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Seeing small-space possibilities

01 November 2015

Eight months ago, Tomáš and Mili renovated their 79m2 apartment. ‘We wanted to create an open, modern living space. Having a home that is comfortable was our priority so we took our time and thought a lot about how we wanted to use each room. Small decisions have made a big difference, like adding a chaise section to our sofa. Some people wouldn’t think it works in a smaller living room but it really does make the space so comfortable to be in,’ says Tomáš.

comfortable sofa with a chaise section fits perfectly into a corner of the small living space
Tomáš and Mili, IKEA co-workers, Prague

Bringing their work home

‘I like thinking about how to make the most of a space,’ says Tomáš. ‘Thinking about changing a colour, adding a light here or a mirror there, repositioning something or combining things in unusual ways. It’s what I do every day working for IKEA, and it’s useful inspiration for my own projects at home. Our favourite product has to be METOD – we’ve used it in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom – nearly everywhere!’

‘Renovating an apartment is so exciting! We could choose between so many options, and make everything exactly how we wanted it, from the layout of the rooms to the furniture’

Mili, IKEA co-worker, Prague

Having a table and chairs to eat at was a priority for the new layout

Breakfast for two

‘We’ve adapted the kitchen space to include all of our ideas – from the chalkboard wall and open shelves where we added touches of personality, to the bench for extra seating and storage,’ says Mili. In our last apartment, we didn’t have a table, so it was my number one priority. Now we start every day there. It’s so much nicer than eating breakfast on the sofa!’

Smart use of space in the bedroom includes shelves behind the bed and underbed storage
METOD kitchen cabinets are perfect in a bedroom where clothes are stored folded

Use the whole wall

‘We wanted to be smart with the space we have, so we use the full height of the wall behind the bed for shelves that hold plants - and my collection of hats! Plus we chose furniture with built-in storage, like this bed with drawers in the base. Mili keeps her handbags under the bed.’

Streamlined wardrobe

‘We could have picked a wardrobe with sliding doors for this narrow space but most of our clothes fold away, so we decided to design storage using shallow METOD kitchen cabinets; they’re perfect for us and so versatile for storing everything! Using cabinets allowed us to design the space in the middle where we can hang a TV at some point.’

Customised cabinets

‘We fitted kitchen cabinets in the bathroom as well so we can store all the things we need – including the litter tray for our cats! It’s a great way to store it out of sight. To make it easy for them to get to, we cut a “door” into the cupboard front. We’ve mixed together lots of drawers in different depths to help keep things organised - shallow drawers for Mili’s make-up, medium drawers for shampoo and shower stuff and the biggest ones for cleaning products.’

Bright space for beauty

‘We planned the lighting in the bathroom so the room is really bright and well lit. It makes it a great space to get ready. There are strip lights all around the top of the wall, and down the sides of the mirror.’

Kitchen cabinets in the bathroom have enough space for everything including the cat’s litter tray
Mili applies make-up in the well-lit bathroom

‘I wasn’t always so interested in DIY, but now I love working on this apartment with Mili. We treat ourselves by buying things for the apartment, instead of each other!’


Take a look around Tomáš and Mili’s smart, small-space apartment.

The floorplan of Tomáš and Mili’s compact Prague apartment

A space-savvy set up

Tomáš and Mili have packed a lot into their 79m2 apartment; they have a bedroom and a study, a spacious bathroom, balcony, and a roomy open plan kitchen-living area. Many areas have been designed with a dual purpose in mind, and realised with the use of clever furniture and storage adapted in unusual ways.


Photography:  Lina Ikse

Styling: Pernilla Warnhammar