From converted vans to micro-homes, small space enthusiasts are finding design inspirations and solutions from traditionally small interiors such as those found on boats. The results can be pretty clever, maximizing cramped places effectively so that they feel much bigger than before.
Italian design firm llabb takes this tack, borrowing nautical design ideas to add two hidden bedrooms a tiny 376-square-foot (35 square metres) studio apartment in the coastal region of Liguria in Italy.
The designers explain that the creative brief included dividing the open space into a living area and more private sleeping areas, in addition to adding storage:
The nautical culture that characterizes this region was fundamental for the development of the project. The optimization of storage spaces inside sailing boats and the minimum dimensions within these spaces were the inspiration for the development of the project.
This reorganization was achieved with the insertion of a huge wall that contains various functions. Closer to the entrance, the wall is primarily storage. As one goes further in, there is a small dressing room and closet, and at the far end of the wall, there are two sets of doors -- one leading to the master bedroom, and another that is accessed via a few stairs, and into a lofted bedroom that's spatially stacked above the master bedroom.
The team likens the master bedroom to the "inside of a whale's ribcage," by dint of its wooden structural beams which arc overhead.
The lofted bedroom has a lower ceiling, but once again, the doors can be opened up to expand the space further.
Both bedrooms feel like cabins aboard a boat; there are no windows (which might not be allowed for bedrooms according some building codes), but the wall can be opened up to give both light and fresh air. Using a continuous wooden trim that represents the water line, the new wall is made with white and pale blue laminated marine plywood (also called okoumè), heightening that nautical atmosphere where hull meets sky.
The kitchen, located on one side of the living area beyond the dining table, continues much of that same spartan theme that seems bare, but is actually quite functional underneath.
It's wonderful how visual clutter is reduced here to emphasize that sense of floating out into the open sea. And by stacking the two bedrooms on top of one another, there's no space wasted in this clever and efficient design that essentially converts a studio into a cozy two-bedroom apartment. For more, visit llabb.