From the new book: Theme 1 – Prioritizing the establishment of three main living areas

From my book: “Pursuit of the Dream Scandinavian Studio – 60 Themes with my small space living journey in Vancouver”

“Theme 1: Prioritizing the establishment of three main living areas

Even in the smallest of spaces, including a studio apartment, I have found it worthwhile to establish three main living areas, including an inviting lounge or living room, a proper dining/work area, and a separate sleeping area. In my experience, defining those three separate areas creates a purposeful home. When I speak of this principle, I don’t necessarily mean separate rooms or actual walls dividing up the areas; still, you can give the illusion of separate spaces by utilizing things such as rugs, bookshelves, or furniture placement.

My idea with this concept is that you have some degree of separation from daily activities. Experts say that you tend to sleep better when a bedroom is reserved (mostly) for sleeping. When eating, I like to feel present and only have a bit of music for ambiance. I also find that primarily eating in the dining area helps preserve your living room furniture over time. Some studies also show that there can be negative impacts on mental
health if a lounge space is also used as a bedroom, and I have found that I did not settle well in shared housing situations with just a shared kitchen. Taking advantage of the ‘three areas principle’ also allows you to contain clutter more easily. ”

“In terms of effort for this to work, it requires some investment in furniture and pieces suitable for small spaces. I will touch on sourcing furniture further in this book. In recent years, I’ve noticed a rise in popularity of multifunctional furniture such as the Murphy bed folding up into the wall or a coffee table that can convert into a desk or dining table. I will not touch on this much in this book, but I would caution that multi-functional pieces can be costly and may need to be built into the unit. While the daily task of set-up and take-down for these pieces can be relatively quick, they can mentally add up over time. There also tends to be more wear and tear due to the frequency of setting them up and taking them down. That being said, this can still be a very innovative solution for micro-spaces and where resources allow for it.”

Excerpt From: Martin Emslie. “Dream Swedish Studio Pursuit.” iBooks.