How To Live Well in Just One Room

How To Live Well in Just One Room

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Nancy Mitchell
Oct 1, 2015
(Image credit: IKEA)

Living in one room can have its challenges — especially when you're not much of a minimalist. When Nor Toma moved into this Stockholm apartment, which measures less than 25 square meters (269 square feet), she had lofty visions of an all-white, uber-minimal space. But then things turned out a little differently.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Nor's last apartment, in Gothenburg, was five times this size, but she was eager to experiment with living small. "When I moved here there was nothing and I thought maybe I’ll keep it that way: minimal, white and a nice wooden floor," she says. "But then it started to grow as I thought about things I had boxed up back in Gothenburg." So she gradually began to fill the apartment with old treasures, and new ones, giving her little space a vibrant, layered look. "I like things that have a story behind them," she says. "They give this space an extra layer of warmth you can’t always explain, but you can feel."

(Image credit: IKEA)

But all these treasures don't make the apartment feel crowded, thanks to some smart furniture choices and storage solutions. There are only a few big pieces in the apartment: the bed, the sofa, and the drop-leaf kitchen counter that can also serve as a dining table. To the left of the bed, a curtain conceals storage for clothes. A double row of cabinets in the kitchen and high shelves above the sofa and in the entryway provide additional spots to stash things.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Even within this small space Nor has created little zones for different uses. The dropleaf counter helps to define the kitchen, and keeping decorations to a minimum around the bed sets that space apart a little from the rest of the apartment, a restful, relaxing room within a room. Not having a coffee table means that the floor of the living room is free for painting, or for lounging around: Nor keeps a stack of cushions under a table and pulls them out when friends come over.

(Image credit: IKEA)

You can see more photos and read more about Nor's home at IKEA Malaysia.

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