Smart Micro-Apartment Revamped as Multifunctional 'Mini-Gallery'

This tiny 290-square-foot apartment has been renovated to feature an open plan, and some clever multipurpose furniture to help save space.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab interior

Co+in Collaborative Lab

Mega-cities around the world are getting even bigger, as a growing influx of people move into these urban economic engines, drawn in by better opportunities for employment and education. The flip side, however, is that such rapid growth – which sometimes occurs in an unplanned fashion – can result in a dramatic rise in housing prices, the establishment of informal settlements, pollution, and unchecked urban sprawl. All of which can have a negative impact on the quality of urban life.

With a current population of over 35 million people, the greater metropolitan area of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city, is slated to overtake Tokyo as the world's most populous mega-city by 2030. Not surprisingly, there's an increasing lack of affordable housing, leading some experts to call for measures that would encourage building vertically (up, rather than out) and to densify more in order to reduce urban sprawl.

One possible strategy for increasing densification in Jakarta and similar mega-cities is to make living spaces a bit smaller, like this modern micro-apartment renovation by local firm Co+in Collaborative Lab. The design manages to make the most out of the apartment's tiny 290-square-foot (27-square-meter) area by implementing some clever space-saving ideas. Here's a quick tour of the space via the firm:

Dubbed Quiet Apartment and located in the western part of Jakarta, the apartment has been redesigned as an open plan studio with a smart home system to control lighting and temperature. Originally laid out with two rooms that were walled off from each other and inefficiently cluttered with stuff, the firm says that the client's main request was to maximize space by demolishing the partition wall and to elevate the bed, which is located in one corner of the space.

Thanks to some tweaking, the apartment's new design now features an entrance foyer, a full-sized kitchen, wardrobe, storage, a living room that can double as a dining area and a place for guests to sleep, and a queen-sized bed.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab bed and tv
Co+in Collaborative Lab

To tie it all together, the new scheme uses a calming color palette of neutral tones like gray and white, plus the warmer tones and textures of solid wood and lightweight medium density fiberboard (MDF), with various combinations of UL GreenGuard-certified high-pressure laminated finishes. The new cabinetry has been designed so that it can be easily disassembled, in the event that the client decides to live elsewhere.

The main design move to optimize the limited space was to loft the bed up on a multifunctional platform. This volume hides a bunch of storage drawers, both in the platform itself, as well as in the wood-clad steps leading up to the bed. There is even a pull-out closet unit hidden in the platform's corner, as seen in the video above. In addition, there is brightly lit, integrated open shelving in the platform that allows the client to display her favorite objects, creating what the firm calls a "mini-gallery experience."

Seen from the other direction, from the entrance, one can get a view of how the bed platform forms its own area and "room" of sorts, just by virtue of it being elevated and slightly hidden from view by the cabinetry. We also like how the platform has been designed down to the inch, in order to fit in small kitchen appliances perfectly, like the water cooler and the coffee machine.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab entry
Co+in Collaborative Lab

Near the bed is the television, which has been hung on the wall, above some built-in cabinets, to free up floor space.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab tv no table
Co+in Collaborative Lab

There's a pull-out dining table here, which can be stored away when it's not needed.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab television
Co+in Collaborative Lab

Across from the television is the sitting area, which has been redone with a convertible sleeper sofa, which can accommodate an overnight guest comfortably.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab sofa
Co+in Collaborative Lab

That sleeper sofa also serves as extra seating around the dining table when it's deployed, in addition to some stools that can be pulled out of storage. One can also see that even the space up near the ceiling isn't wasted either, with the installation of another storage shelf that's lit up with energy-efficient LED strip lighting.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab dining sofa
Co+in Collaborative Lab

Here's a view of the kitchen, which runs along the length of one wall. By expanding its size, it can now neatly accommodate a full-sized refrigerator and washing machine, plus a double sink and lots of storage behind acid-etched glass, which helps to slightly reduce the impression of clutter.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab kitchen
Co+in Collaborative Lab 

The bathroom utilizes the same neutral palette as the rest of the apartment, and includes a shower, toilet and rectangular, modern sink. A thin ledge has been added in the shower to provide an extra spot to place toiletries.

Quiet Apartment Co+in Collaborative Lab bathroom
Co+in Collaborative Lab

It's amazing how a previously cramped and poorly laid-out space can be transformed and made to feel larger with a few simple design moves. Best of all, these are strategies that anyone can adapt for their own small space. To see more, visit Co+in Collaborative Lab and their Instagram.