Home visit: one-room living in the city

An airy one-room living and sleeping area with plants, sofa, bed and tie-back curtains.

Home visit: one-room living in the city

With the city at her doorstep, 25m² is more than enough for freelance photographer Yvet to create a feel-good space to relax, work and entertain in.

A portrait of photographer Yvet sitting on her bed.

Living small

‘‘It’s rare to find a big space for a small amount of money in the city. My generation’s become used to living tiny!’ says Yvet, 24. As the new IKEA Life at Home report shows, 64% of people would pick life in a small home in a great location over a big home in a less ideal place. ‘I streamlined what I owned and learned to get the most I could out of the space I did have. Here’s how…’

Everything you see is what I have. I can’t hide stuff away in another room because I don’t have another room! My head is very busy, so being organized makes my space feel zen.’


Tailored to you

Turn a small-space challenge into a creative hack. Yvet made a room divider using a pair of IKEA curtains: ‘It seems crazy that I’d want to make a small space even smaller, but I wanted to turn the sleep area into a cozy den at night, and have the option of hiding the bed during the day,’ says Yvet. ‘I shopped for room dividers but none fit, so I came up with this myself!’

‘Friends ask me, “why not put the sofa against the wall?”. But you shouldn’t be scared to put yours in the middle of the room – it creates interesting corners that you can do much more with.’


Make the space count

‘Big pieces can make or break a small space,’ says Yvet. For a home that’s big on entertaining but short on floor space, flexible extra seating is a must. ‘I can’t have a huge armchair just because it looks nice. I’m conscious and choose pieces with multiple uses, such as stools that stack and double as a table or plant stand. And a timeless look means I can bring them with me to my next home.’

Organize a tiny kitchen

If a small, rental kitchen is short on built-in storage, or has awkward features to work around, try quick-fix solutions. Yvet added hooks to hang bulky kitchen essentials, and clipped fabric below the counter to create the illusion of closed storage. ‘In a tiny kitchen you’re forced to be organized! But that’s really nice, because it creates a routine,’ says Yvet.

A kitchen sink with boiler unit, closed cupboards and wooden serveware.

‘When you have a really big space, I think it’s harder to create atmosphere. My place is cozy, quiet and homey – in Dutch we call that “gezellig”’.

A portrait of Yvet with her camera.

Out and about

‘I freelance for a website creating city guides, so let me introduce you to some of my favourite Amsterdam spots… Go to Back to Black for good coffee. For photography lovers, explore the Huis Marseille museum and get your camera set for the Hortus Botanicus botanical garden. And say hi to us at The Gathershop, a lifestyle and homeware store, where I’m a part-time sales assistant.’

A floorplan of Yvet’s home.

One room fits all

The 25m² is made up of connected living and sleeping areas, with a partitioned kitchen and a bathroom by the entrance. Yvet’s building overlooks a busy market street near the city centre. ‘Most people look for houseshares. I’m lucky to have a place for myself, but the trade-off is that it’s temporary. Leases are short-term as the block is due for redevelopment. Having friends nearby makes it feel permanent.’

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior stylist: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Benjamin Edwards
Follow Yvet on Instagram: @yvetvandernaalt