of creative ideas.