My Home Is 270 Square Feet. Here's How I Make It Work
Photo Credit: Eldar Nurkovic/Shutterstock
I just bought my first home — a 270-square-foot apartment in Belgrade, Serbia. I prefer living in a small, cute space because it’s easier to clean and I don’t have to buy as many things to furnish it — but it also means less room overall. I hope to eventually turn this apartment into an Airbnb, but for now, I’m recouping my costs by living there. Here’s how I turned my apartment into a comfortable place I can call home and not something that feels like a shoebox.
I Bought Furniture That Does Double-Duty
Being short on space, I had to get creative. My desk folds out into a kitchen table. With enough pillows, my twin bed doubles as a couch but can be made into a queen-size bed. My coffee table and ottoman have built-in storage for my sheets and a printer — things I don’t use often, but need.
I Scaled Down My Kitchen
There’s a meme that asks, “Which is the stovetop burner you use the most, and why is it the bottom left corner?” I hard-relate to this. Some American apartments have huge kitchens, but that space is often wasted. Unless you’re a master chef and have a few pots and pans going at the same time, a four- or five-burner stove is overkill. Same thing for ovens and large fridges: How often are you really baking, especially as a solo homeowner? Is your fridge really used fully, or is it just filled with food you’re hoping to one day eat?
My apartment has a mini-fridge, big enough to hold the fresh fruits and veggies I buy at the market. I added storage underneath it for miscellaneous kitchen items. I have a single induction cooktop, which saves on my electric bill, is easy to clean, and tucks away in my cabinet when not in use. Instead of an oven, I opted for an air fryer, which is more compact and can even be used for baking.
I Invested in Stylish Storage
Owning a home means constantly repairing things, replacing broken items, and keeping official paperwork, like contracts and tax information, within reach. But power tools, stationery, folders, and other utilitarian items don’t look sexy, nor are they easy to organize in the open. I picked up some sleek boxes from IKEA to keep things neat and organized, but to also add a touch of modernism.
Baskets are also a great way to keep things available but hidden from view. I have an oversize basket that holds my workout equipment and is covered by a nice wool blanket. I have other baskets in my kitchen and bathroom that hold spices, toiletries, and other loose items.
I Splurged Where It Mattered
At first, I was all about laminate flooring because it’s cheap. My architect convinced me to invest in tile flooring, however, and it really paid off. My floors look great, are super easy and quick to clean, and will likely last forever. Pair that with an iRobot vacuum and mop combo, and my place is sparkling in less than an hour.
I also got a wall projector instead of a TV because I didn’t want to bother paying for cable I’d never use. Plus, TVs take up too much space. It’s easy to hook up my computer and a Bluetooth speaker to the projector, log on to Netflix, and let the binge-watching begin.
I Made the Most of Cabinet Space
I gained a lot of wisdom from Carrie Bradshaw, who never actually cooked in her kitchen — she just used it for extra storage. This made me rethink the purpose of my kitchen cabinets, and now I use them to store non-kitchen items, too. A lot of cabinets also have space above them, which can be used to store baskets, bins, and more.
Figuring out how to make the most out of my tiny apartment has been a fun challenge. With a few tricks and storage hacks, I created a home that feels relaxing, inspiring, functional, and convenient.