Try doesn’t have to mean cramped. This top-floor apartment only had a footprint of 550sqf but the 4.5m-high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling bank of windows visually compensated for the lack of space. «Still, the configuration was tight, with a wall cutting the space into two: on one side was the bedroom and bathroom and on the other, the kitchen and living and dining space,» says Kelly Choong of Project File.

Said wall had to be taken down to open up the layout. Next, the spaces were re-organised. The first area upon entry is the kitchen and dining room, but there was an inset space leading to the bedroom that would make placement of the dining table awkward. «The table would get in the way of someone walking to the bedroom,» says Kelly. She decided to erect walls to enclose the space and thus turn it into a storeroom, while a new wall defines the dining area. The designer also built a dual-purpose dining table-and-kitchen-island that matches the new cabinetry.


With no messy partitions or walls in-between, the transition to the living room is seamless. This continuity is also helped by Kelly’s use of the same trio of wood laminates used in the kitchen and dining. The interplay of dark, light and warm oak tones is most obvious in the floor-to-ceiling cabinetry that towers above the living room. The series of closed cabinets, open shelves and drawers makes good use of the apartment’s high ceiling, with the higher cabinets accessible via a built-in ladder. Apart from storage, it incorporates the TV console and a desk to carve out a home office, too.

With the dividing wall gone, the original bedroom was now exposed. Kelly solved the issue of privacy by moving the bedroom up to a newly built loft. The loft added about 94sqf to the apartment and is just enough for a double bed and a floor lamp. It provides more privacy to the sleeping quarters while allowing the apartment to feel open and light-filled.

Doing this has freed up the original bedroom space for many more storage units. It also allowed her to extend the tiny bathroom. «I placed the washing machine in the original shower stall and turned the former wardrobe area into the new shower stall,» she explains. Rather than erect a wall, the designer installed a large pane of glass, which puts the bathroom on display and lends a feeling of spaciousness.


«You can never have too much storage» is an interior design adage that applies to homes of any size, and Kelly adheres to this by using every available space, even under the staircase. At 80cm in width, each stair tread incorporates easily accessible storage underneath for smaller items {at the bottom of the staircase) and larger items (towards the top of the staircase). Instead of using laminate flooring for the treads, the designer used the same cabinet laminate for consistency. «This laminate has a slight texture that makes it less slippery than flooring laminate,» she says.

By customising the dining table, Kelly could also squeeze in storage for wine glasses, table linen and other items used for entertaining guests. This secret stash is hidden in the base of the table, and the cabinet has no obvious door handles to give it away. The designer’s clever reconfiguration and redesign of the apartment, goes to show that even the smallest spaces can be big on style.

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