Best layout for small apartment

Hi everyone, new here and very impressed with the friendly collaborative vibe on these forums.

I have a small apartment with low ceilings I’m about to start renovating.

Want a semi-enclosed kitchen (i.e. open but can be closed to keep in smells when cooking) given the small size of the apartment.

Also wondering what’s the best layout for the living area - seems best is to have the TV mounted on the right structural wall in the living area but means people will see the back of the sofa as soon as they walk in.

The apartment also has low ceilings and feels quite dark especially in the afternoon, so wondering if there’s anyway to counteract that as well.

Lots of design challenges here!

Many thanks in advance for all your help!


Welll… you are asking a pretty fuzzy question, since we don’t have much information about the building, it’s site or aspect, or, most importantly the people who will be living there!

Regarding your kitchen, however, you can capture odors using an extractor fan… Most apartments we design have open plan kitchens with island benches, for casual dining and entertaining.

Photo by Neil Norton Design - Browse kitchen ideas

And what is the point of that little door that goes outside to a balcony? Is it a fire escape?

Wow, three bedrooms but a kitchen the size of a broom cupboard?

I also don’t understand the door to the “Bal” (balcony?). There are doors to it both from the kitchen and the half landing. But the half landing is down a long flight of stairs, so how can the levels work?

It’s not clear, but I’m guessing that’s a scissors stair, so the two flights are two intertwined stairs, and the balcony provides the second means of egress. Scissors stairs aren’t considered ideal for for providing two means of egress, but when there’s so little space… It also means you have to travel one full story in a single straight run.

Yes, that looks really tight, and all you could do there is some sort of galley kitchen as you have to be able to walk through it.

How many people are going to live there? IMO the area is good for about one bedroom, living room and an open or enclosed kitchen (in our parts you may not call anything below 7 m² a room).