How To Make The Most Of A Small Apartment

So many APARTMENTS now are just basic and boxy, lacking features or personality. Here’s how one apartment dweller MADE MORE of a LIMITED SPACE …

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Some homes are blessed with great character but many newly constructed apartments, especially those who have not been architect-designed – are tight and basic. Not beautifully simple, and spare in their simplicity – but basic and mean or ugly. These are the boxes that lack solidity or elegance, whose windows might be small, space scarce and features crude. It is possible, as in this apartment, to consider structural tweaks, layer on features that lend grace and invest a space with personality.

With space at a premium, the owner of this apartment borrowed some space from a bedroom to create a kitchen that works as a study and dining room as well as a space for a chef de cuisine. Shiny stainless steel cabinetry by Boffi is functional by day but, by night, and by lamplight, is sparkling and mysterious, all set for an elegant dinner party. Gaggenau appliances are built in but characterful touches are a great contrast to a streamlined effect: counter lamps, low pendant lights, dark red chairs and a simple table by Habitat, even a faux hunt trophy add character.

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There’s nothing worse than mean proportions, especially narrow doorways that serve to highlight a room’s limitations in terms of space. Here, the designer has deliberately doubled the door size at the expense of having wall space but what is lost in terms of room for shelving and storage is gained by way of impression: the living room feels bigger. Contemporary plaster mouldings or simple coving can add definition to a room as well as covering the unsightly join between wall and ceiling.

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The orange of Hermès, the shade associated with that wonderful luxury brand, is the key to making this once-boring bedroom feel vibrant and sophisticated. Deployed as an accent shade within a sober grey palette, it is wonderfully distracting. The space is tight so the owner has created a tall headboard that draws the eye upwards, a neat device to suggest volume and space, and has covered the walls in fabric wallcovering which is cocooning. Although the bedside tables are tiny to fit the narrow room, the Geraldine lamps from Promemoria, with their tall bases and wide shades, add elegance.

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The illusion of space in this tiny walk-in wardrobe is created by the continuity of the colour scheme from the bedroom. Walls, ceiling and storage are all painted orange Pantone shade 151C.

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This sitting room was once devoid of fireplace, architrave and window joinery – all have been added to inject some personality. The space is not large so the designer has crammed in furniture and utilised every opportunity to create a vibe that makes you forget its humble origins. A dominant Van der Straeten mirror and dark painting are layered on top of a textured wallpaper whose tones are picked up elsewhere in the room, in the silk and velours upholstery.

This article appeared in a previous issue, for more features like this don’t miss our next issue out Thursday May 4.

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