Happy Monday! I always love kicking off a fresh week with a Small Space Squad tour because it’s the perfect real life inspiration to jumpstart my week. Today I’m happy to feature the curated home of Karst Rauhé, an urban planner based in Amsterdam. I love that every inch of this space is carefully considered and designed to maximize livability… while also being super-cool. Plus, I am always excited to share more international homes! Let’s take a peek inside Karst’s studio.
Home Tour: Inside the Carefully Curated Amsterdam Apartment of Karst Rauhé
Who: Karst Rauhé
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Southeast district)
Number of years spent living small: About 3 years of living small, 1 year in this apartment measuring 27 square meters or 290 square fee
To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?
I used to live in a smaller city where I had a massive apartment all to myself. When I moved to Amsterdam, it became clear pretty soon that I could not afford that amount of space in that city. So I then moved into my previous home, which was a semi-studio apartment of 25 square meters or 270 square feet. I then fell in love with the many advantages of living small, so my next (and current) space is small as well at 27 square meters or 290 square feet. I choose to live small at first because of not being able to afford more on the expensive Amsterdam housing market, but right now specifically choose to live small because I like how it makes my life easier.
What is your biggest challenge in your small space?
I think for all people that live small, the main challenge is storage. To me, specifically, it’s storage for clothes. I have most my clothes in the sideboard where I have my tv, and my hanging clothes in the closet next to the kitchen. My way of dealing with less storage, is just consistently getting rid of clothes as soon as I get new pieces.
What is your favorite part about living small?
My favourite thing about living small is how easy it is. Cleaning my whole home top to bottom takes no more than 1 hour. It is also really easy to make the space feel cosy, as it is by proxy just a cosy space. It is also really easy to decorate as there is just less space to decorate, thus also saving me money.
What is your number one hack for living small?
My number one hack for living small is basically overall advice: make sure everything has a spot. I’m still not finished with this, but I have designated spots for my keys, my laptop, my backpack, my shoes, etc. Right now I found out I don’t have a spot for clothes that don’t need washing yet, but you don’t want to put back in the closet (you know how most people have the chair in their bedroom), so I’m planning on putting a basket underneath my nightstand.
Another hack is to pick only furniture that comes up from the ground and has an airy design. Because you see more floorspace, and you can look through your furniture, it makes the space feel bigger.
Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?
When I first started to live small I felt not guilty about buying things I don’t need, but I did feel annoyed at myself every time I bought something that just stood in the way. Pretty soon I got accustomed to a more minimalistic lifestyle and I can’t imagine it any other way anymore.
What have you learned about yourself by living small?
I always thought of myself as quite a materialistic person, or more so a “hoarder.” I think it was just me trying to make a cosy home out of a massive apartment with lots and lots of stuff. I am actually quite a minimalistic person, I just love to have good, quality stuff in my home.
What’s your number one storage hack?
My number one storage hack is the tall closet next to my kitchen, which has two tiers of hanging clothes. Because of its white exterior, it blends in with the kitchen and visually doesn’t take up much space, although it is huge.
Another storage hack for me is having stuff in plain sight, but make it pretty. I store my books with the binding not visible, to have all the whites of the pages facing out. This makes it less chaotic in colour scheme. My vinyl records I have on the little shelf of my coffee table, those are perfectly allowed to be seen and it doesn’t take up any extra space.
Who is your biggest small space inspiration?
Honestly, my biggest small space inspiration are the IKEA showrooms. They have store display “homes” which are filled to the brim with smart storage, great interior decor ideas and a realistic approach to small space living. I also love looking up tiny houses on Pinterest, although the context is very different (mostly detached in nature versus my studio apartment in the city), the size and dimensions are very much applicable. Next to that, I find a lot of inspiration on YouTube, especially the channels NEVER TOO SMALL and Matt D’Avella. On Instagram, I’m greatly inspired by Blake Pope and my.lvngrm.
What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?
Most of my friends live in the city as well, so they also live relatively small. Mostly they comment on how warm and cosy the space feels. My family however is from a small village, where living in bigger houses is the norm. They can sometimes comment on how they would never be able to live that small or they say “…but you really made the most of it though.”
You can find even more Small Space Squad Home Tours here:
- Wild and Pine
- Arielle Vey
- Anne Sage
- Jess Ann Kirby
- Sara Toufali
- The Gold Hive
- Harlowe James
- Den For Our Cubs
Photography by Karst Rauhé, used with permission.
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