For the first time last week, our pint-sized one bedroom apartment debuted in YHL. The response was overwhelmingly positive with lots and lots of compliments. People were amazed how we managed to stretch the 500 square-feet we live in, and make the most out every single inch. The questions were many, but what most people asked about was the floor plan to help them visualize the layout. That's when I came up with the idea of this series through which I'll be sharing with you juicy details about how we maximized the space we have — and to prove the point that small living can be beautiful.
So here it is! This is how our 500 square-feet are now laid out. When we saw the apartment for the first time, it was love at first sight, especially with its 11’ ceilings. The kitchen, not so much, as it was tiny and enclosed in this cocoon-like dark cave where we could barely move around. So the first step: demolish and open up that kitchen to incorporate it into the rest of the living space — since our goal was to have a loft-like place. Unfortunately, the whole renovation was done in such a rush (3 months), that we didn't think about documenting the whole process. But here are a couple of the few pictures we have of the before and during the sweat-breaking demolition.
Although we wanted the kitchen to be open to the living space, we needed some sort of division between them. So we came to the conclusion that elevating the whole kitchen on a 7” platform would do the trick — and look the best. Another challenge we had was finding a slim enough fridge to fit in our small kitchen. So we were lucky to find this 24” beauty (details below). We loved it so much we made it the protagonist in the space by framing it with a column-like structure that also gave us much needed extra storage space above. And of course, this bright citron color was our best friend to really make it pop.
Since storage was key, we wanted to include as many cabinets as possible without sacrificing style. So why not utilize the height we gained by raising the ceiling and take the cabinets all the way up. In order to make the kitchen look bigger and brighter, we went for white high-gloss cabinet doors with accents of milky-white glass doors to add some character, both from IKEA. A great trick for small kitchens is to use cooktops rather than big stoves as they streamline the look and also help you gain a little more storage. But you don't have to give up the oven, just get a convection/microwave oven and get the best of both worlds in one appliance. After going through this experience, we realized that the lack of space makes us more creative in finding smart and unique solutions that best work for us. It even makes us revaluate what we really need. I hope this glimpse into our renovation process, will help others limited-space dwellers realize that no space is too small for style.
( 1 ) Fagor 24” Stainless Steel Refrigirator ( 2 ) Nelson Wall Clock Multi Colored
( 3 ) Chilewich Basketweave Runner ( 4 ) Tolomeo Wall Lamp
( 5 ) Benjaming Moore Paint Citron #2024-30 ( 6 ) Avec & Lili Vase
( 7 ) West Elm Bead Vase ( 8 ) Jasper Morrison Coffee Maker