Taipei is a city of trendy neighborhoods, delicious street food and more scooters on the roads than you could imagine! But did you know that it is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world?
Taipei City is the most expensive part of the country, and with so many people jostling for space the younger generation are settling for smaller and smaller homes. This might sound like a grim situation, but wait until you take a tour of this tiny apartment, and you might just want a tiny home for yourself.
This 22-square-meter apartment is owned by a young woman who travels a lot for work. Since she barely spends enough time at home, her requirements were pretty basic; but it did require a lot of creative thinking.
The designer Szu-Min Wang of A Little Design wanted to make sure that despite the small size, the apartment was equipped with everything that the owner desired. There was also a mutual agreement to create a balance between free space in the apartment and the required functionalities. There are a plethora of custom-made solutions and out-of-the-box designs as a result.
The apartment has been arranged flawlessly to utilize all the available space. The area near the window, which is now fitted with a tatami sitting area, originally had a work desk. Having such a large work desk made the apartment look cramped and wasted a valuable space. Now, the seating by the window enables you to soak in some sun and enjoy the views.
The alcove area on either side of the window seat has also been used to create optimal storage space. I really like the brick wall finish with white paint; it adds a nice texture to the minimal setting.
Due to small apartment sizes, most people in Taipei City do not have the luxury of eating at the dining table, and often settle with eating at the couch. But this was a big no-no for the owner, and a chance for the designers to problem solve.
Two long sleek tables were made that can fit perfectly against the wall like a bar area. At dinnertime they can be pulled out and pushed together to form a perfectly sized dining table!
I love how the table fits perfectly along the wall and has enough light coming in from the window. You could easily work or read here. By not having a large dining table, you’re also freeing up a good amount of space in the living area for your early morning exercises.
The industrial style overhead lamp is cute, and its angle can be changed to have more light where required.
The cupboards on the right function as a large wardrobe, with extra storage space on top for books and other items. For easy accessibility a sliding ladder has been installed, so every bit of the room can be reached.
The area under the stairs has also been designed for maximum storage. It holds a shoe closet and a television.
The white and oak furnishing adds a zen style to the apartment. The minimal aesthetics help keep it clutter free.
Stairs lead to the bedroom on the upper level. Since the total height of the apartment is just 3.3 meters, the bedroom area doesn’t have enough space to stand. What it does have is a cozy nook that makes it an excellent place to rest, with no distractions. This was actually one of the owner’s requirements; having a calm space to get a good rest after all her tiring travels.
A small desk in the corner with chalkboard paint wall is a cute work area. Originally, this space had a tiny closet, which was the only storage option in the entire apartment. It is amazing to see how every important utility has now been crafted into this tiny home. The fixtures have been added thoughtfully, while making sure the sizes are proportional and nothing overpowers the serenity of the space.
The entrance of the apartment has a kitchen on the left and bathroom on the right side. The backsplash tiles match the white brick wall in the living area, creating a continuity in the look and feel of the entire home.
Having a fully functional kitchen and bath space was also important when coming up with design ideas for the renovation. Even though the total floor area is small, it’s an efficient space for cooking. The kitchen has all the important appliances and even enough room for a washing machine.
The goal in the bathroom was to make sure there was a nice place for a hot bath after a long day. Originally the bathroom only had shower, but it’s now been replaced with a bathtub.
One major hurdle that the designers had to face while making this a reality was that there was not enough space to install a decent water heater. By moving out the washing machine, and swapping that area with a basin, a small space was carved out under the stairs to install the water heater.
The existing bathroom door was replaced with a sliding one with a full size mirror. It serves so many purposes. The mirror makes that narrow corridor between the kitchen and bathroom look bigger and brighter, and also works as a nice area to get ready before leaving for work.
Isn’t it amazing how this tiny little home has every important feature for a quality lifestyle! While this is an example of a transformation of a space in Taipei, just think how many other major cities have small apartments. Having a tiny space does require a certain level of adjustment, but it definitely does not mean that you need to compromise on comfort and style. All you need is a bit of creative design thinking!
Are you a city dweller living in a small apartment? What are your suggestions for maximizing small spaces?