Which home do we call small?

Of course, it is quite subjective… But for us at Studio One, an apartment under 50 sqm can definitely be called small. At the end of last year we successfully completed the realization of our project “MV”, which belongs to this category of housing. You can see the whole photo shoot of the project here.


The builder had left a niche in the hallway for a “sort of closet”. The niche was small, but too deep to put just a built-in wardrobe. We decided to make a small closet for jackets and shoes, but then the question arose as to what access to it would be. A standard sash door was not an option as there was no room to open it in either direction. That’s why we opted for a folding MDF door. You can see it on youtube.

The bathroom was under question. With its 2.6 square meters, the room didn’t offer many layout options. We moved the outlets around to make it as functional as possible. It was a requirement of the clients that there had to be a shower and not just a screen, that the sink had to be as large as possible, and the water heater was also meant to be in this room. The clients also wanted a towel rail heater to keep them comfortable in the winter.

We put in a small 80x80cm shower, round of course, so as not to take up too much of the scarce floor space. The logical solution was to have white (and polished) walls, as well as sanitaryware and the cabinet under the sink.

We decided to keep the water heater flat and position it behind the door, and below it- the towel rail heater. The ceiling in the bathroom is a stretch- white gloss- in sync with the polished granite on the walls. The stretch ceiling is a good solution if you want to have no mold problems. Well, unless you’re a firm believer in all-natural materials.

The living area

As in most cases in new construction, in this apartment we have an open plan living area, meaning the living room and kitchen are in one room. Well, open… how open can it be when we are talking about 20 sq.m.

The clients’ requirements for this area were the following: there had to be a washing machine; a corner sofa (but also a sofa bed- “and if possible not with those uncomfortable springs”) ; a dining table that could seat 8 people; we had to find a place for a bar counter with chairs. We met all of these requirements, and also managed to combine the styles that both homeowners like. The woman wanted a modern interior and the man envisioned more of a vintage feel.

The dining table is by a leading Italian manufacturer, it extends from 120 cm to 180 cm to accommodate all the guests at the convivial evenings the couple organise.

The dining chairs as well as those at the bar will delight the occupants with Spanish quality. The dining chairs have discreet swivel seats for comfort. And the bar stools are chosen to be compact yet comfortable. As for the bar- we left it “in the air” for a more interesting look and a feeling of spaciousness.

And in the living space we continued the line of the white marble, designed for the back of the kitchen, as well as the living room table with natural oak legs.

The sofa arrived from Italy and converts into a true guest bedroom with a comfortable mattress if desired and needed. The wallpaper behind it was custom printed especially for this interior, it enchants with a distinct character and together with the rug create a hypnotic rhythm.

We decided that for this room it would be best to have just one row of curtains (semi-transparent), so as not to weigh down and make the space feel even smaller. The curtains have a slight pattern that successfully corresponds with the “herringbone” pattern of the floor.

The Bedroom

The clients wanted maximum storage space (as most people do) and it was a challenge to design a 9 sqm room intended for a bedroom so that there was room for everything.

We decided to heat with an electric fireplace, which is a good choice in such small rooms. And the wall with the fireplace, in addition to comfort, beauty and warmth, offers a lot of hidden cabinets continuing into the other wall as a wardrobe with sliding doors. To make the most of the closet wall, we made it almost snug to the door, and brought the light switches out to the side of the wardrobe.

However, in order to have that many cupboards and wardrobe, we had to ” pick out” a bed with minimal dimensions (so that there was still room to walk safely around). The bed had to have as thin a headboard as possible (but at the same time upholstered- for comfort), so that one could pass easily between the bed and the fireplace. We found it again with our Italian friends.

To “warm up” the situation in the white bedroom, we continued the idea here with the retro tile-colored bricks and, as in the living room, highlighted them with an ice backlight.

To the minimalistic white look, we ” boldly ” added leaf-shaped tables made of aged metal and blackout curtains in dark brown with a copper glow. The lamps on the side tables are natural marble and the vintage bulbs are hooked up to the bed’s curtain rod

5 top tips from us when furnishing a small home

Be careful with the technical details (pay attention to where plumbing connections, electrical switches and sockets are routed) so they don’t get in the way of functionality and achieving an aesthetic result.

Move, add, remove while it’s time (before plaster and paint). Go for either very light colours or moderate to strong contrasts. Pay precise attention to the dimensions of the furniture and light fixtures you purchase (in small homes, every inch counts).

Allow plenty of light- both artificial and natural.

Avoid putting dark curtains in the small living room (there are exceptions- when it’s with a specific strategy 🙂 ) Put accents to draw the eye and distract from the size of the room (e.g. a painting/decorative panels/interesting lamp, etc.) But don’t overdo it. If you overdo it- it will look even narrower than it is.