13 Lofty Ideas to Elevate Small Spaces
The only way is up when you're pressed for space as these bespoke bunk bed, mezzanine and penthouse designs show
2. Don’t put up walls
Most loft spaces don’t enjoy a full-height floor, i.e., they may not meet the minimum floor height requirement (for example, the minimum room height for HDB is 2.4 metres), so enclosing them with walls will make them dark and suffocating. In this split-level apartment in Siglap, the loft ‘walls’ are simply the steel railings without any embellishment, and the walls on the main level have been replaced with glass panels and doors.
With space limited in this 40-square-metre (430-square-foot) apartment, the designers built a mezzanine for the bedroom. So as not to block the sunlight from the clerestory windows, they used glass for the bedroom walls.
BONUS: They also used steel cables as stair railings – these are nearly invisible, yet safe enough to hold on to or prevent a fall.
Read about this glass-walled space
Squeeze in work/study, storage and sleep functions all in one room with a loft bed design. Some retailers do sell ready-made ones particularly for kids’ rooms, but a custom-built one such as in this East Coast home allows you to make everything to measure.
Browse through great loft bed ideas
5. Build a grown-up loft bed
Half mezzanine, half loft bed, this design in an Orchard apartment is a sleek, sophisticated version of idea #4. This is perfect for people who have a hard time falling asleep, because the ‘bedroom’ is really just a sleep area, so you’re training your body to go to sleep as soon as you get to bed. Not so ideal for people who have acrophobia, though.
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6. Use a light neutral palette
By painting the columns, railings, walls and ceilings white, these elements all blend into one another in this terrace house, so that altogether they create the illusion of a bigger, brighter space. A light-hued wood floor keeps the look warm and welcoming.
As this apartment in Bukit Timah enjoys a high ceiling, it made sense to build the display shelves from floor to ceiling. To allow the owners to reach the top shelves, a mini spiral stair and bridge were added.
This space-starved apartment in Thomson is chock-full of character, with its house frame demarcating the living area, and the mezzanine cosy corner between floors. It’s not the typical modern-minimalist look you’d expect of a small space, but all the decorative elements work well together.
Diagonal bars double as a wall-railing and graphic design element in the mezzanine of this Chinatown apartment.
10. Step, store and show
If you’re building stairs for a mezzanine/loft, you might as well maximise the floor area they will occupy by designing shelves into the stairs. Use the shelves to store or showcase your favourite objects.
Read about more useful ideas for the space under the stairs
This penthouse in Balestier has a roof deck and the designers built a bridge extension from the deck, cutting halfway up the double-height display shelf of the living room. This allows the owners to access the higher shelves without having to install a ladder. Made with a glass floor and glass railing, the bridge is unobtrusive and blends well with the shelves.
Separate your sleep space (see idea #5) from whatever else you do in the bedroom level by raising it and giving it a little wall for privacy. This is also a good way to make your sleep space feel cosier, if your bedroom has a high ceiling.
13. Pick furniture that complements your built-in
That might be stating the obvious; of course you want your furniture to blend well with your interiors. But in the case of this Orchard apartment, the sofa actually looks as if it was designed with the mezzanine stair in mind (or vise-versa)! This creates a seamless look that you definitely want if your space is tiny.
Do you live in a house with a loft or mezzanine? Let us know in the Comments section how you’ve done it up!