There’s a knack to extracting the most out of a small space, especially apartments. With no expansive foyers, hallways, multiple bedrooms and dead spaces to cram the extras into, you have to be especially inventive with the limited space you have.
This month I thought I’d share a couple of space-saving projects I recently completed for an apartment makeover. Although I had help from my tradie team, they’re projects that could be easily replicated by any capable DIYer.
Installing a barn door
This tiny one-bedroom Sydney apartment measures just 40 square metres, so there was not a spare nook and cranny in sight. On a challenging $5000 budget, the focus was on creating much-needed storage to capitalise on every square millimetre of space. Central to the cosmetic facelift was a dedicated media nook that could be tucked away out of sight when not in use.
There’s good reason barn doors are so popular: they’re super practical, cost-effective and look fantastic! You can either make a feature of the door, by purchasing something in a recycled timber or decorative design, or simply buy a plain timber door and paint it the colour you want. Instead of the traditional sliding door that needs a wall cavity to tuck into, a barn door simply attaches to a top bracket and slides across the wall.
For my project, I wanted a work space and shelves on one side, and storage space on the other side, with the barn door sliding between the two. The plain door and fittings are from Bunnings, and I had my chippie add VJ (vertical joint) panelling, which I painted the same colour as the walls.
There’s a mountain of clutter that can be neatly stowed away in what is now a stylish focal point of the room. The added bonus is that it has inserted a small entrance foyer into the tiny apartment, creating a more formal entrance.
Adding bedroom storage
The small bedroom already had a mirrored built-in wardrobe, but it wasn’t sufficient to contain the overflow. Adding a second full-sized wardrobe would have been overkill, so the compromise was a flat-pack robe from Bunnings concealed by a sheer curtain on a curved track. It’s a visually softer alternative to a traditional built-in, and you can vary the look by choosing a more decorative fabric.
If you want to learn a host of interior design tricks, tune into this webinar by my good friend and colleague James Treble, as he runs through some of the key learnings from our Interior Design For Profit course.
Cherie Barber is the director of Renovating for Profit, a company that teaches everyday people how to buy and renovate properties for a profit.