Any way you slice it, 269 square feet is just not a lot of space. But thanks to a clever design, and lots of smart storage solutions, this small Japanese apartment manages to fit in everything that's needed for living comfortably—and look good doing it. Here's how.
Open shelving can be a nice way to display your stuff, or keep things you need within easy reach, but it's not always the best choice for small spaces. A bunch of disparate items displayed on shelves can quickly start to feel chaotic. In this little apartment, a credenza with doors and a mirrored wardrobe, provide plenty of space for storing everything the inhabitant needs in a streamlined, elegant way. There's additional hidden storage under the bathroom, which is up a short flight of steps.
Not every little apartment can have 11.5 foot ceilings, but this one does, and it takes full advantage of them. The unit's small bedroom perches above the kitchen, and the bathroom is slightly elevated to allow for storage underneath. There's a step up to the outdoor space, and underneath are cubbies filled with books and magazines (and black storage boxes, to keep things neat).
A Consistent Color Palette
Everything in the apartment hews to a fairly narrow color palette of neutrals and navy blue. This isn't to say that you can't use color in a small space, just that when you can see everything you own from pretty much any spot in the apartment, it's important to choose one color palette and stick with it. This will give your space a calmer, more cohesive look—even when you have a lot of stuff.
Finding a place to fit a dining table in a space this small can be a real challenge, but it is a must if you like to entertain. Aiko, who calls this little space home, found a clever solution: a coffee table that expands and raises to dining table height, so she can host as many as six people in perfect comfort.
To see more of this little apartment, and more tips for living small, check out the full tour at IKEA.