Tailor-made furniture, With Sophie Bowers of Strutt Studios
In small spaces, a functionally driven, permanent piece of furniture is often the best solution to address the lack of space and lack of storage, and avoid an enclosed feeling.
There are three commonly used inbuilt furniture pieces. These include banquette seats or plinth lounges, fireplace and shelving units, and TV credenzas.
In small space design, you need to maximise the use of the walls. Therefore building in a joinery unit that can incorporate some or many of these seating, storing and displaying functions is a seamless way to get more from a minimal footprint.
Simple ideas like building storage to the ceiling will increase the perception of height in any room. Also consider incorporating feature handles or feet/legs to your inbuilt seating, this customisation is a great way to showcase your personality whilst allowing the bulk of the joinery design to remain simple, and thus not overwhelm a small room. Wall mounted shelving as a stand-alone feature or incorporated into a fireplace or TV storage unit is another way to draw the eye upwards, as nothing makes a space feel more enclosed than a cluttered benchtop or table.
The success of my own small apartment heavily relied on the spaces being dual purpose, and in the kitchen zone, an inbuilt banquette seat was the perfect way to achieve this. To create a minimal look, the junction at the kitchen and dining area is a very subtle detail with the waterfall stone seamlessly continuing from benchtop to banquette seat. This created a highly functional merge for us between the kitchen and dining, which often becomes the heart of the home, especially when entertaining. The inclusion of drawers below the banquette seat added significant storage, and by mounting the backrest cushion to the wall, a light and clean look was attained.
Considered and clever inbuilt furniture solutions prove bigger isn’t always better when it comes to a room’s footprint size.