Estúdio BRA, the designers of this apartment in Sao Paolo, were faced with a classic small-space dilemma: how to create privacy for more intimate spaces, like the bedroom, without breaking up a small footprint. Within this apartment's 409 square feet (32 square meters), they were tasked with creating a floor plan that would include separate living and dining spaces, as well as a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. The solution they came up with is pretty genius: they used sliding partitions to create walls that can also be not walls at all.
If you examine the floor plan, the apartment appears to be split into four (or even five) distinct spaces: the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, and the bedroom/bathroom. A low wall separates the living room and kitchen but doesn't interrupt the space. The wall that separates the living room from the dining is punctured by a huge opening that makes it almost disappear. (The dining room, if you look closely, has folding glass panels that open to make it into an outdoor space.)
Most interesting is the wall between the bedroom and the rest of the apartment, which can separate the bedroom and bathroom from the rest of the space, or slide open and completely disappear, uniting the apartment into a single space. With this one deft touch, the apartment has the see-it-all expansiveness of a studio apartment, with the convenience and privacy of a one-bedroom.
Another clever solution this apartment employs is the use of mirrors. The back wall of the living room is mirrored, as is a tiny sliver of space above the kitchen cabinets. This helps to reflect light and create the illusion of more space.
The sliding partition wall isn't a solution that's quite so easy to employ in a studio — but you could do something similar with a curtain hanging from a track mounted to the ceiling like in the above space from Domino. It might not shut out noise as well, but it still turns your bedroom into a separate space, handy for hosting overnight guests, or just any time you want to feel particularly cozy.
To see more of this space, check out the full tour at Contemporist.