Welcome to Espacesousecalier - Interior Design Journal

Dedicated Interior and Space Design Journal

As you can tell by our French name, this website is dedicated to everything and anything related to interior design storage. Make no mistake about it; regardless of how big your home’s floor area is, sooner or later it will fill up. It’s only a matter of time. The truth is, once you have kids, it doesn’t take long for any kind of interior space, whether it’s in your garage, in your living room, or surrounding your kitchen, that space will eventually fill up.

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In fact, in most cases, if you have more than one kid, it will fill up sooner than you would have expected.   I know this sounds pretty hectic.  I definitely don’t want to freak you out, but this is definitely the case.  You quickly run out of space.

The good news here is that the only limit to your interior space is your imagination.  If you don’t believe me, look up some videos or Hong Kong apartment dwellers who decorated their interiors to maximize space.  There are many cases of people living in a 20-square meter interior space, who have maximized that space so that it feels like they’re living in a 100-square meter spot.

How did they do this? Well, they used a drawer system.  First, fold your bed up.  Then, move the different drawers to the side so that the bed would actually become a wall and this would divide the room.  You then move around the different walls to create even more space.   You can open flush recesses on the wall so you can access a new storage space.

Obsessed with Modern French and Asian Architecture

Sounds pretty nifty, right?  Well, this really just highlights the power of imagination.  From a personal perspective, I learned this firsthand when I rented a fairly expensive modern high-rise condo unit in a city in Southeast Asia.   A lot of people were telling me this was the place to live and I agreed with them because when I was walking a dog from close to a hundred meters away, I couldn’t help but be impressed by this amazing-looking building.

It looked like a great fusion of classic French-style architecture and modern Asian architecture.  I love the fusion.  I was not too antique-looking.  At the same time, it wasn’t too modern and experimental.  It really hit the sweet spot.

So I thought it was a really nice-looking building and got a realtor to show me around.  That was when things really started looking pretty dodgy.  Have you ever met somebody that really looked good from afar, but as you got closer, it turned out that they were not all that hot?

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For example, you see a really stunning blonde woman from 50-feet away but as you get closer, you noticed that she has pockmarks on her face or that she has big pores on her nose.  You start noticing that her skin actually has oily patches.  Her hair, which looked splendid, vibrant, and beautiful blonde from far away, actually looks ratty and lifeless as you get closer.  By the time you get close enough to talk to her, you probably would want to keep on moving.  As the old saying goes: “good from afar, but far from good”.

That was my experience with this building.  It looked really good from afar but as I got closer and as I got inside the building to explore it, even more, I was a little bit disappointed.  And my disappointment didn’t stop until I found the spot that was for rent.

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The lease rate was pretty decent.  It was doable, but what really depressed me was the way it was cut.  Technically, it was 89 square meters but the transit area, as well as the kitchen area, killed much of that space.

My point here is that you should pay more attention to how an interior space is cut and apportioned rather than the actual, full floor area.  Somebody can give you 89 square meters, but if it’s cut badly, you’re only going to enjoy or feel a tiny fraction of that, and that was precisely my experience.  To add insult to injury, this unit actually was facing the morning sun so it would get hot fairly quickly.

I was a bad idea and I’m glad I’m out of there.  I rented the place for only a year.  My wife finally talked me into finding a new spot.

However, you got my point.  You have to focus on what you can do with space instead of just obsessing on how many square meters you have.  Believe me; those square meters are not going to immediately benefit you.

You have to work on them.  You have to use your imagination, creativity, and resources to truly unlock those square meters.

Case Study with a Small Space Design

Case in point: My sister-in-law got a place on the other side of town that is all for 30 square meters.  My wife couldn’t believe it.  She thought that her sister went crazy because that space was just too small.  Well, sure enough, when we visited this new development, we were not at all impressed because it was just a straight box.

It was kind of a long rectangle with a square notch on the side, which was, of course, the master bedroom.  There were no dividers.  It seemed like the space was just cut badly.

Well, fast-forward to several months later and thanks to the power of interior design, and most importantly, highly proactive interior space management, this 30-square meter space looked like it had more space than the spot where my wife and I were living in at that time.  That 89-square meter space looked like a shack compared to her sister’s.

Interior Space Management

The secret, of course, was interior space management.  It’s one of those things that you have to actively practice or keep at the top of your mind when you are apartment hunting or looking for a house because if your number 1 concern is to maximize space, you would become very creative.  You’re not going to let a small footprint get you down.

It’s very easy to get depressed.  Again, I will be using the experience of another relative to bring home the point.  My wife also had a cousin who bought a place that is quite far from our high-rise condo.  This place, which was an up-and-coming part of the Eastside of the Southeast Asia metropolis that my wife and I were living in, seemed to have everything on paper.  It was supposed to be cozy.  It was supposed to have all the amenities of a home but when we came in, he didn’t really develop the space.   It felt like a box, it looked like a box, and guess what, based on his complaints, it functioned like a box.

The big difference here really is your willingness to change things around.  If you are ready, willing, and eager to mix things up, don’t be surprised as to how much interior space is actually available in what would otherwise pass as a boxy living quarters.

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