News Home & Design Adaptable Furniture and Mirrored Walls Enlarge This Compact Apartment This redesigned apartment can fit a variety of activities. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 15, 2021 06:19PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Mario Wibowo News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive The world has rapidly urbanized in the last several decades and the global urban population is projected to grow to an estimated 68% by 2050. Much of that growth will occur in megacities all over the world, and as one might expect, urban sprawl and affordable housing are top of the list when it comes to these out-sized metropolitan areas, like in Jakarta, Indonesia, where there are already 35 million people living already. To address these issues, building up (or even down) might be one solution, while densifying existing neighborhoods might be another. To do that, more living spaces will have to be necessarily smaller, and better designed. In a residential area north of Jakarta, K-Thengono Design Studio overhauled the layout of a tiny 452-square-foot apartment for a young married couple, who were looking to live more comfortably in a compact space that could nevertheless accommodate their hobbies, like practicing yoga, watching films, and eating home-cooked meals. Dubbed the 3-in1 Living Apartment, the original layout included two major zones: one half of the apartment was dedicated to a living room, dining area, and a small kitchen. In the other half of the apartment, behind a long wall and into a small alcove that has three doors, we find a very small bathroom and doors leading off to the master bedroom on one side, and the secondary bedroom off to the other side. This existing layout, while adequate by conventional standards, nevertheless has a lot of cluttered areas, with various pieces of static furniture taking up far too much floor space. To remedy the situation, the designers chose a minimalist palette of gray and white, to reduce visual clutter, while also utilizing the old trick of mirrored walls and doors to give the illusion of greater space. K-Thengono Design Studio The studio also says that they decided on implementing a multifunctional layout because: "The challenge was to provide all necessary amenities, with some additional effort of converting the living space to fit everyday needs. The solution was a single strategy to create a transformable built-in cabinet that can be used with great flexibility and change its appearance during the day and by the uses." K-Thengono Design Studio This built-in cabinet runs along the entire length of one side of the apartment and integrates into its width a variety of hidden pieces of retractable furniture, as well as ample storage cabinets. When nothing is in use, the wall resembles a regular wall, and the entire living room floor can be used for activities like yoga or working out. Mario Wibowo However, when it's time to eat a meal or to watch a movie, the couple can then reconfigure the wall. To eat, they fold down a table and two upholstered benches, which also reveal some shelving behind them. To watch a movie or to lounge around, they can also open up two bi-fold doors, revealing a built-in couch deep in the wall. To a finishing touch to the scheme, a long sliver of concealed LED strip lighting is added underneath to help give the impression that the whole thing is floating, which makes the whole built-in cabinet seem less bulky. Mario Wibowo The kitchen has been streamlined here too: storage space has been added overhead and below, while a long glass shelf has been added for extra functionality, without the overt fragmentation of horizontal space. Mario Wibowo Storage space has been inserted all over the place in this multifunctional wall. Mario Wibowo In the master bedroom, the architects aimed for a "simple and clean" approach, bolstered with plenty of places to store and display things. Mario Wibowo A simple but functional sliding door panel in the master bedroom wall allows the couple to either hide their wardrobe, or display things like photos, or access their drawers. A similar sliding panel performs the same task in the bathroom. In addition, one can see a pivoting translucent glass door that separates the bathroom from the bedroom, which still permits light from the bedroom to enter into the now-enlarged bathroom. Mario Wibowo Overall, the apartment's new multifunctional scheme allows the couple to adapt their space to easily accommodate whatever they may be doing at the moment, rather than the other way around. To see more, visit K-Thengono Design Studio.