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