It may be challenging to figure out the best furniture placement when living in 400 sq ft. A few creative solutions can help to solve those problems. Small space living can work and provide you many benefits. Would you be willing to give it a try?
Could you live in 400 sq ft?!
We were living in 400 sq ft in Hawaii and loved it! Our very small studio apartment was right above a garage and like a cozy beach bungalow or cottage.
I want to share some ideas and options to help with the challenges of furniture placement in small studios.
If you love the idea of living more simply or are considering downsizing, let us know in the comments. We’d love to connect with you small space dwellers!
We happened to just land into the minimalist, tiny house movement before we really heard anyone talking about it. We were backpackers fresh off the missions field working with Christian churches and organizations all over the world. So when you’re living out of a backpack you already have an idea of how to live simply.
living in 400 sq ft – simple paradise in hawaii
Right after we got married in Kona, we found out about an opportunity to caretake a property in Honolulu. We would live in the caretakers living quarters while taking care of and maintaining the main property and grounds.
Now when we showed up for the job, we saw the living quarters for the very first time and were shocked at not only the size (which was probably about 400 sq ft), but the condition (which was awful)! But since we knew this would be our free housing while we worked on the property, it made it all worth it. And we knew that we had to make it work. Free housing on the beach even in a fixer upper studio was absolutely worth it!
We took the next year or so renovating the living quarters, while my hubby was working full time on the property and I was driving to a corporate job. It was a lot of work filled with many challenges as well.
Furniture placement challenges in 400 sq ft
Alright, let’s get to the challenges of furniture placement in a small space.
You can also watch a video about this here.
Furniture placement was one of the main challenges we faced in an open studio floor plan. There were no distinct living area separations to work with. The goal was to create a distinction between different areas of the living space.
Our small studio was in the shape of a square or box. The bedroom, living room, and kitchen were all in one space. Here are a few things we did to section off the different living areas by mostly using furniture as dividers.
Kitchen furniture placement
In the kitchen, we placed a high table that we used like a sort of bar or island to make a distinction from the kitchen, dining and living room areas. This also helped to keep a clear walking path from our entrance into the living room and kitchen areas. We also placed our makeshift cooking area against the wall so that it was somewhat in the middle of the kitchen and dining area for easy access and use in the open space.
Dining area furniture placement
In the dining area, we placed a small bar height dining table set on the opposite side of the kitchen against the window. This sectioned off the dining area from the kitchen and living room, yet maintained an open floor plan between the different areas.
Living room furniture placement
The living room was a bit more challenging. We used our small sofa to section off the living room area. So from the couch to the wall where the TV was mounted was a visually recognizable living room. In order to make this work in our unique space though, we had to place our couch at an angle, which took some time for us to get use to, but was the only option we could think of. We placed a table behind it to emphasize the distinction. This also became a sort of display and storage area in the walking path from the entrance, which added a nice touch.
Bedroom furniture placement
In our bedroom area, we placed our desk against the window and bed next to it to make the distinction from the other living areas. When we were in the kitchen or living room, the bedroom was tucked away in the corner near the stairwell and out of the way.
The bathroom was separated by a door so was already its own distinct room. We also had our clothes closet tucked away in there as well. My husband built a DIY closet for us since the studio didn’t have one. In essence, he designed our large bathroom to fit our needs by also building a DIY toilet vanity and a beautiful custom makeup vanity for me. We carried on the beach bungalow theme even in this room.
creative furniture placement in small spaces
If you live in a studio or small space, what has helped you with furniture placement and making distinctions between different living areas? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
There are many ways to get creative when working with small spaces.
I hope that you were able to glean some ideas to help with the challenges of furniture placement in small spaces with an open floor plan.
If you want to see the original video we made about our small studio in Hawaii and a video tour of our tiny apartment in Korea, check them out below.
400 sq ft Hawaii small studio (3:10 – 9:15)
Check out our YouTube channel here!
Read more about my story here.
Stay tuned as I share about simple and minimal living in small spaces, DIY renovation projects while living simply in a literal construction zone, and how we’re learning to urban homestead in a small space.. all while working full time jobs!