A Lot of Living in a Little Space: How We Make It Work

A Lot of Living in a Little Space: How We Make It Work

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Nancy Mitchell
Oct 29, 2014
(Image credit: IKEA Family Live)

This Brooklyn apartment is only 645 square feet (60 square meters), but somehow its inhabitants manage to squeeze in everything you would expect from a much larger home: a kitchen, a dining area for friends and family, a separate 'bedroom', workspaces for two, and a spacious living room. Here's how they make it work.

1. Leave a little wiggle room.
Laurie and Garette, who have called this one bedroom garden apartment home for six years, have made sure to leave enough space to move things around. This means that a single piece of furniture (like the chair in the living room above) can serve multiple purposes in different spots — and the extra space makes the apartment feel much roomier.

2. Don't be afraid of big pieces.
It may seem counterintuitive, but larger pieces, like the oversized painting hanging over the sofa, can help a small space feel bigger by unifying and visually enlarging the space.

(Image credit: IKEA Family Live)

3. Use furniture to open up your kitchen.
Laurie and Garette's kitchen isn't very big, but they've stretched the space across the width of the apartment by adding storage on the opposite wall, and a table (which doubles as a workspace and a place for friends and family to gather) in the middle. The lawyer's bookcase as kitchen storage is just brilliant.

(Image credit: IKEA Family Live)

4. Embrace transparency.
One thing that keeps this apartment from feeling cramped: it doesn't really have any interior walls. A room divider (made of IKEA Expedits) creates a little privacy in the bedroom without interrupting the flow of the space.

5. Designate a place for work so it doesn't take over your life.
Laurie and Garette, who both work from home occasionally, have each carved out designated spaces in the apartment for their work. Garette's is the little nook next to the bathroom, and Laurie's is the vintage rolltop desk in the living room. (You can see more of their workspaces here.) Having separate spaces for work means that when they're not working, reminders of said work can be tucked away, so the rest of the apartment is free for relaxing and just plain old living.

(Image credit: IKEA Family Live)

You can see many more photos of Laurie and Garette's apartment (including the garden!) and find lots more tips for small-space living at IKEA Family Live.

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