Traditional interior design rules tell us that dark colors make things feel and look smaller, and light colors make spaces feel larger and more open. This is an excellent rule for standard, modern buildings where rooms are typically 8′ from floor to ceiling… but what if you have an apartment, like the 1907 studio I was blessed with in Chicago, that was built before 8 foot ceilings were standard, leaving you with 10-14 foot ceilings to work with?
Well, you count every single one of your lucky stars. You jerk that I’m jealous of.
According to this gorgeous 107 ft² small studio apartment in Russia, designed by Anton Semenov, when you have tall ceilings, you get to break and combine rules until they look like an underwater mini-palace.
The rooms in this Russian dream apartment building aren’t just beautifully vintage, they allow the tenants full control over their space. Jealous x2!
Obviously the main colors here are white, teal, and gold. The room can’t be more than about 8-9′ wide, which means it’s just over 10′ in length — not a lot of space for a full apartment!
Fortunately, no kitchen or utilities are needed, just a full living space including bedroom, living room, office and dressing area. That’s a lot to pack in 100 ft², but the addition of a loft bed is an extremely space-efficient way to go. That way, you can have storage you can walk into (some might call it a… walk-in closet) and you’re using your vertical space in the best way possible!
Smart Storage Solutions
I always love seeing smart ways to turn something beautiful into something functional. I have always wanted an oversized mirror for my bedroom – I don’t even have a full length! – but taking up that much wall real estate, then taking into account the fact that you can’t put anything in front of a mirror… it is a spacial commitment!
This room has a brilliant storage solution that allows you a dramatic mirror without sacrificing storage or utility.
The enormous gold mirror is actually a cabinet that can serve as a wardrobe, jewelry and accessory cabinet, or general storage.
Take a look at the photo at the top of this post and you will see the hinges to the cabinet! If you are lucky enough to have come across an old, ornate mirror, definitely consider building a cabinet onto the back before mounting it. Smart, smart, smart!
Dramatic Focal Points on Minimalist Backgrounds
Obviously — this room has a solid teal ceiling. That’s pretty dramatic, and an amazing feature of the room, but it wasn’t the original focal point.
Semenov received this incredible, detailed window frame from a friend and built the room around it. Within it you’ll see the color of the ceiling, the sheen of the gold accents, and the traditional details that, when set against a clean white background, take on a completely modern feel.
One of the nicest parts of having a small space is that you can take your decoration budget for your entire home (if such a thing exists for broke people) and it only has to fill basically one room.
Approaching a room with the intention of defining a focal point and working around it also helps you save money and time. It’s a very tidy way to design a room, all you do is pull out colors and details!