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How to arrange furniture in a tiny one-room apartment

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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It's funny how the prospect of a new life in an empty loft or studio apartment feels sort of glamorous and exciting at first. But once you start moving in, there will be nothing glamorous about the cringe-worthy experience of having visitors coming over to check out your new pad when there's nowhere for them to sit—um, except the edge of your bed!

But here at homify, we truly believe that even the tiniest one-room apartment can be fully functional with separate zones and a decent amount of privacy. This is not about buying tricky little storage cabinets. This is about the big stuff—your furniture layout.

Now we will assume that you want to create as many separate zones as possible without feeling too closed in. As usual, we will add as many little tips and tricks to help along the way. Come explore a few beautiful little apartments to see what we mean. Enjoy!

Use the corners with a snug corner sofa or chaise

Living in a tiny one-room apartment doesn't need to mean skimping on comfort or luxury. While some people go so far as to ditch a sofa and buy a great single sofa chair, we're in favour of avoiding such drastic measures. As an alternative, why not consider a corner sofa. The humble apartment corner is often the most underutilised space in our home. The very shape instantly creates a little cocoon of comfort once you add a tiny sofa. If the expense is problem, a small chaise lounge or one without sides could easily be pushed up against the wall to create a similar effect.

Make cabinets or bookshelves earn their floor space

 Dining room by 제이앤예림design

A great one-room studio apartment will rely heavily on some nifty storage cabinets or bookshelves. But these useful pieces of furniture tend to end up pushed against a wall. As seen here, a bookshelves or cabinets can be used to earn their floor space by separating the different zones in the room. If they have no functional reason for being on the ground, mount them on the wall. It's best to mount them as high as possible on the wall to maintain a sense of openness in the room. If the shelves start to look cluttered, think about adding opaque covers, storage baskets or even a simple curtain.

Create custom furniture

Not many of us will have small furniture that will both fit into a one-room apartment and make the most of the layout. So why not consider some custom-fit furniture. This option is not as cost-prohibitive as it may seem. In this kitchen, a simple plywood bench could be cut to fit into the existing alcove on the left. A simple, firm mattress with a durable cover and lots of big comfy cushions could be added to great effect. If this sounds like a little too much DIY work, look at some simple, modular furniture like a low storage cabinet and adapt it to suit your purposes.

Keep it simple with easy traffic zones

A small apartment will have an easy, spacious feel, and contain nothing to hinder your movement as you switch tasks. Avoid placing anything in a major traffic zone that you will need to walk around because it will get annoying and the apartment will quickly feel cluttered. This one, central traffic zone works as the entrance hallway, main passageway to the dining area and adds space between the sofa and television. 

In a really tiny apartment like this, it's often good to butt furniture up against the wall to keep the traffic zones clear. But as we'll see next, this doesn't mean that your apartment needs to feel boxy.

Add some curves to create space

Many small apartments are a little boxy, but it's easy to counter this with a clever furniture layout. For our purposes, this living room is the perfect example. It is composed of a lovely, tiny corner sofa and a separate dining area. We believe that the kitchen is situated just outside the frame to the left. Although the chairs are right on the edge of the traffic zones, they face inwards and serve to form boundaries for each separate living area. But what we love most about this layout are the curves. Not only are the tables curved, so are the chairs. These edges not only shave precious centimetres off the precious walkways, they also create that seamless, visual flow that will help create a sense of easy movement in the home.

Make your dining table multifunctional

A small apartment is usually lacking in adequate kitchen worktop space. But this can be easily resolved with an all-in-one table like this. A simple table can easily do triple duty as a desk, kitchen workbench and dining table at different times of day. It could even serve as a quasi-room divider as well.

For those who don't have space for a table, a small worktop on wheels could be stored away in a neglected corner and pulled out when needed. If you can make permanent changes to the room, a fold-out bench on simple hinges could serve the same purpose.

The perfect example

For our final tip, we thought the perfect example was in order. This tiny one-room apartment has a fairly simple layout. But it's a great example of how lighting can be used to separate the different living zones in a small home. 

If you are interested in small apartment living, you'll love: How to create a study area in a small home.

What do you think of these small apartment layouts? Have you tried any of them? 
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

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