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Home tour: small-space wellbeing

Litao and Tianye’s apartment in Shenyang combines smart-space ideas with plants in every room. ‘The style isn’t typical here, but it has worked for us,’ says Litao. Step inside their home…
Mix closed and open storage
Mix closed and open storage
Litao’s home truths
OUR HOME IS… a 64m2 apartment. It’s small but in an area we love and convenient for my work as a teacher in a school for deaf children.
EATING ON THE SOFA… isn’t common here, but we like it. It’s cosy and relaxed.
GIVE SPACE TO PLANTS… They teach us about the value and significance of life.
Create space in the kitchen
With a kitchen island as an extra work surface and small storage hung from rails, Litao and Tianye can prepare a meal together without getting in each other’s way. ‘We share responsibilities,’ says Litao. ‘I prep and wash up, Tianye cooks.’
Litao and Tianye use the kitchen island as a work surface
Litao and Tianye use their workspace for calligraphy
Dedicate space to creativity
Litao and Tianye converted part of their home office into a calligraphy workspace, with a standing desk for writing, and storage underneath for materials and works-in-progress. ‘We frame the finished pieces and hang them in our home,’ says Litao.
Streamline your hallway
Make daily routines run smoothly with a storage station by the door for coats, umbrellas and bags, plus a mirror to brighten the space and create a welcoming entrance. ‘Our home may be small, but it doesn’t lack anything,’ says Litao.
Add a storage station by the front door
Add a storage station by the front door
Our harmonious bedroom
Mix clever storage with soft bedding, plants and throws, for a room to relax in as well as to sleep in and store belongings. ‘It’s our version of a city retreat,’ says Litao.
Floorplan of Litao and Tianye’s apartment
Small-space family comfort
‘Our home is compact, but with a sense of openness in the layout,’ says Litao. ‘Our next project is turning the study into a nursery as we’re expecting a child.’
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.
Styling: Aiko Ito
Photographer: Philippe Le Berre