KNQ Associates bring you fresh ideas on designing and rejuvenating your home.
Simei Street 3 Namly Place New Market Road Tampines Ave 1 Neram Road Depot Road Seletar Green View

Oct 18, 2016


I love designing small spaces. When we take on the design for small apartments - think anything less than 600sqft - the limited space available certainly poses a few challenges to us. But with the right mindset, you can also create a gorgeous environment that feels spacious and beautiful by yourself.

When every inch of interior space becomes a luxury, flexibility, functionality and versatility are the 3 main design components that you need to consider properly. The ability to work, eat, play and sleep in a tight space is key, as a 'usable' room feels less small. It might even look smart (yes, a term you seldom use to describe physical spaces) because of its multi-tasking character. 
For this newly TOPed studio apartment which our firm is currently working on, I'm hoping to translate those ideas into reality. See that set of bulky sliding doors which were fitted in originally to separate the living room and resting area when the need arises? It creates a sense of oppression due to its size and colour, and its actual functionality to close up the resting area is really less than ideal here as it doesn't close flushed to the side wall and closing it up cuts the whole space into two really tiny rooms. The window treatment space at the sliding doors and window side is also going to be a headache when you shut it up. Hence I decided to remove it in place of an open plan living. After all, this is a space for a bachelor, so privacy is not a big issue. 
Rather than fighting it, I focused on the benefits of a 400 sqft area and what I can do with it. To maximize the usage of space, I had the media storage and PC work desk integrated in an 180 degree swivel unit cladded in stainless steel and black timber finishes and positioned in the middle of the whole room (after removing the sliding doors as mentioned earlier). A concealed queen sized bed is hidden into a wall-to-wall storage unit at the resting area and only folds down when needed, saving much space for a one person home office. At night, the unit can be rotated for movie watching in bed and the living area becomes another environment in which the owner can work in.
No matter what size the house is, it's important to always consider using different materials, textures and colours to make a home visually interesting, which translate to physical comfort whether directly or indirectly. We all feel happy and relaxed when we look at beautiful things, don't we? I added a dark coloured stone-look tiles from Italy for textural contrast. The walls are going to be splashed with a dose of taupe and the furniture are all going to be in various masculine shades of grey. You must be wondering about the supposedly diminishing effect dark colours have on an interior by now? For me, colours work both ways in a small home - you either make all the walls as bright as possible or you  just play along to the smallness. Darker colours make a small room more cosy and intimate. For some people, deeper tones help them to relax more. 
When all elements are well considered to work together as a whole, nobody is going to harp on the fact that your home is only 300, 400 or 500 sqft. Because they'll be too busy looking around and enjoying the space!


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ThomasMaloney said...

I used to help a friend who just moved into his new apartment which was way smaller than his previous house. There were many things that needed to be disposed off because there just wasn't enough space! However, as he slowly settled down, he managed to create storage spaces throughout the house with built-in closets, storage furniture and more.