REAL HOME: Cramped studio apartment turned luxury pad

REAL HOME: Cramped studio apartment turned luxury pad



Thorough planning and a clever use of space and colour turn this 40m2 studio apartment into a stylish, practical residence.


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Luxury living comes in myriad forms, generally thought of and denoted by extravagantly sized spaces, filled with lavish furnishings with no expense spared. However, this is not necessarily true. The feeling of luxury can be achieved through careful planning and well thought out design. Intelligent use of space and colour combined with careful consideration of unique aesthetic features can evoke opulence and create comfort, without the need for exorbitant spending.

The Scanlan Residence ? a project located on the Sunshine Coast and designed by Trevor Reitsma, from Reitsma & Associates – is a perfect example of meticulous planning and design devised and implemented to create comfort and exquisite style inside what some would consider a cramped and nigh impossible space to find luxury living.

The challenge was to transform a dated and modest 40m2 studio apartment into a modern, stylish and practical residence that advocates “biggest doesn’t always mean best”. The project aimed to achieve a high standard of living and comfort on a tight budget, through the careful management of a limited footprint, smartly utilised storage and multipurpose spaces.

Flexibility is key to this project’s success. The integration of laundry and bathroom through the removal of a separating wall into a single area increased the available space for the practical amenities. Careful spatial management affords the bathroom, toilet and laundry areas to be integrated without feeling cluttered and allows further cupboard space in the living area. New plumbing fixtures and finishes also give the area a much needed rejuvenating touch.

Refitting the kitchen with quality materials and smartly placed storage has helped to maintain the focus on the intelligent use of space and materials, which form practically focused areas that do not skimp on aesthetic appeal.

Maintaining a consistent flow between the interior spaces is integral to the core of the studio’s design. A simple yet refined monochrome palette establishes depth and contrast. Uniform white, interspersed with black accents, creates a minimalist yet striking interior. Grey gloss tiles used throughout maintain the overall visual style of the contiguous spaces as an integrated whole.

The importance of multi-use areas is ten-fold when dealing with restricted interiors. The studio needs to be adaptable and practical, yet still maintain its aesthetic appeal. Such design processes are highlighted in the intelligently placed fold down bed, secreted away in the cupboards lining the side wall. This element affords fully realised use of the living space during daylight hours without impinging on the ability to provide adequate space for sleeping and evening activities.

Continuing the monochrome colour scheme and simple contrast present in the rest of the studio’s decor, simple yet stylish furnishings and decorative pieces assist in tying the project together, providing interesting focal points.

Floor-to-ceiling mirrors along the entry wall create the illusion of depth and space, helping to alleviate any feeling of restriction imposed by the modest floor size. In addition – with the assistance of the high gloss floor tiling – they disperse light throughout the studio.

The delicately handled details of the studio allow the overall execution of the space to work. It is a fine example of the quality a space can exude due to careful and thoughtful planning and the appropriate use of design principles.


The home was designed by…

Reitsma & Associates
13 Ridgewood Road, Caloundra, Qld 4551
07 5491 6834


Throughout, 600 x 600 grey gloss tiles


Dulux Lexicon Half to walls and ceiling
Feature elements of Dulux Black
Floor to ceiling mirror panels to wall, Sunview Glass


Benchtop: Essa Stone French Black
Splashback: Essa Stone French Black
Cabinetry: Combination of Laminex ‘white’ and Laminex ‘black


Cabinetry: Ikea basin/cabinet combination ‘Lillangen’
Tiles/walls and floor: 600 x 600 grey gloss floor tiles (wrap up feature wall) and 300 x 600 white gloss wall tiles
Taps: Phoenix Liscio matt black basin mixer
Door: Frameless obscure glass sliding door, Sunview Glass
Toilet: Giovanni BTW


Hunter Pacific ‘Concept’ matt black ceiling fan
Delta Light ‘Magma’ black pendant light

By James Cleland
Photography by Trevor Reitsma

From Renovate magazine Vol. 8 No. 4