Ta-li and yi-hsuan’s home truths
OUR HOME IS… an 80m2 apartment in a block of flats built in the 1990s. It’s our first home together and we love it here – we have lots of friendly neighbours.
LIVING IN THE CITY… is really convenient for us. We can cycle everywhere, to work and to do the shopping.
THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES HERE… Natural sunlight can be very limited when you live in a city like Taipei but this apartment gets lots of sunlight. It’s so sunny in here it makes us feel happy to be indoors.
SUNDAY IS OUR OPEN HOUSE DAY… we have a big dinner party at home every Sunday. We love to share good food with friends. Saturdays are quieter and we like to watch a movie on the sofa. Wes Anderson is a big favourite. His films inspire our home. They’re so colourful and playful – just like our apartment!
OUR LIFE AT HOME IS… family-oriented, sociable and creative. In our hearts we love the countryside and one day, we’d like to have a house in the country, but for now we love our home in the city!
SAVE SPACE WITH CLEVER STORAGE
Living well in a limited space is all about flexible storage solutions. ‘Our little trolley takes up less floor space than a coffee table and is ideal for keeping everyday things close at hand. It has wheels too, which means we can move it around to wherever we need it.’
MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY WALL
Creating wall storage saves on floor space. ‘We had an empty wall so I thought, why not build something that fits there to keep all my books in? It’s my proudest DIY moment!’
PERSONALISE YOUR SPACE
Expressing yourself doesn’t take up any space. ‘The chalkboard wall was my wife Yi-Hsuan’s idea. She wants to have a place where our daughter (and our friends!) can draw and be creative. We also like to leave each other little messages or write recipes on it.’
‘It’s a shame to keep the things you love stored away in boxes, so I keep my favourite books and pictures on the windowsill. They make me smile and I want visitors to enjoy them too.’
Ta-Li, veterinarian, Taipei
‘I think that living in a small space makes you more creative – and we always like to try new ideas.’
HANG EVERYDAY ITEMS
A wall rail with hooks is the perfect way to give a small kitchen more storage. ‘I love to cook so it’s important to keep things I use a lot within easy reach. Plus it frees up space in the cupboards for the things we rarely use.’
ORGANISE YOUR SPACE WITH SHELVES
Don’t neglect a small balcony when you can use it to your advantage. ‘Our balcony is covered so it makes the perfect extension to the kitchen, with plenty of extra storage for pots and pans.’
CREATE A POSITIVE ENERGY
There’s always space to bring a bit of feel-good nature into your home. ‘Living in a crowded city like Taipei, we like to have a little bit of greenery wherever we can – it brings us pleasure.’
‘We use our balcony as an extra room. This is where we do our laundry and hang our clothes out to dry.’
TURN ONE BEDROOM INTO TWO
When Ta-Li and Yi-Hsuan first moved in to their flat, they had just one large bedroom. So when their daughter, Bei-Er, was born, they cleverly divided it into two rooms using KALLAX shelving units fixed to the wall and ceiling. ‘Bei-Er’s nursery is the cosiest room in our home,’ says Ta-Li. ‘I moved my favourite armchair in here from the living room so now I love to sit here to unwind after a busy day at work, play with Bei-Er or read her a story. The nursery has become somewhere we all love to spend time, so it’s more of a family room really.’
‘Our daughter loves “Beauty and the Beast” – she especially likes Belle’s yellow dress, so with just a few licks of paint, I gave her nursery its very own yellow theme.’
Ta-Li, veterinarian, Taipei
EXPERIMENT WITH COLOUR
You can change the look of a room with just a little bit of effort and not much money. ‘In our bedroom, we use bedding to add colour and bring fresh energy to the space. When we need a boost, we get a new set with our favourite colours and patterns.’
USE FLEXIBLE FURNITURE
Open storage is perfect for compact spaces. ‘We don’t have enough space for a wardrobe with opening doors, so the STOLMEN works really well for all our clothes. And we’ve mixed in storage boxes for the things we don’t use so often.’
MAXIMISE YOUR SPACE
It helps to plan a small bathroom around busy family life. ‘We have a lot of things in the flat that help our small spaces work hard. Clever buys like our narrow sink, with its hooks and built-in space for toiletries, soap and toys, work perfectly for us.’
A LITTLE BIT OF SPACE GOES A LONG WAY
Ta-Li and Yi-Hsuan have cleverly transformed a one-bedroom apartment into a two-bed family home. Drawing on their love of films, and bright colours, they’ve created a colourful family home that reflects their own vibrant personalities.