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376 sq. ft. London micro-apartment redesigned to entertain friends & family

Smaller, more efficient urban living spaces are becoming a bit of a necessity as housing prices rise. But living small doesn’t mean you have to feel like you are inhabiting a shoebox, or give up on friends and family being able to visit. London-based studio CIAO did this creative redesign of a 35-square-metre (376-square-foot) apartment in Islington, in a Victorian terraced house for a client who wanted to be able to have guests visit, without compromising too much of his own space.

Opting for an open plan to take advantage of the apartment’s high ceilings, the design uses convertible furniture that allows the client to transform his daytime workspace into a secondary bedroom by pulling out a trundle bed. In the same area is the lounge space, as defined by a couch in the corner.

Beyond the half-height bookshelf and desk is another sleeping space, elevated on a platform that hides the roll-out bed. It’s accessed by a small flight of stairs that hide storage drawers within. Above that and to the left — on top of the bathroom — is a recessed mezzanine space for storage.


The kitchen uses a lot of metallic COR-TEN steel (thankfully not exposed to the elements), giving it an industrial look that is tempered by the natural wooden accents of the table and built-in shelving, in addition to the bespoke wooden furniture and the untouched brick wall in the lounge.


The overall scheme of the apartment features a strong diagonal line beginning in the kitchen that extends throughout the space, separating zones spatially without actually closing them off.

It’s a smart renovation of a small space that makes the most of the little that is there. Smaller and more affordable spaces are becoming the new normal in desirable urban areas, as CIAO director Diego Dalpra tells Dezeen:

We believe micro flats are the future for cities like London. I also think it’s become very trendy to live in small adaptable spaces. We spend most of our day at work and sometimes just need a cosy and functional place when we get home.

For more, check out CIAO.

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