Travel Lessons: How to Apply Small Hotel and Train Design

Маленькая квартира: Действительно новые идеи ее «увеличения»

If you ask what people are most dissatisfied with in their homes, the majority will probably answer: “its area.” But the problem of an acute shortage of meters is faced not only by young families with a mortgage or the heirs of grandmother’s Khrushchev houses. There is a whole range of spaces for which space savings are raised to a degree – and sometimes we are talking about luxury interiors. Size constraints force designers of hotels, yachts, train compartments and residential trailers to look for non-standard moves – that’s what we’re interested in!

Get campie

Motorhomes (camper, caravan), factory-made or custom-made, are extremely popular in America as an option for family travel or outdoor living. All amenities should fit in a small area: from the kitchen to the bathroom, while the interior should remain stylish and cozy so that you feel at home on the road. Someone buys a ready-made motorhome, and someone remakes an old school bus or a vintage trailer from the 1960s to their taste the scope for imagination and skillful hands is huge. If you look inside these caravans, you can borrow many interesting techniques for organizing life in a small space.

Go! 11 mobile homes from different countries

Chandler Prewitt Interior Design

1. Divide the “closet” into separate shelves and find a place for them
Whether it’s a small apartment or a trailer, organizing storage areas in tight spaces is always a challenge. There can be no talk of any dressing rooms, large wardrobes and closets, which means that you will have to use every free corner and the most unexpected places for storage. A lot of small shelves, drawers, pedestals in each functional area will give the same volume in aggregate.

60 ideas for a country house on a microscopic area

Noble Johnson Architects

2. When the standard places run out – look for non-standard
Narrow shelves and cabinets, just deep enough for a bottle for oil and sauce, one book, or another small item. Do not underestimate the ends of the furniture, because you can place a shelf for small items, a magazine rack or TV on the bracket.


Compact shelves can find their place in a variety of places: above the bed, desk or dining table. You probably didn’t consider the idea of ​​two-tiered storage along the perimeter of the bed, as in the case of this bedroom on the yacht – and after all, behind these facades, the capacity of a decent chest of drawers!

Good Cottage / Courntey Trent Design

Check yourself by looking at the photo. Does your small kitchen have a pull-out dining table? And the kitchen cabinets above the window? And the roomy drawer under the bench? When you built the refrigerator in, did you think of space under and above the appliance with pull-out drawers?

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Advice: To make the closed shelves not look too bulky, it makes sense to alternate them with open ones or glazed ones with backlighting. The streamlined furniture can be hung below without risking a bump on a protruding corner.

Aristocrat Architect & Interior Design Studio

3. Work with space, not meters
Imagine that you have only 6 meters for the living-dining room in the walk-through corridor. Now look at the photo and see: nothing is impossible. Especially in the hands of a competent designer and when using built-in furniture “to measure” the room.

Your money: How to save on ordering built-in furniture


4. “Yes” to transformers
Motorhomes and yachts are champions in the functional use of folding furniture. And if not everyone likes vertically folding beds, then a folding dining table in a small kitchen or balcony is unlikely to cause complaints. At the same time, when folded, it takes just a few centimeters against the wall and looks like an additional shelf for small things. The idea from the photo is roomy drawers under the table at the seat level.

Advice: Think of the mesh pockets on the train above the bed and implement a similar idea at home.

Lucy call

5. Technique in mini format
In fact, we have before us the same six-meter kitchen, only on wheels – the owners are quite satisfied with a mini-refrigerator and a stove for 2 burners. It is clear that this is not enough for a family with children, but if you live alone, what’s the point in a full-size technique?


6. Cover for kitchen worktop
In a small kitchen, there is always not enough free work planes, and you also need to place a sink with a stove. Simple and graceful solution to this problem sliding or hinged covers that cover appliances and plumbing fixtures, giving you that extra plane. By the way, a small dinette can also be part of a common tabletop, it is enough to leave free space at the bottom so that there is where to place a chair.

Paul Welschmeyer ARCHITECTS & energy consultants

7. Indulge in beauty
What you should definitely learn from the owners of various motorhomes and trailers is courage and loyalty to yourself. Space restrictions are not a sufficient excuse for a faceless interior. Contrary to popular recommendations for small homes, you can find in vans and dark furniture and glamorous interiors with an abundance of bright colors. Use common sense and simple guidelines:

  • light walls – less electricity costs;
  • glossy surfaces multiply light and make the space more voluminous (remember how much “gloss” is in hotel rooms – it is designed to create a luxurious atmosphere;
  • a bright spot distracts attention from tightness.
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The McMullin Design Group

Important: Pay attention to two more important details – a sufficient number of lamps (in any van there is a backlight at the kitchen unit) and the absence small (unnecessary) items and accessories in the decor. The cluttered space is just perceived from the lack of light and the abundance of small objects. Solve this issue – and you no longer have to complain about visual cramped! One or two decorative accents, such as a lamp or cushions for a small room, will be more than enough.


8. Use two-in-one furniture
Let’s move on to the ergonomics of the bedroom and an analysis of the hotel experience. Apart from the presidential suite, most rooms are small; and designers are actively looking for unusual moves. The headboard and bedside tables, the tabletop of a writing or dressing table, niches instead of hanging cabinets and shelves – this is just a short list of where you can abandon familiar furnishings in favor of non-standard ones.

Chibi Moku – Architectural Cinema – Photo – 360

9. Use the same room for different purposes
The easiest and cheapest option is to use a folding screen. The accessory will add a little boudoir chic to the interior and help to hide the private part of the room from prying eyes in just a second. This applies not only to bohemian stories like a bath in the middle of a bedroom in the manner of an expensive hotel. But even when you set up a full-fledged bed in the only single room, you plan to receive guests on the sofa next door as before. Shield yourself!

Ann Marie Baranowski Architect PLLC

10. Take a closer look at the partitions – stationary and rotary
Stationary partitions have a big plus in comparison with screens: it is easy to hide a spacious storage area inside them.

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Advice: Usually, such partitions do not reach the ceiling, which not only makes them visually less cumbersome, but also promotes air circulation. You should also seriously think about built-in lighting or sconces, as well as alternating volumes, for example, open and closed shelves.


Do you want to watch TV both from the guest side of the room and while lying on the bed? – the revolving wall will solve this problem.
About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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