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6 great small home ideas from one apartment

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Modern style bedroom by ACABADOMATE Modern
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The Spanish home we will explore today is sure to inspire those interested in smart solutions for small homes. The property occupies the top floor of an apartment block in an upmarket barrio of Barcelona. Although the home has a generous floor area of 90m2, it also has a rather unusual layout that presents many issues common to the small home owner. In a previous incarnation, the home was subdivided into two separate residences. This left the home with some awkward spaces, inadequate privacy and a long and problematic narrow corridor. Architects Acabomate transformed the layout and utilised an array of clever tools to really open up the space. Many of these solutions would work equally well in many small homes. So come with us on a photo tour to see how it all works…

1. Inset wall shelves

The home was composed of several small rooms with many that run along a single line. This meant that the living room functioned as a passageway and was subject to heavy foot traffic. In response, the architects sought ways to create simple, striking built-in furniture features. This eliminated the need for excess furniture and allowed the occupants to move through the home without feeling moving around objects. In the living room here, we have a beautiful feature wall with inset wall shelves and a built-in desk. The inset shelves are presented as a collection of geometric shapes in varying forms. They aren't just functional they also add a modern, minimalist flair to the room. This obviates the need for wall decorations.

2. Internal glass walls

The long and narrow home enjoys natural light from windows on two sides of the building. But with a standard internal wall, the home could have easily felt cramped. Here in the hallway that would have been most apparent, so the architects designed the guest bedroom on the left with a glass wall. It also has a large and thick curtain that can be accessed inside to provide privacy. When these curtains are pushed back, the light from the bedroom windows provides the brilliant illumination and sense of spaciousness we see here.

3. Simple furnishings

The home has been extremely simply furnished. It has also been decorated with a pale and neutral colour scheme. This allows the simple beauty of the space to remain the focus. The architects were inspired by the quiet stillness of Japanese design and here we can really see evidence of this simple aesthetic. Note the soft grey sofa, retro chair and wooden features. These are all common elements in Japanese design.

4. High-set windows and wall-hugging bench

The apartment was rearranged to create another bathroom. This pushed the kitchen into the centre of the apartment and meant that the kitchen lost natural light. As an alternative, the architects designed a high-set window on the common wall between the kitchen and guest bedroom. It invites a whole lot of light into the kitchen without sacrificing any of the guests' privacy.

In this kitchen, we also have a lovely bench that really hugs the wall. This is a very functional way of making a casual dining area in a small kitchen space.

5. Furniture of the right proportions

The dining room is one of the few rooms to have free-standing furniture. This little room has been very smartly furnished with a narrow dining table. Although there isn't any room for serving dishes, it's still a good use of this small space. Also, note the tall floor lamp. It uses up vertical rather than horizontal space.

6. Built-in units that run to the ceiling

The bedroom has built-in bedroom storage units that run right up to meet the ceiling. They also make the most of the space above the doorway. These eliminate the need for free-standing furniture and really make the most of every inch of space. Finally, notice the bathroom. It may be narrow, but with a wall mounted sink and shower room, this bathroom feels positively luxurious!

If this clever home design has you pining after some simplicity, check out: The simple home with a playful side.

What do you think of the glass wall in this home?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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