Home Tree Atlas

Tag Archives | Small Spaces

The Yellow 45 sqm Apartment

The Small Yellow Apartment

Even through it uses a lot of black in the color scheme, this compact 45 sqm apartment still feels bright and spacious. Check out the pops of yellow everywhere. From the entryway to the living room, then on to the kitchen, this one color connects the individual spaces, and creates a flow.

This apartment, as any small apartment or small home should, makes heavy use of the walls to save on floor space. Check out the floor to ceiling built in cabinets in the living room and kitchen, the living room wall lamp, the floating wine bar, and the kitchen knife rack. Designed by INT2 Architecture.

Small Yellow Apartment

Small Living Room

Small Apartment Living Room

Yellow Apartment

Small Apartment Kitchen

Small Apartment Kitchen

Small Apartment Bedroom

Small Apartment Bathroom

Small Apartment Bathroom

Small Apartment Blueprint

More apartment tours:

June 4, 2014 in Home Tours

Design Tips: Small Dining Room Ideas

Small Dining Room Ideas

Here are small dining room ideas that will help you make the most of your limited space. From using round tables and floating shelves, to hanging up mirrors and using light colored paint on the walls – there is a lot you can do to make a small dining room feel like a large and comfortable space.

The Biggest Piece in a Dining Room: The Table

The table needs to be the main focus when arranging and designing a small dining room, as it takes up the most space.

Circles Save Space

The best option is to use a round table. It makes the most of the floor space as you don’t waste space with the corners of a table. Most of the small dining rooms in the mood board above use round tables.

Using the Walls

If you are really tight for space, then a rectangle table pushed up against a wall will work just like in picture (1). Another idea for those with really limited space is to use a folding table that is attached to the wall – which you can see in pictures (2) (3). This means you can fold the table away and use the space for something else when it is not in use. The same can be done with the chairs: use stackable ones, or foldable chairs which you can also hang up on the wall.

A Cozy Nook

Building a nook is another way to add seating and a table in a tight space. With a nook you can make use of the corners in the dining room – check out the nook in picture (4).

The Illusion of a Larger Space

See if you can go with a transparent table. Like a glass top, seen in picture (5). Because you can see through the table, it creates the illusion that it is not a solid piece, making the dining room feel more spacious. Versus having a solid table top.

Light Colored Pieces

Light colored furniture pieces work best as they make the space feel bright. If you do go with a dark colored table, try and use white or light colored seats. All the dining room spaces in the mood board at least used light colored chairs, even if the table is dark.

Space Saving Storage Solutions

The best way to add storage to a small dining room is through floating wall shelves – just like in picture (6). These floating shelves don’t take up any valuable floor space – and you are making use of the height in the room.

Built in cabinets work well for small spaces. This is because they will be built with your specific layout in mind, and blended in with the design of the room. You can build up to the ceiling, build into the corners, or even build over door ways – making the most of the space you do have.

If you do go with cabinets, built in or not, use glass doors. Just like using a transparent table, having glass doors adds more visual depth to the room. If you use solid doors, you’re closing in the space in the room.

Other smart storage ideas for a dining room with limited space include:

  • Using a rolling cart. This can be used as a bar cart, to serve food, or as extra table space. But it can be rolled and stored away (maybe under the table or in the kitchen) when it is not in use.
  • Corner shelves
  • There are dining room benches that open up to storage space underneath

Decor Tips and Ideas for a Small Dining Room Design

The Color Scheme

Above I talked about using light colored furniture pieces. You really do want to create a light color scheme in a dining room with limited space. It will make the space feel bright and spacious. This means going with light colored furniture sets, curtains, flooring, decor pieces, and using a light color on the walls. Some good wall paint options include: white, off white, cream, or light grey. For dining color scheme ideas have a look at my post here: Dining Room Colors and Paint Scheme Ideas.

When it comes to the colors in a small dining room, the more you can blend the whole room together the more uniformed it will look. This will help in making a small space feel larger. Say you have white walls, then go with white curtains or a cream color. You don’t want to have a sharp contrast such as white walls with dark blue curtains – you want the room to blend. The dining room in picture (7) uses a uniformed color scheme of different shades grey.

Adding Depth

When decorating the space, see if you can hang up a mirror or a group of small mirrors. The mirror will help bounce light around and adds depth the dining room – making it feel larger.

Lighting Ideas

You will want to light the dining room as much as possible. A cozy space avoids using the ceiling lights and goes with floor or table lamps. To do the opposite, as in create a bright and spacious space, you want to use the ceiling lights as much as possible. There should be enough ceiling lighting to fill up the entire dining room, all corners, with light. If you want to mix it up, as in be able to make the space feel bright but then change it to a cozy dining space, then hook up your ceiling lights to a dimmer.

During the day, filling up the dining room with natural day light is the best way to go if it is possible. This means having large windows. Or hanging your curtains wide enough so they don’t cover the sides of the window, which would block out some light. 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

For other dining room ideas and mood boards have a look at my posts here:

And here are more mood boards for rooms with limited space:

April 4, 2014 in Dining Room, Small

Design Advice: Small Kitchen Ideas

Small Kitchen Ideas

There is one benefit to having a small kitchen, everything is close by when you need it. Most of the ideas below will go over storage solutions. That is one of the most pressing issues in a kitchen, you have so much you need to store. But I’ll also go through some overall design tips and small kitchen ideas such as color choice, the need to blend everything for a uniformed look, and using reflective materials.

Overall Design Tips

Color Schemes

To make your kitchen feel larger and more spacious, you want to go with light colors. For your wall paint color, for the cabinet colors, and even for your furniture pieces. Go with white just like in picture (1), off white, or light grey. Or you could go the other way, and embrace the coziness of a small kitchen by using darker colors. For ideas on kitchen color schemes have a look at my post here: A Palette Guide for Kitchen Color Schemes: Decor and Paint Ideas.


See if you can find a way to add a mirror to your kitchen. It can be one large one or a group of small ones hanging up on the wall. What this does is reflect light around the space and adds depth – creating a larger feeling space. This design tip can also apply to your cabinets and countertops. Go with a glossy and reflective finish, as it will help bounce light around.


Try and blend your kitchen together as much as possible. What I mean by this, is that you don’t want anything to stand out. Try and keep to a simple color scheme, with maybe no more than 2 colors. Avoid using patterns.  You want everything from your kitchen table and decor, to your cabinets and countertops to be unified in color and design. When you have a more uniform design, the eye doesn’t fixate on one area. You don’t want to have focal points. By keeping things blended together, you create a larger free flowing space.


One way to blend the design of your kitchen is to use curtains that are a similar color to your wall color. If you have white walls then use white curtains or off white. This helps create a uniformed design in the kitchen, making it feel larger.

Also how you hang your curtains can play a role in how spacious the kitchen feels. The longer your curtains are and the higher up you hang them, the taller your space feels. This might be harder to do in the kitchen, than say in the bedroom or living room. One thing you want to make sure when hanging your curtains, is that you don’t block out any light. You want to bring in as much daylight as possible. So use a long curtain rod, this way you can fully open up your curtains without blocking any of the sides.

Bringing in as much natural lighting as possible, during the day, is one of the best ways of making the kitchen feel bright and spacious. For some people and for some homes, privacy is needed and so opening up the windows isn’t such a great idea. To get around this you can either:

  • Hang a curtain rod half way down the window. Closing off the curtain adds privacy, while light can still shine through the top
  • Use frosted glass window panes, or stick frosted film over your current windows
  • Use shutters

For more kitchen window treatment and curtain ideas, have a look at my mood board here: Decorating The Windows With These Kitchen Curtain Ideas.

Stress Free Living

You can reduce stress in the kitchen by keeping it clutter free. Do this by keeping the countertops clear of items, or group small items together in bowls and trays. Below I go over smart and creative storage and organization ideas to help you make the most of your limited space.

Lighting To Create Space

In the day, you want to use as much natural lighting as possible. Here are some ways lighting can help out in a small kitchen when it gets dark:

  • If you eat and dine in your kitchen, why not put your ceiling lights on a dimmer. This way you can have a bright space when you are preparing food, and create a more relaxing mood by turning down the lights down when you are eating.
  • If you plan on doing any remodeling, see where you can add lights in your kitchen to make things more convenient. Under cabinet lighting helps light up the countertops – for when you are preparing food. Inside cabinet lighting helps in making finding things easier.

For more kitchen lighting ideas have a look at my mood board here: Kitchen Lighting Ideas Mood Board and Inspiration.

The Eating Area

If you have a kitchen table where you eat, this can take up a lot of space. Some ideas on making the most of your space include:

  • Using round kitchen tables vs a square/rectangle one as it makes better use of floor space – check out the kitchen in picture (2) for an example.
  • An extendable table is great for adding space while dining, and can be shrunk down when it is not in use.
  • A transparent kitchen table will help make the room feel spacious. Even though it takes up the same amount of physical space than a normal, say wooden, table, it takes up less visual space – because you can see through it.
  • One way to save space with the seats is to use a bench. This bench can have a flip top so you can store items underneath.
  • A built in nook is a way to take advantage of the corner space in a kitchen.

Creative Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

Modifying Cabinets and Draws

A lot of kitchens don’t make the most of their closet or draw space. Everyone is different, and has different storage needs. So to make the most your your cabinets and draws you are going to want to modify them to your own needs.

Inside cabinets you can add shelving, railings to hang things up, or tension rods to store things sideways. You can even add utensil containers, food baskets, spice racks, and sealed containers into draws. This also helps keeps items off of the countertops.

The bottom of your cabinets has potential for storage. Here you can add toe kick draws. Ideal for non essential kitchen items or for a pet feeding station.

Behind The Doors

The inside of cabinet doors can also be modified to add storage – just like in picture (3). Hooks and railings can be used to hang things up. A bracket can be fitted to hold up chopping boards or kitchen rolls (trash bags, cling film, aluminium foil). You can also find over the door brackets so you can hang towels or kitchen rolls on the outside of the cabinets

Your kitchen door can also be used to add storage. Once again hooks, railings, brackets and shelves can be fitted – all depending on what you need storing. You can also get over the door organization hangers.

On the Walls and Up High

In a small kitchen design, make the most of the height space you have. Hang up as many floating shelves or wall railings as possible. Built in cabinets are great for making the most of a kitchen layout, plus they are designed to blend in with the design of the kitchen.

You’ve got space above the kitchen cabinets that can also be used. Or how about hanging up a beam overhead that you can hang items from. You can hang things by using a pole and hook, or by putting the beam on a pulley system that you can lower.

A Flexible Layout

A handy item to have would be a little cart on wheels (4). This can be wheeled over to where you need to cook with all the general items you use daily. Then when it is not in use it can be stored away – maybe under the kitchen table.

For pictures of the clever and creative storage ideas mentioned above, have a look at my mood board here: Kitchen Storage Ideas and Organization Tips. For ideas on how to easily store your pots, pans and lids, have a look at this mood board post: Kitchen Storage and Organization | Part 2 Pot and Pot Lid Storage Ideas1/2/3/4

More kitchen design mood boards:

March 28, 2014 in Kitchen, Small

Design Tips: Small Bedroom Ideas

Small Bedroom Ideas

There is a lot that be done to make a small space feel larger, brighter, and cozy. Everything from the walls to the lighting and storage solutions play a role. Here are small bedroom ideas that will make the most of your space.

The Important Areas

The color of your walls will play a big role in how spacious your bedroom feels. For a small bedroom, go with light paint ideas like white seen in picture (1), cream, or pastels. This will make the bedroom feel bright and spacious. While darker colors will make the room feel cozy and smaller which also works if you want that (Bedroom Color Ideas: Paint Schemes and Palette Mood Board).

Try and keep bold colors out of the bedroom – like bold colored pillows. Bold colors will dominate the look of the space, and attract the eye. You want everything to blend in as much as possible – this way the eye keeps moving around the space just like the bedroom in picture (2).

Making Smart Use of Lighting

To make a space room more spacious with lighting, you want to use as much ceiling lights as possible (recessed lights are best). The opposite is true when you want to create a cozy and romantic space – use lights such as table and floor lamps that are closer to the ground.

A lot of people like having a bedside lamp. One way to free up table space is to have a bedside lamp fitted to the wall by the bed, just how they do in hotels.

Decorating and Hacking a Small Bedroom Space

Here are some basic ideas on how to decorate a small bedroom:


The way you hang your curtains can impact how the bedroom feels. By mounting the curtains high up, say near the ceiling, you’ll make the space feel taller. Try and use a long curtain rod. This way you can fully open up the curtains letting in as much natural light as possible.

When it comes to the curtains, avoid contrasting them with the color of the walls. If you have white walls, try and get off white, cream, light tan curtains – a color that blends well with the wall just like the curtains in the bedroom in picture (3). Also avoid using heavy patterns on the curtains as this will dominate the look of the room. In a small space you want pieces to blend together.


See if you can get a mirror or a group of small mirrors up on the wall. A mirror is always a good way of making a room feel larger than it is – as they add depth and reflect light (4).


A lot of beds take up extra floor space than they really need – with their headboards and footboards sticking out. Look for designs that are really compact. One good idea would be a platform bed. The good thing about platform beds is that they don’t need to have a box spring, which allows for storage under the bed. And because platform beds are low down, this makes the bedroom feel larger.

Organization and Small Bedroom Storage Ideas

For a small bedroom, you’re going to need to be creative and resourceful when it comes to storage space:

  • Under the bed is one area that can be used for storage (5). IKEA has storage boxes that have wheels which can be rolled under the bed. To do this means having a bed that doesn’t need a box spring.
  • Hooks can be fitted to the back of the bedroom door – to hang up clothes and other items (6).
  • The inside of the closet door is another place that can have hooks fitted to hang up things like belts, ties, etc. (Smart Small Closet Ideas and Storage Organization Tricks)
  • Built in closets are ideal. They make the most of the space available. And because they are built into the space, they blend in with the look of the room – take a look at the cabinets above the bed in picture (7).
  • Floating wall shelves and wall cabinets free up valuable floor space just like the shelves in the bedrooms of pictures (8) and (9).
  • Fitting lights inside of your closets will help make each shelf more usable and convenient when looking for items. It can be as simple as using a battery powered and motion censored puck lights. Have a look at my post here for ideas: Closet Lighting Ideas: From Wireless to Walk In.
  • For any furniture pieces you use in a small bedroom, try and go for transparency. Take a side table for example. One with a glass tabletop works best as it takes up less ‘visual space’.
  • For furniture pieces that you can’t get transparent, an alternative would be to find pieces with raised legs. This makes the furniture pieces float, allowing you to see below, which helps in making a room feel larger.

For a step by step plan on how to declutter your bedroom, have a look at my post here: Stress Free Living: How To Declutter Your Bedroom


Related Posts:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
February 4, 2014 in Bedroom, Small