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Tiny Living: Good ideas for living in a small space I SWR Room Tour
- Published on Oct 2, 2023 veröffentlicht
- The Gmeiner family lives with 4 people in a 65 squarefeet flat in the middle of Constance. They have always adapted the limited living space to their needs with good ideas, space-saving tricks, and some conversions.
Their "half house" is located in one of the most popular residential areas of Constance, where living space is scarce and development is already very dense. It has stood in one of the inner courtyards for about 200 years and once served as a washhouse for the residents of the front houses. But since it eventually found no use as such, it was divided along the gable and sold. While one half remained virtually unused as a shed for many years, the other half was rented out as living space, and so it came to pass that a young family was able to set up their own little empire here.
Johanna and Stefan moved in here as a couple eleven years ago. Since then they have been renting the 65 m² of the halved house. At the time, these were perfectly sufficient for a living and dining room, a study and a proper bedroom. But then came the first child and a little later the second. In addition to the already unusual cut of the apartment, the living space now also became scarcer and had to be reconsidered and adapted with each child. At first, the couple, who worked in architecture and construction, found their living ideals and aesthetic ideas colliding with the reality of everyday family life. But Johanna and Stefan eventually found many creative solutions to optimize the space.
Today, the apartment features folding beds, multifunctional shelves, custom-fit wardrobes and modern technical solutions, often designed by the couple themselves, which make ideal use of the limited space.
Yet much of the family's life takes place in a single room on the second floor. The narrow, high-ceilinged room is simultaneously a living room, kitchen, dining room, playroom and storage room. For Johanna and Stefan, it is occasionally also their shared bedroom. On warm days, the spacious balcony here is also the natural extension of the versatile room.
Separated from it by a wooden wall is the children's room for Philippa and Luis. Before the children were born, this was the young couple's shared bedroom. But Johanna and Stefan had to set priorities and so today they sleep together on the sofa in the main room or, because Stefan occasionally snores, separately. Because on the first floor, in addition to a small bathroom and Stefan's PC work corner under the stairs, you'll also find Johanna's multifunctional room.
The parents-to-be originally furnished the room as a nursery with a crib and changing table, but in the end, diapers were changed everywhere and the children preferred to sleep with their parents. Today, Johanna has her work and retreat space here, which is equipped with a folding bed, an office table and a wall-filling built-in cabinet.
With their professional background and the right contacts, Johanna and Stefan have been able to make many pieces of furniture individually and precisely over the years. Particularly popular for do-it-yourself construction are simple materials such as coated MDF boards, which are otherwise more commonly used in industry or in large-scale solutions. But they have also saved leftovers or misproductions from construction sites from disposal and recycled them.
In this way, the living situation of the Gmeiner family has been constantly changing over the past 11 years and has been constantly optimized through clever solutions. But the optimization is far from over, because recently Johanna and Stefan were able to acquire the other side of the little house and are currently taking their spatial ideas to the next level there.
A film by Oleg Kauz (editing, camera, sound), Valentin Hennig (camera) and David Scheel (sound). Production: EIKON Media GmbH, on behalf of SWR.
00:00 Living in a Tiny House
03:17 Dining and living area
03:58 Outdoor area
05:35 Sofa / "snoring room"
06:23 Children's room
08:30 Johanna's office
10:33 Stefan's office
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