There is never a lot of living space. But this axiom often affects the owners of spacious apartments not in the best way – large areas are wasted irrationally. But the owners of small apartments are accustomed to saving every centimeter of space and already know by heart all the ways to visually expand the space and efficiently plan. Given the continuous rise in real estate prices (especially in large cities), many of us may consider it a happiness to own even a small, but separate one-room apartment. And it is necessary to equip this home with maximum practicality, comfort and efficiency. Not forgetting about modern trends and personal preferences in interior design. The task is not easy, but doable. Moreover, over the years, designers have accumulated considerable experience in creating ergonomic, functional and visually attractive projects for the design of one-room apartments. We bring to your attention a kaleidoscope of ideas for creating a multifunctional interior for a small area home and we hope that it will help you create an original and convenient design of your own apartment..
Design ideas for decorating a small home
Before you start planning repairs in a one-room apartment, you need to decide on the number of functional segments:
- whether the kitchen and the room will be combined to increase the total area and create an open-plan interior (this may require not only the demolition of walls and dismantling of doorways, but also the transfer of communication systems);
- decide on the number of zones in the living room – a segment of sleep and rest, a video zone, a workplace, a children’s corner;
- it is also necessary to find out whether it is possible to increase the total area by attaching a loggia;
- v «Khrushchev» there is a pantry that can be converted into a built-in wardrobe, thereby relieving the room and eliminating the need to install a large storage system for the wardrobe of the whole family.
If in fact it is not always possible to change the number of free meters, then it is not difficult to achieve a visual expansion of the space using the following design techniques:
- one of the simplest and most popular ways is to use a light palette. In order for the room to appear larger, but at the same time not to look shapeless (which happens with the total application of a light tone for all surfaces), use the following tonal layout – the ceiling is the lightest, the walls are one or two tones darker, and the floor covering is contrasting dark;
- glossy, glass and mirrored surfaces will also help create a light and fresh image of the room, slightly shifting the boundaries of the small area of your only room;
- in small spaces, it is necessary to give preference to furnishing simple and laconic models. Any manufacturer has in its arsenal a line of compact, but functional and incredibly practical models of sofas and armchairs, storage systems and attributes to them;
- reduce the use of decor to a minimum, this does not mean that the entire furnishings should be minimalist, devoid of decorations, but you will have to abandon the floor elements, preferring the metered use of wall decorative elements;
- small spaces especially need sufficient lighting. If you can very rarely increase window openings to increase the flow of natural light, then it is simply necessary to provide the room with several sources of artificial lighting. With the help of the lighting system, you can not only zone the space, but also decorate it.
In small rooms, you have to use the entire arsenal of useful design techniques for the correct distribution of space and its visual increase. Light shades of the color palette of finishes and furnishings are also used, the use of pieces of furniture made to fit the size of the room and ideally fit into it, the use of transformer mechanisms and adherence to the principles of minimalism.
The combined use of white shades for surface decoration and the installation of mirror planes as part of the decoration allows you to create maximum illumination even in a room located on the north side of the building. A snow-white setting is best «dilute» the integration of wooden surfaces and furnishings in warm, natural colors – from pastel to dark chocolate.
No less effect for creating a light, airy image of a room can be achieved by using glass and plastic interior elements. Transparent plastic and glass seem to dissolve in space. A dining group or a coffee table, a desk or a console – all of these items will not weigh down the design of a single room if they have a transparent texture. For a modern style of room decoration, such elements are the best fit..
In adjoining spaces, you must take advantage of any available advantage. For example, if the ceilings in your apartment are above average, then using this design feature is simply necessary. Built-in storage systems under the very ceiling are only at first glance impractical. To get to them, you need to use a stepladder or at least a chair. But after all, you can store in such lockers household items that are taken out once a season or are even used as needed..
The high ceiling of the apartment can be used to create an additional living level. A sleeping place as a loft bed for adults is a reality of our time. The lack of square meters can be more than compensated for by creating a second level. It is only important to entrust this occupation to specialists who will be able not only to correctly calculate the load, but also to perform all work with a quality guarantee. By transferring the sleeping area to the upper tier, you free up the main space for arranging the living room, dining room and kitchen.
Transforming furniture items can significantly simplify life for those who are forced to have a living room, bedroom, workplace and, possibly, also a kitchen with a dining room in one room. The fold-out bed, which is hidden behind the front of the wardrobe during the day, converts at night into a full-fledged sleeping place for two. Folding tabletops that can serve both for organizing a dining area and a workplace. All these devices, which can hide in the closet during the reception of guests, serve the hosts to create a comfortable environment after they leave. But it is important to remember that each tilt mechanism has its own maximum load limit. When making furniture with folding mechanisms or buying ready-made solutions, it is important not to save on fittings – after all, all the elements will be activated daily and even several times a day..
When creating interiors for small spaces in which it is necessary to connect several functional segments, many designers are inspired by the ideas of the Scandinavian style. Despite the fact that this style loves spacious and light rooms, its motives can also be used to decorate small apartments. A reasonable share of minimalism, creating the most practical, but at the same time comfortable environment, simple and concise solutions in terms of furnishing and «green light to use a décor dear to the heart to bring comfort to a home – these are the main ideas that attract designers and their customers.
Studio apartment or combining kitchen with room
The unification of all functional segments of the home with the isolation of only the bathroom is not without reason that it has gained such high popularity all over the world. This design technique allows you to create the most comfortable and spacious room as much as possible in principle with the number of available square meters. If twenty years ago this type of dwelling was still a novelty for our compatriots, now it is practiced with great success for married couples without children or singles..
Did you get a studio apartment with a ready-made layout or did you have to demolish all non-load-bearing partitions on your own – the result is the same – you need to properly distribute the available space. The advantage of such rooms is that the entire space is evenly illuminated by the sun’s rays (there are no partitions or other obstacles) and it seems larger than its actual size due to the use of an open plan. But at the same time, it is still necessary to provide each functional segment with artificial lighting sources..
One of the advantages of using an open plan is the absence of any partitions and obstacles not only for traffic, but also for the spread of light. Functional segments are zoned with furnishings. You can also designate the conditional boundaries of each zone using carpet (in the living room and bedroom segment, for example) and a lighting system (obviously, one central chandelier will not be enough for the entire room).
In the case of an open plan, there are two options for the distribution of recreation and sleep areas, work space. In the first case, the room is made out as a living room, and a sofa bed plays the role of a sleeping place, which can be expanded only for the night. The advantage of such a layout is that it is possible to organize such an environment even on a very modest area. But there is also a significant drawback – the owners will have to constantly sleep on the sofa, and even the most comfortable models cannot be compared in terms of ergonomics with sleeping in a bed, on an orthopedic mattress.
If your living room will serve you as a bedroom at the same time, then it is best to opt for a sofa on the corner model. When assembled, during the day, such sofas can offer a sufficient number of seating places for the owners and their guests, in the evening they are laid out into a full-fledged sleeping place for two. Among other things, the corner structure is very convenient to install in the corner of the room by the window. Thus, the light from the window opening will not be blocked (which is very important for small spaces) and «dead» the room area can be used as efficiently as possible.
The second way to organize functional areas in a single room is to install a full-fledged bed in the form of a bed and upholstered furniture to decorate the living room recreation area. This option is suitable for couples without children and those who are not embarrassed by the openness of the sleeping area. Depending on the size of the room, the living area can directly adjoin the sleeping segment or be isolated with furniture..
One of the ways to zoning a bed in a common room is to build a bed on a podium. In such structures, it is very convenient to have spacious storage systems, which are always lacking in small-sized dwellings..
We isolate the sleeping area in the common room
Not all owners of one-room dwellings are suitable for an open-plan option. For many, it is important to be able to retire to a sleeping and resting area to one degree or another. For some, a matte glass interior partition is enough, while others need blackout curtains that do not allow light to pass through. Depending on the size of the room, the number of windows and the size of the bed (single or large double), which needs to be isolated, you can choose the following design options for sleeping areas:
The sleeping and resting area behind the interior partition gives the owners a feeling of some privacy, but at the same time does not completely separate the segment from the common space. At the same time, light from the windows can also penetrate into the sleeping area if there is no window opening there. It is most practical to use shelves or cabinets as an interior partition. This can be either a double-sided shelving unit with open shelves, or a storage system on one side and a surface on which you can hang shelves, a mirror, a TV or wall decor on the other..
Curtains, roller blinds, vertical blinds and other types of fabric barriers can be an option for isolating a berth for those who need to have privacy. This method does not require you to build partitions. You only need to install a guide for fastening curtains or blinds. If the guide is attached to the ceiling, then in the curtain version the sleeping area will not receive its share of natural light (provided that there is no window in the sleeping segment). If you place the curtain bar at the level of a person’s height, then the remaining space will be enough to provide a segment, albeit dim, but still lighting.
Another option for creating a fence for a berth is to decorate the area with glass (or partially such) partitions. Almost half of the sun’s rays penetrate through matte surfaces, but at the same time what happens behind the partition remains hardly distinguishable. The glass partition gives a feeling of isolation on the one hand, and leaves the thought of belonging to the common space on the other.
Experts recommend using glass baffle inserts when creating a fully insulated sleeping and resting segment. Even small transparent inserts ranging in size from ceiling to doorway will help provide the sleeping area with a small amount of natural light, which can be enough to stay in this segment during the daytime. For evening and night time, in any case, you will provide the room with lighting fixtures.
Kitchen design in a small apartment
As a rule, the kitchen space in standard (and even more so in small-sized) apartments has an area of no more than 6.5 square meters. And on this small piece of space it is necessary to arrange all the necessary household appliances, storage systems, not forgetting about the organization of the dining area. Usually, it is for this functional segment that there is not enough space, and the dining table with chairs has to be transferred to the common room, placing the dining room near the living area. But if a married couple without children lives in a one-room apartment, you can organize a small place for meals by extending the countertop of the kitchen island or by adapting an enlarged window sill for these purposes..
Experts recommend abandoning ready-made kitchen solutions in favor of custom-made headsets that will exactly match the capabilities of a modest room and use its advantages most effectively. There is never a lot of storage systems, especially in the kitchen space. Even a small niche near the gas water heater or the space under the windowsill can be a place for installing a wall cabinet or an open shelf..
In a long and narrow kitchen, it is most logical to use a parallel layout of the furniture set. With this distribution of storage systems, household appliances and work surfaces between the rows of kitchen cabinets, there is usually only room left for movement, but not in any way for installing a dining group. If the length of the kitchen space allows, then you can install a large dining table with chairs or a compact kitchen corner in one of the corners of the room in front of the entrance. Otherwise, the dining area will have to be moved to the common room..
If the kitchen is part of a common room, then a linear or angular (L-shaped) layout is most often used as the layout of the kitchen set. If there is enough space for organizing a kitchen segment, then the set can be supplemented with a kitchen island or peninsula, which most often becomes a place for meals by extending the table top. But in most cases, you have to limit yourself to the linear arrangement of the furniture ensemble with integrated household appliances. The kitchen area and the rest of the room usually have the same finish. An exception is made only for the design of the kitchen apron and sometimes the floor covering in the work area..