Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Geoff's Southern Exposure Studio

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Living in 390 square feet will teach you how to pare down. Minimal, necessary, and comfortable are the watchwords of Geoff's Vancouver studio, and sunlight, which fills every square inch, is the only thing that feels packed into this space.

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Geoff's space may be small, but it has some incredible features. A wall of windows keeps everything bright and open, a trait that Geoff has complemented by arranging his furniture so that there's plenty of room to circulate. White walls make the space seem expansive, and the light takes center stage thanks to Geoff's pared down artwork, neutral accessories, and floor-to-ceiling white curtains. Height and light are two of the key features that really make this space work.

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The "light" theme is really enhanced by Jeff's selection of furniture. Hairpin legs on the coffee table make it visually recede, and a neutral rug, while adding texture, keeps the space feeling natural and cloud-like.

The furniture is scaled to the space, and there's not too much of it. Instead of packing the space with seating, Geoff goes with only the most essential furniture needs. By limiting the number of pieces in the room, Geoff freed himself up to pick furniture that was still substantial enough to feel comfortable. Large arms on the sofa and lots of pillows make the place look plush, while the floor space is still free for movement.

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We've talked a lot about how to create divisions in studios with bookshelves and other types of space dividers, but Geoff wasn't afraid to embrace his living room-bedroom combo. Chopping the space up is not always the best choice in a small space, particularly in one where you want the light to flow freely.

Sometimes all you need to create distinct zones is well considered furniture placement, and by angling the armchair away from the bed, Geoff creates distinct conversation zones between the living area and his sleeping quarters.

Cleverly, the nightstand/ side table serves double duty, which maximizes the utility of all the pieces of furniture and keeps the space from feeling overcrowded. In a small space, sometimes you have to be willing to let go of convention. Not every bedroom needs a nightstand (or two for that, matter, as Geoff so clearly shows). Consider how you use the space, and rely on that more than on traditional wisdom.

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This quiet, organized desk area makes the most of an awkward corner, and it can also serve double duty as a dining area. Multifunctionality is important in such tight quarters! A wall-mounted lamp frees up surface area, and again, hairpin legs and a white finish keep the look light.

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In a tiny kitchen, open storage means that Geoff's essentials are close at hand, and the cabinets feel visually lighter. Matching storage baskets and white dishes keep the open cabinets from feeling cluttered.

You can check out Geoff's original Small Cool entry here.

(Image credits: Geoff's Small Cool Entry on Apartment Therapy; Apartment Therapy)