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An enlightened life – the joy of living with less

Choosing life in a small space doesn’t mean choosing a small life! Challenged to create a home for a retiree who downsized to a studio apartment, interior designer Hans Blomquist mixed comfort and smart storage for a home free of clutter and room to live big.

A bed with a grey velvet quilted headboard and layered bedlinen.
A bed with a grey velvet quilted headboard and layered bedlinen.

A chance to start fresh each day

Make room for what matters to you was the only ‘small space rule’ for the team planning this studio apartment for our imagined single woman looking forward to starting over in a new city. Rather than going small-scale on furniture, a big bed with soft velvet headboard became the key piece – its oversized comfort a shortcut to ensuring she wakes refreshed and ready to enjoy what comes.

Behind this home is the idea of using the space you have, however limited, to suit you. Suddenly you have more freedom, time and energy to do the things you love.

Split the space, double the use

Storage units do a useful job, but here they are useful and beautiful. A freestanding unit that fixes safely to the ceiling makes a separate living zone. Textiles and lighting create a cosy nook for one and pouffes provide extra seating for guests. The unit’s open and closed storage options mean practical stuff is hidden in drawers, while the shelves make perfect frames to display collections.

Find ways for your home to reflect your personality. Hooks keep jewellery neat while allowing you to see it every day; glass-fronted cabinets keep treasures dust-free but not out of sight.

Always room for more

Is a fixed dining table an indulgence in a studio apartment? For our woman’s fresh start in a new city, having a dedicated place to enjoy the ritual of setting the table, taking a pause and enjoying a meal felt important – `a much-deserved spoil´.  A drop-leaf design means the table can grow with the guest list, with pouffes pulled from around the apartment to serve as extra seats.

Small on space, big on taste

The METOD/VOXTORP kitchen’s compact galley layout is planned to make cooking enjoyable. Lighting directed at the countertop highlights food prep areas. To free up space on the worktop and add character, open storage is split between regularly used ingredients on the lower shelf and less frequently used items up top. A shelf unit added to the run of base units has plastic tubs for recycling.

When less is more

As well as making smart use of all the studio apartment’s space, the team looked beyond the usual departments for solutions. The BESTÅ wall unit is 20cm deep, enough to hold glassware but slim-line enough to be wall-mounted by the dining area without it feeling like it’s sitting on top of you as you eat. And it handily stores your glasses next to the spot where you’re likely to uncork a drink!

Zoning the open-plan floor space in this studio apartment has created ‘rooms’ within a room, making it easy to enjoy different activities and live beyond the limits of the space.

The latest IKEA Life at Home report identifies the importance of ownership in making a home feel like home. But as more and more of us rent, ownership is no longer about buying. It’s about making the space feel personal to us.

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.

Made by
Interior designer: Hans Blomquist
Photographer: Kristian Krebs