”Help! I want my one-room home to feel cosy and organised”

Kim had lots of great ideas for her studio apartment in Amsterdam, but struggled to make it feel cosy and organised. So live interior designer Åsa Dyberg stepped in to lend a hand.

Meet Kim

”I wanted to be an interior designer when I was little and I love experimenting in my home. I chose my apartment based on location, not size. This is the biggest home I’ve had – and it’s only 30m2! I love that it’s close to the city centre, but on a quiet street where I can find peace if I need to.”

Kim’s challenge

”I had made a good start at organising my apartment, but it was still quite cluttered, which made it hard to relax. My head was full of ideas, but I couldn’t work out how to put them into action.”

”Åsa has been my genie in a bottle. We talked on the phone and she visited my home before she drew any plans, so it felt like a real collaboration. She helped me realise my potential.”

Åsa’s plan

”Kim had already created zones for sleeping and cooking so my overall thought was to give Kim clear spaces where she could relax, work and entertain. Lamps and spotlights help to create new zones without adding walls.”

How Åsa did it

Zone the space

”In a small space, it’s good to define different zones for different activities. Using bookcases, as Kim has done, is a great way to achieve this. But she was missing a relaxation zone. Adding a chaise longue means her friends now have somewhere comfortable to sit when they visit!”

Textiles and comfort

”Kim mentioned that she’d used the painting above her bed as inspiration for the colour scheme, but she felt that the result was not as masculine as she’d hoped. I think adding some textiles and darker colours for warmth and depth gave Kim the look she was hoping for.”

Add flexibility

”I chose a fold-down dining table that has storage built in. It is flexible: small when Kim needs space, but big when there are guests for dinner. Because it sits between the living area and kitchen, it creates two separate zones – Kim can use one side of the table for eating and the other for working.”

Use colour

”I used colours and textiles to unify Kim’s open-plan space. Too many different and bright colours can make it feel untidy. The rug is placed to clearly show where the relaxation zone begins, which also added to the cosy feel of that corner.”

Personality and passion

”Kim collects fashion and design books so I wanted to make a sort of gallery for her. Displaying her favourite books and magazines face-on on open RIBA shelves means that she can rearrange them quickly and easily when she fancies a change.”

The verdict

And how does Kim feel about the end result? ”What a difference! The changes Åsa and I made may seem small, but they’ve made a big difference to my life. My home is so organised now that my mind is clear – I don’t have a list of jobs to do! Everything has its place – I have a cosy corner to relax in, a place to entertain, and a space to work. All in 30m2!”

Try these ideas

Home-made solutions

Kim couldn’t find a headboard to fit behind her bed, so Åsa made one for her by covering a piece of MDF with foam and stapling fabric over it.

Use all available space

Attach a piece of MDF to the back of your BILLY and paint it with blackboard paint, like Kim did in her kitchen. It’s a practical solution for writing notes – and looks good, too. Get maximum use out of BILLYs by attaching hooks, mirrors or magnetic strips to the sides and backs.

Divide and conquer

Be creative with blinds. Kim has hung two roller blinds from the ceiling around her bed to create a separate sleep zone.

Hide clutter

Kim is allergic to dust so she uses roller blinds on her BILLY s to minimise dust build-up. They also mean Kim isn’t faced with a cluttered view when relaxing on her sofa.

Store and organise

Kim has arranged her shoes in a BILLY bookcase lit by a spotlight – this means she can find what she needs at a glance.

Invest in space-savers

Extendable tables can be folded down when not in use, freeing up space. Be smart and save even more space by choosing one with built-in storage and adding chairs that stack or fold away.