Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions From Tamar's Sunny Studio

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I am so impressed by this 270-square-foot apartment from 2011's Small Cool Contest. I've lived in apartments that size and they did not look anything like this! Let's explore how Tamar made it work so incredibly well.

The rugs are crucial, anchoring each "room" while providing coziness. The bed floats on a fluffy white rug which makes the sleeping space all the more inviting, while the living room essentials — couch and coffee tables — are firmly planted on another rug. The pale rectangular rug provides a link to the white console that holds the television and lies directly opposite, rounding out the feeling of a complete room.

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The office, rather than being set aside by a rug, exists as an independent room because of the user's view. Once you're seated at the desk, the rest of the apartment disappears save the view of the poster and delicate lamp (which happens to be the perfect match for the steel-and-glass side table).

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Part of what works so well in this apartment is the incredible feeling of openness, despite the petite dimensions. Tamar was wise to choose three clear pieces of furniture — the two tables above and the chair shown in image #3) — which seem to occupy zero space. She also balanced the lovely art-filled wall above with the blank wall opposite, further increasing the open feeling.

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Let's switch to an aerial view so we can fully appreciate how well it all fits together. The apartment is just a standard rectangle the size of many homes' living rooms, but it's been elegantly divided into living room, bedroom, office, and kitchen. The rooms are obviously connected, but they each exist in their own spheres. As Tamar makes clear, this is no accident:

I debated getting a partition or screen between my bed and the couch to break off the space and make the bedroom area more private, but in the end i chose not to have anything extra that would add weight or take natural light away from the main room. Instead I worked with my rug, artwork and couch to make a distinction between the rooms.

Finally, treat yourself to a look at Tamar's incredibly lucky little kitchen (image #5). It is the perfect little set-aside kitchen, neither dark and closed off from the rest of the space nor awkwardly plonked into it. It's the perfect nook that just holds the holy trinity of fridge-stove-sink, with ample cabinet space above — an emerald green jewel box!

(Image credits: Apartment Therapy; Apartment Therapy)