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How to Ensure Comfort and Well-Being in Small Spaces?

How to Ensure Comfort and Well-Being in Small Spaces?

While some aspects of comfort and well-being in an indoor environment are related to external factors, such as natural lighting and ventilation, others are directly associated with the interior layout and the sensations created by architecture in the people living in that space.

It is always challenging to balance all of the elements that can provide greater comfort and well-being in interior design, particularly in small environments that must be fully optimized since it is not always possible to create large openings to the outside or even to accommodate the whole architectural program in a conventional manner.

Apartment in Saint Andreu / Oriol Garcia Muñoz. Image: © Aitor EstévezAppartement Spectral / BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY. Courtesy of BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORYYojigen Poketto / elii. Image: © Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero | ImagenSubliminalU-shape room / Atelier tao+c. Image: © Fangfang Tian+ 15

In such cases, several architectural solutions can be implemented to enhance the sense of well-being of those who live in the building. Here are some of the strategies that can be used in small-scale projects to ensure greater comfort in terms of lighting, ventilation, space optimization, and well-being.

Natural lighting and ventilation

Windows are one of the main means of connecting the inside and the outside of an architectural project and can provide both light and ventilation to the rooms. These features are very desirable in small environments, so these openings must be properly sized and arranged, using sun path and ventilation studies of the location.

U-shape room / Atelier tao+c

U-shape room / Atelier tao+c. Image: © Fangfang Tian
U-shape room / Atelier tao+c. Image: © Fangfang Tian

Tapachula Rooftop Studio / TO

Tapachula Rooftop Studio / TO. Image: © Jaime Navarro
Tapachula Rooftop Studio / TO. Image: © Jaime Navarro

Flexible and multipurpose furniture

In projects with a small usable floor area, flexibility is key. Staircases used as closets, folding tables, beds with built-in drawers, and furniture on wheels are some examples of common solutions to optimize space by combining more than one function in a single element.

Yojigen Poketto / elii

Yojigen Poketto / elii. Image: © Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero | ImagenSubliminal
Yojigen Poketto / elii. Image: © Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero | ImagenSubliminal

Batipin Flat / studio wok

Batipin Flat / studio wok. Image: © Federico Villa
Batipin Flat / studio wok. Image: © Federico Villa

Greenery

Humans have an innate dependence on nature, which fuels their desire to be somehow close to it. To save space and still benefit from the effects of green on the residents' well-being, an alternative for small areas is to have them hanging over the ground.

Pantera Filmes Studio / Matú Arquitetura

Pantera Filmes Studio / Matú Arquitetura. Image: © Cris Farhat
Pantera Filmes Studio / Matú Arquitetura. Image: © Cris Farhat

Lido 501 Apartment / Atelier Aberto Arquitetura

Lido 501 Apartment / Atelier Aberto Arquitetura. Image: © Marcelo Donadussi
Lido 501 Apartment / Atelier Aberto Arquitetura. Image: © Marcelo Donadussi

High ceilings

Environments with high ceilings not only allow for better use of space by creating mezzanines and higher cabinets, but they also contribute to internal ventilation through the chimney effect.

Atelier_142 / Atelier Wilda

Atelier_142 / Atelier Wilda. Image: © David Foessel
Atelier_142 / Atelier Wilda. Image: © David Foessel

Family House / Ruetemple

Family House / Ruetemple. Image: © Ruetemple
Family House / Ruetemple. Image: © Ruetemple

Light colors

In a previous article, we showed how colors can alter the perception of interior spaces, and one good example is the use of light colors on the surfaces of an environment as a way to provide a feeling of spaciousness.

El Camarin / IR arquitectura

El Camarin / IR arquitectura. Image: © Fernando Schapochnik
El Camarin / IR arquitectura. Image: © Fernando Schapochnik

Appartement Spectral / BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY

Appartement Spectral / BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY. Courtesy of BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY
Appartement Spectral / BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY. Courtesy of BETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY

Warm materials

While cool and light colors can enhance the feeling of comfort in interior spaces by providing a greater sense of spaciousness, warmer materials such as wood, fabric, and ceramic can improve the coziness of a room without necessarily making it look larger than it is.

Architecture Studio / Alina Jerónimo + Paulo Carneiro

Architecture Studio / Alina Jerónimo + Paulo Carneiro. Image: © José F. Costa
Architecture Studio / Alina Jerónimo + Paulo Carneiro. Image: © José F. Costa

Apartment in Saint Andreu / Oriol Garcia Muñoz

Apartment in Saint Andreu / Oriol Garcia Muñoz. Image: © Aitor Estévez
Apartment in Saint Andreu / Oriol Garcia Muñoz. Image: © Aitor Estévez

Mobile and lightweight partitions

Mobile and lightweight partitions such as curtains, panels, or other elements that allow for flexible room separation are particularly useful in small spaces. When completely open, these devices promote greater integration between spaces, whereas, when closed, they take up less space compared to traditional dividers, such as masonry walls or drywall panels.

Alphonse Apartment Renovation / Match, bureau d'architecture

Alphonse Apartment Renovation / Match, bureau d'architecture. Image: © Antoine Bonnafous
Alphonse Apartment Renovation / Match, bureau d'architecture. Image: © Antoine Bonnafous

Translucent spaces / batlab architects

Translucent spaces / batlab architects. Image: © Norbert Juhász
Translucent spaces / batlab architects. Image: © Norbert Juhász

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topic: Interior Wellbeing. Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our monthly topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.

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Cite: Moreira, Susanna. "How to Ensure Comfort and Well-Being in Small Spaces?" [Como garantir conforto e bem-estar em espaços com dimensões reduzidas?] 19 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Duduch, Tarsila) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/958579/how-to-ensure-comfort-and-well-being-in-small-spaces> ISSN 0719-8884
Atelier_142 / Atelier Wilda. Image: © David Foessel

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