Take A Look At This Space-Saving, Futuristic and Dream-Like Apartment in Shanghai

Spread over just 667 square feet (62 square metres), this amazing family home has a dream-like quality...


This modern home is proof that X+Living is among the most exciting design firms in the world right now comes in the form of this clever remodelling of a compact Shanghai apartment. This amazing project is, surprisingly, the result of a TV makeover. But this is no 'Changing Rooms' style quick fix. Instead, a cramped flat has been dramatically transformed into a futuristic dreamland, the vision of head designer Li Xiang.

The design is centred around an octagonal main living space, created by removing two partition walls and 'cutting' its corners. Now, the compact apartment has managed to squeeze in a stylish dining space, dressing room, piano room, as well as separate rooms for a boy and a girl, all in an aye-catching, stylish way.

Designer Li Xiang completely reconfigured and transformed the tiny space in order to meet the needs for two growing children, as well as a couple who love to socialise and entertain guests. She also challenged traditional home furnishings to create bespoke pieces that can be used to suit a variety of different purposes.

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The main living space is centred around an octagonal living room, with views into four different corner spaces.

To achieve this, designer Li Xiang removed the original two partition walls in the living room, to create one large square. She then “cut” the four corners of the space, creating four smaller corner rooms, and connected them to the main living area with open arched doorways – thus offering vignettes into the pocket rooms.

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Giving each room a different colour palette and identity breaks up the all-white scheme in the living room. By using her signature open arched doorways, the designer creates little vignettes into other spaces, creating a sense of communication between the various spaces.

This also means that the family can be doing their own thing in separate spaces, while still being able to chat and see each other.

The walls in between the arched doorways feature full length hidden cabinets, hiding away a kitchen freezer on one wall, living room storage on another, and even acting as the bedroom wardrobe on another wall.

Even the entrance into the living room has been maximised, with built-in shoe storage in the doorframe.

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The design isn't just of the walls and rooms, but the objects too; everything is made to fit perfectly.

The banquette against the built-in wardrobes can be pulled to join up with the banquette in the dining booth, providing extra seating for dinner guests.

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The bespoke table extends too.

Similarly, the custom-made high-chair can either come apart as children's chairs for drawing, reading and playing, or stack on top of one another to create a highchair for the youngest child.

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The clients, a couple who sacrificed a lot of storage space and aesthetics in this small apartment for their two children, have finally been given some respite with a private and stylish master bedroom.

The oblique corner of the master bedroom has become a private space for the parents to drink tea and chat, with a semi-circular table that can be pulled down from the wall.

Seamless storage frames the bed.

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The designer also managed to squeeze in a dressing area, which leads to a small bathroom and a kitchen.

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The designer also responded to the children's need for space, transforming the corner staircase into a small study room for the children to practice the piano and read. The bespoke piano stool is inspired by the form of metronome.

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The staircase leading up to the children's rooms was given a playful design, zoning this area as part of the children's space.

A mirrored ceiling and a mirrored balustrade lends an imaginative dream-world touch.

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Up the stairs is an attic space which is divided into a boy's room and a girl's room, providing separate spaces for the children to study, live and play.

The attic has it's own entryway / landing area (above), and a hall of built-in storage that leads through to the girl's room.

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The girl's room uses a soft pink palette and scalloped patterns, creating a delicate and whimsical room.

The bed 'pod' sits in an alcove and can be closed off from the rest of the space with a curtain.

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The design for the boy's room was inspired by his favourite toy, a toy robot.

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The designer approached the robot theme with minimalist geometric design and line drawing.

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Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.