How to make a small space feel bigger? There's a diverse repertoire of solutions from using transformer furniture to hiding storage in underused spaces like the stairs. In this remodel of a couple's 409-square-foot apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, design firm Estúdio BRA took the approach of "densifying" and lowering all elements that might have been visual barriers, in addition to hiding part of the apartment behind a set of accordion walls -- now you see it, now you don't.
Upon entering, there's a mirrored wall to one side. It's a classic trick that gives the illusion of a much larger space, and aids in reflecting natural light all over the home. Because this reflected space feels bigger than it is, a "mini-office" consisting of a desk and upholstered sitting bench has been placed along this mirrored wall, without creating a sense of constraint.
The main living area is subtly divided by a half-sized knee wall, separating the kitchen from the living room, but also providing a bit of a back wall for the couch to sit against, and for outlets to be placed.
That sense of openness is carried out to the well-lit dining room, which offers views to the rest of the city from this seventeenth floor. This is also where the laundry area has been discreetly placed, along the same wall as the kitchen. The low-lying, half-height television cabinet also serves as a bit of a room divider here, but when extended beyond, it becomes the seating and storage bench for the dining area.
Behind the television cabinet is a gray wall that can be pushed aside to reveal the rest of the apartment -- bedroom; and bathroom and closet "densified" into a green-coloured volume. The sink is placed outside of the bathroom, to maximize its use.
Small living spaces might seem like a constraint, but as we've seen over and over again, they can be made to feel larger and function better with a few smart ideas. In this case, functions are packed into denser elements that free up more space, in addition to elements that extend to connect and unify spaces, giving a more expansive feeling. For more, visit Estúdio BRA.