Cyprus has one of the biggest numbers of square meters per person in the EU. Yes, it is simply not customary to live in a small apartment on the island, as usually each family member has their own room, as well as a place where they can spend time together. According to statistics for 2020, only 2.5% of Cyprus residents experience a lack of living space.
Perhaps that is why even one-room apartments and studios (you can read about their differences, advantages and disadvantages here) on the island have a large size. An ordinary studio occupies an area of 30-37 m2, one-room apartments (living room + bedroom) are from 40 to 50 m2.
Actually, on this basis, many buyers want and can turn a one-room Cypriot apartment into a three-room European apartment. Even a spacious studio of 35-40 m2 can be zoned so as to comfortably live with a family of 2-3 people.
Tip # 1: don't do anything
The first thought when turning a one-room apartment into a three-room one is to demolish some walls or erect other walls. However, this idea is not always the most reasonable one.
First, you need to coordinate your plans with various local authorities. This is a waste of time, money, and energy.
Secondly, redevelopment itself is costly. It is necessary to hire a special team of workers, and temporarily rent housing for yourself. For those who have children or pets, this option is not convenient at all.
Advice: if you are buying a home under construction, you can agree on changing the standard layout in advance. This will require additional investment, but it will save you time and nerves.
Thirdly, it is quite possible to solve the problem with ordinary renovation work. Now there are so many different building materials, ideas and options that it is much easier to abandon the difficult redevelopment and prefer small repairs instead.
Tip # 2: Interior window
This is a large opening in the wall that visually expands the space. It can be done in two ways:
- "cut out" a piece of the wall (by the way, this can be done even with a load-bearing wall);
- erect an artificial wall or screen up to 1/3 of the height.
The interior window can be beaten in a variety of ways: glazing, curtain, decorative grille. The main thing is to leave more air so that there is more space.
An interior window is perfect for dividing rooms: even a bedroom from a living room, even a living room from a kitchen, or even a common space from a nursery.
Tip # 3: screens, partitions and curtains
You need to be careful with each solid partition: if placed incorrectly, it "eats up" the free space, turning a small apartment into a small place in a train car.
To avoid this, you need to carefully consider all the nuances. For example, avoid dark-colored screens or curtains. Make them not stationary, but sliding - so that at any time you can free space.
Tip # 4: light zoning
Color zoning is a common technique for dividing the functional corners of a small apartment. But it is very difficult to do it correctly. Without the participation of a designer, there is a risk of achieving a negative effect.
But zoning with light is the best technique that is easy to do on your own.
What are the principles of light zoning:
- Bright daylight lamps are built into the kitchen. You can make it so that each lamp is switched on separately.
- One or more sconces with soft, dim warm light are sufficient in the bedroom. Several small sconces can be replaced with one floor lamp.
- The nursery needs bright but warm lamps and one night light.
- Several powerful light sources are traditionally located in the living room so that they can be turned on separately. Light is bright, but warm.
- A good table lamp is enough in the office.
You can play with light using colored lights. For common areas, cool shades (blue, purple, emerald) are suitable, for a bedroom or nursery - warm (yellow, orange, red, grassy green).
Tip # 5: studio zoning - 3 options
A spacious studio over 40 m2 can easily be converted into a three-room apartment. If you have a smaller area, take a closer look at the third option.
Option 1. Bedroom + office + kitchen.
The bedroom is separated from the common areas by a thick curtain or placed at the far end of the apartment behind a screen. The office is not hidden. Additionally, it can be lifted off the floor.
Another feature is the "folding cabinet". This is mobile furniture that is made to order: the table is folded and put into the closet, and the chair remains standing.
The kitchen is designed in the style of a dining area with few surfaces and a large table. If space allows, you can put a couple of armchairs so that the kitchen simultaneously serves as a living room.
Option 2. Bedroom + children's + kitchen-living room.
The bedroom is similarly fenced off with a screen and sent to the far corner. Opposite or in line with it is the nursery: it is better if you build an additional thin wall or design an interior window.
Also, in the nursery, you can install a popular two-story structure: a sleeping place on top (if the child is over 4 years old), and a desk and a wardrobe below. If the child is very small, it is logical to win the space in a different way: to build shelves from floor to ceiling. This will fit a children's area of 5-6 square meters.
The kitchen-living room is made the similar way. A bar counter is traditionally used to separate the recreation and cooking areas, but it can take up a lot of space. Then zoning with different floor finishes and furniture arrangement will come to the rescue.
Option 3. Separate room + living room combined with a kitchen (the easiest option).
This is a wonderful module with an interior window: the bedroom is behind it. In this case, it is worthwhile to make a window or a thick curtain in order to preserve the privacy of the bedroom.
Another option, if the layout allows, the bedroom is placed in a corner and the floor there is raised from 15 to 70 cm. A light curtain can also be used, but in this option, it is not required.
At the same time, the kitchen is located against one wall, and the living room is near the opposite wall. You can also use zoning with light, flooring and a bar counter. As a rule, a wardrobe, a lightweight sofa or a couple of armchairs are placed in the living room.
Tip # 6: zoning one-room apartments - 3 options
In Cyprus, a popular type of small housing is a 1-bedroom apartment. At the same time, the living room, even if it is not combined with the kitchen, still does not count as a bedroom.
Option 1. Divide the bedroom into 2 rooms + kitchen + living room.
If the bedroom has a large area, about 20 m2, then it is quite logical to divide it into two small rooms. There can be many variations in the purpose of the second room: a guest room, an office or any other workplace, a nursery, a dressing room.
At the same time, the kitchen remains either a separate room or combined with a living room. In the latter scenario, you can build a partition with an interior window to get a three-room apartment: 2 bedrooms + a living room and a separate kitchen.
Option 2. Dividing a large living room into 2 rooms + bedroom + kitchen.
If the bedroom is small, and the living room, on the contrary, is large, then it is better not to touch the bedroom. It is the living room that will fall under the manipulation. As mentioned above, you can fence off the living room from the kitchen with an interior window.
And now we need to fence off another part of the living room inside. Separate it in any way (screen, curtains, rise, thin walls) to make a small room. There you can place an office or a nursery, as well as put a bed for guests.
Option 3. Turning the living room into a separate room + kitchen-sitting area + bedroom
This option is suitable for those apartments in which the kitchen has a large area. Everything is simple here as well. The kitchen is equipped with very comfortable furniture for relaxation, but at the same time retains the functions of a dining room. The main task is to correctly arrange both the dining table and upholstered furniture.
At the same time, the living room, often having a common space with the kitchen, is separated to the maximum and converted into a full-fledged second room. You can make a bedroom, a nursery or a multifunctional common area, fit a study and storage cabinets there.
Tip # 7: make the most of the hallway and balcony
In a small apartment, every square meter is very valuable. If your corridor is at least 4 m2, you can put a wardrobe there. If it's less - use small functional shelves.
A balcony is another space that can be used. For example, you can arrange it as a place to rest. In Cyprus, almost all year round, you can go to the balcony and spend a lot of time there. Or make a whole room out of a glazed balcony. For example, an office, a bar, a greenhouse.
Finally, with the help of a balcony, you can extend the space of the kitchen, living room or bedroom. All ideas for arranging a loggia can be found in our article.
Tip # 8: order transforming furniture
Of course, it will be more expensive. But it will save almost a third of the space!
Transforming furniture is neat narrow cabinets from which all the necessary interior items are taken. This can be either a small ironing board or an office table, or a full double bed.
At the same time, the cabinets in which the furniture is hidden should be located at the bottom, and let the entire upper space be occupied by boxes and shelves for things. To get to them, order a special ladder in the furniture set. It can even move along the entire cabinet on a horizontal rail.
Tip # 9: raising the floor and artificial "upper floor"
As already mentioned, the rise of the floor (aka the podium) perfectly performs the zoning function. This is especially true in a studio, where the kitchen, the common room and the bedroom are located in the same space.
As a rule, the lift is done for the kitchen, bedroom, study or nursery. The largest area remains at the bottom.
Another option is to make a kind of "upper floor". Usually there is a bed on top, and under it are various functional things. In an apartment with ceilings up to 3 meters, these are wardrobes and shelves. Where the ceilings are higher, you can try to make a home office under the bedroom.
Custom-made furniture will come to the rescue in the design of the "upper floor". You can combine it with transformable furniture, and then there will be even more space!
Tip # 10: avoid common mistakes
Arranging a small apartment is not an easy task for people who have little experience in this matter. But if you get acquainted with common mistakes and “know your enemy”, it is quite possible to deal with problems without designers and architects!
So, what should you be afraid of when turning a one-room apartment into a three-room one:
- Aggressive zoning. If the kitchen is in a loft style and the living room is in a rustic style, it will be very strange. All colors and textures must be combined with each other.
- Thick furniture or plasterboard partitions. Even 10 centimeters thick can "eat up" space, if not actually, then visually.
- Few light sources. Darkness is the enemy of free space. There should be a lot of luminaires, different brightness and purpose (see Tip # 4).
- Bulky and little functional furniture. It is better to replace a bulky sofa with light armchairs, and use mats instead of carpets. Racks and floor vases will also be superfluous.
- Wrongly chosen interior style. Not all styles are suitable for a small apartment. For example, baroque is nothing but lots of small details. English styles won't do either. There are too many dark elements in them, which make the house visually smaller.
If you really want to turn a one-room apartment or a studio into a three-room apartment, think carefully about everything. Draw a plan, or rather order a 3D visualization. This will help you avoid critical mistakes and save your budget.
Have you decided to buy an apartment or a house in Cyprus? Or maybe you are just looking for options? Contact the DOM Real Estate! The website contains a large selection of real estate objects - residential and commercial. Experienced agency specialists will be happy to help you make the right choice.
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