How to do minimal even in a small space

Jan 6, 2014 | Bedrooms, Blog, Kitchen, Lounge, Other, Rooms

My latest pinterest board shows a small apartment in Camogli, Italy that has been cleverly designed so that the spaces work hard but still look simple.


For people who dislike busy spaces the minimal style appeals but minimal and small are not always happy bedfellows. The minimal style not only calls for certain shapes and forms of furniture but it also calls for lots of storage, so that only the essentials are on view. In a small space that can easily look full this has a strong appeal but the difficulty is in finding the space to create the storage.


Small space issues

Open plan spaces are a common solution for small spaces but can have drawbacks:
• Kitchens on view tend to be visually busy even with lots of storage, when the hob and sink are on view.
• It can feel like there are no quiet spaces for someone to get away on their own

• Beds naturally take up lots of floorspace that is not being used most of the time, yet it can be pain to be having to move or unfold your bed every night.

“Storage in a small space is essential for the minimal look yet whole walls of cupboards can look a bit overwhelming.”

Follow Philippa Richard at …You Just Rightsize’s board Minimal and Small on Pinterest.

A number of clever techniques have been used by the architect to address the problems.

  • Choice of materials

Firstly, the use of the pale wood adds texture and interest without being too over powering. From some of the photos it also looks as though the walls have been painted with a gloss paint (or perhaps a polished plaster). This allows the light to really bounce around the space.

  • Lots of storage

The bedroom has storage all around the bed.

The wall between the kitchen and the bedroom is just storage and different parts open onto the different rooms. Within the bedroom, there would be a difficult corner high up where the over-bed storage meets the wardrobe. This little space is actually easy to access because it opens onto the kitchen side.

“A storage wall can serve two spaces, dividing either vertically, horizontally or in blocks”


Hiding the mess

One very clever feature is the lid that folds down over the kitchen worktop. All the clutter and mess can be hidden when not in use, and the stainless steel surface on the underside becomes the perfect splash-back – without having to be on view all the time.

Enjoying the location

Probably my favourite feature is one that unfortunately wouldn’t work everywhere – the balcony /window seat combination. I love window seats and the idea of being able to sit outside enjoying the view yet nearly being inside is rather appealing.

This little apartment is in Camogli, a village along the Portofino Coast in italy. With amazing views outside it is no wonder they wanted a simple apartment and somewhere to enjoy the views.


Extra tips

Although it is not clear from the pictures, in a space like this I would include the following:

• The sofa would convert into another spare bed.
• The dining table would extend.
• I would include some simple foldaway stools or chairs.

Click to see the “Minimal and Small” board on Pinterest 

The pinterest board has several photos of the apartment with even more features. It also shows a taster of the views over gorgeous Camogli with the prettiest high-rise houses I have seen.

photo credit: gigi 62 via photopin cc



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