Reno Notebook / By Jennifer Malise / February 27, 2017
How to Live Large in a Small Apartment
These 7 solutions are filled with storage and organizational ideas
Living in a city where space is limited can mean giving up square footage in favor of location. Small apartments can feel restrictive; there’s less room for “stuff” and fewer zones that can be dedicated to specific functions. When your square footage doesn’t allow for an office, dining room, or storage closet, it’s time to think outside the box. These clever small-space solutions from Sweeten renovations prove that imagination can overcome limitations. Here’s how to personalize a space to meet your needs in any size apartment.
Evelyn’s galley kitchen suffered from wasted space; there was a radiator beneath the window that was never used, clogging up valuable square footage. She had it removed and replaced with a window seat with storage underneath, a suggestion given to her by her Sweeten general contractor. Now serving two purposes, the space provides additional storage and a dining nook that seats up to four.
In Frans and Dalal’s studio apartment, the kitchen offered very little work space and barely any room for a table and chairs. By incorporating a mini peninsula into the new kitchen design, the couple was able to add extra prep space and a dining perch that’s perfect for the two of them.
A narrow galley kitchen in Emily’s studio apartment had virtually no counter space and nowhere to sit down for a meal. By extending the countertop through a newly-created pass-through in the wall, Emily was able to define a functional eat-in spot and enhance the social aspect of the kitchen by opening it up to the main living area.
Having put a new plan in motion for her kitchen, Emily set her sights on a pair of shallow closets that took up usable floor space in the entryway to her apartment. She combined the closets to carve out an office nook complete with a desk, chair, and open shelving for books and office supplies.
The previous owner of Lauren’s studio apartment had knocked out a large closet to form a workspace, replacing it with a tiny closet in the bedroom area. Lauren chose to swap the spaces during her renovation: the home office reverted back to clothing storage while the small closet—which turned out to be the ideal size for a workspace—became an office niche.
After successfully swapping the small closet for a larger one, Lauren worked with her Sweeten general contractor to think of other ways to add storage and reduce clutter throughout her apartment. In need of a place to store off-season clothes and a folding table and chairs for guests, her contractor rebuilt the existing bed loft platform, adding three bays of storage made easily accessible from the foot of the platform.
If there’s no more room on the floor, the only way to go is up. To make the most of the 11-foot ceilings in Elizabeth’s apartment, her Sweeten general contractor suggested using the space to create more storage—an idea she couldn’t say no to. Rather than shoving things under the bed, this alcove is the perfect solution for tucking things out of sight.
Make your space work for you! Here, Amber and Chris turn a dining nook into a child’s bedroom complete with transom windows.
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