10 Ways To Turn a Pokey Top Floor Flat Into A Swoon-Worthy Living Space

Why, hello there! How was your weekend? I thought we could kick off the week with something a little more down-to-earth. After all, it's lovely to sit back and enjoy incredible homes with towering ceilings, impeccably preserved stucco, and large, spacious rooms - but when you live somewhere that's not big enough to swing a cat, they can just feel well, a little too far from reality sometimes. And the beauty of this itsy-bitsy 35 metre square (376 feet square) top floor flat, is that it's proof that a pokey living space, with tricky angled ceilings and limited natural light can be swoon-worthy and highly practical too!  Here are a few clever interior tricks to steal from this small attic space in Gothenburg:

1. Keep it simple: It's easy for a small open-plan living space to feel cluttered - so try to stick to a simple colour scheme throughout (in this case white, charcoal and brown). It's enough to just stick to this colour scheme for bigger items - sofa, rug, bedding etc to create the impact you're after.

2. Use art to create different zones: In the open-plan living space, a carefully placed gallery wall creates a focal division between the bedroom and living room area. Note how they've been placed at all different heights - a popular styling trick!

Above: The Wise Man by Hein Studio*, Her Side by Nord Projects*, Grain pendant light by Muuto*

3. Let in the light: In a small space with limited windows, it's important to keep the flow of natural light as unobstructed as possible I.e. knock down dividing walls to create an open-plan space and avoid heavy curtains or clumsy-light-blocking pieces of furniture (note the cane chair!).

 4. Put it on a pedestal: Plinths are no longer reserved for galleries and museums. I've been seeing an increasing number of them in humble homes like ours! They are perfect for highlighting an item you really love such as a plant, sculpture or even a pile of books.

Above: Muuto nerd bar stool*, pick up a similar plinth here - or keep a look out on Ebay.

5. Make the most of every inch: angled ceilings can be tricky, but with some clever custom-made storage, you can make the most of every single centimetre of your apartment! IKEA has some great solutions and will help you design the space.

6. Somewhere to reflect: Use mirrors to bounce light around and also reflect items you love!

7. Play with shapes: Monochrome it maybe, but this little bathroom is far from boring thanks to the fabulous chevron and square tiles. Note the contrasting grouting in both cases! The plant adds a touch of harmony too! 

8. Space under the window: in a flat measuring 35 metre square you've got to maximise floor space! This otherwise redundant area under the window has been used for a washing machine and recessed storage - and I noticed they have done the same with shelving in the main living room too.

9. Get a look-in:  These internal windows allow light to flood into what would have been an otherwise dark stairway / entrance hall.

10. Extra storage: Recessed shelving in the stairwell is ideal for providing a little spot for keys, glasses etc (in my house they'd no doubt be loaded with a ton of other random stuff too - honestly, the things my girls pick up during the day!).

Bonus tip! I was chatting to a friend the other day who lives in a tiny apartment- we're talking shoe box size. And he said 'everyone is raving about 'tiny homes' right now,  but there is one major drawback (space limitations aside) - and that's how everything suffers from more wear and tear - the floors, the furniture etc - since it is used more. If you're in the process of decorating a small space, he recommended making sure you invest in high quality, durable flooring, rugs and furniture that can withstand a lot of use. Wise words!

I'm sure I've missed a load of things, so please feel free to add anything in the comment section below - I'd love to hear your thoughts / observations!

If you found this home inspiring, you might also want to have a rifle through the small space archive - it's one of the most popular!

Have a fabulous start to the week!


Photography: Alen Cordic
Styling: Emma Fischer
For sale through Bjurfors 


  1. I don't see anything in terms of storage for clothes/shoes/larger cleaning items (like a mop :)) which is something that always bothers me in virtual tours of small studio spaces. Or am I missing something here?

    1. Good point. If you click through to the home on the estate agent website you'll see a large wardrobe to the right of the stairs which would take care of clothes, shoes etc. I've made a mental note to make sure I include images like that in the next home tour!

  2. This article comes in handy as I plan to move back to my birth town and since the rent have increased quite a lot, I'm planing on a smaller flat that has to be efficient and comfortable for 2 (and a cat and 4 birds).

  3. I love it! I will certanly use some ideas for my attic.
    Also I suggest, if You use a plinth in a small apartment - make it a hidden storage (there is never enough of storage :) ). Then it's heavier and doesn't tip over so easily. I'm talking from my own experience, as I have a high bamboo vase as a plinth for my Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) and I was always afraid, that I will tip it over. After I put some planting stuff inside of the vase, it's much sturdier and the center of mass is lower.


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