With only 550 sq ft of living space and a sloping roof, the challenge was to make the best use of living areas.
This little vacation home in Varazze (near Genoa) has many charms, including its location in the town’s historic district and a balcony that looks out on the Ligurian Sea. With only 550 square feet of living space and a sloping roof, the challenge was to furnish the home in a way that makes the best use of living areas while maintaining a light and airy atmosphere.
Truly a family affair, the cottage was designed by architect Pierluigi Colombo for his sister Roberta and her family. Pier and Roberta are two of the owners of Clei, the Italian manufacturer of our multifunctional wall beds, tables, and storage solutions designed to maximize even the smallest spaces. Resource Furniture is the North American distributor for Clei furniture.
“Roberta wanted an apartment that could allow 2-4 adults to live and enjoy the space with comfort and privacy. Not an easy brief because the drastically-sloped ceiling reduced the actual useable footprint [in the living room] to less than 25 square meters – only 269 square feet,” said Pier. “It was clear from the beginning that respecting the client brief in such a small and difficult context would not be possible without the integration of multifunctional design solutions. The aim was to integrate those solutions not as static pieces of furniture, but as architectural elements that blended into the existing space.”
Specifying the Tango Sectional wall bed, Pier transformed the tiny living room into a flexible guest space that seamlessly converts from day to night. Thanks to a hidden handle located discreetly under the Tango’s display shelf, this multi-purpose wall beds opens vertically over the sofa seat to reveal a queen-size bed with an Italian-made luxury mattress by Magniflex.
“Before, the apartment was one unit with a bathroom. I didn’t have to demolish any walls. I’ve just added one multifunctional, custom-made ‘furnitecture’ that divides the bedroom from the rest of the apartment and allows access to the bathroom from the common area,” said Pier.
In the area off the kitchen, Pier installed the versatile Giro pivoting console-to-dining table. The Giro’s patented rotating mechanism and fold-over top allows it to swing out from the wall to function as a dining table or work area as needed.
Through thoughtful integrated, multifunctional furnishings, this space feels and functions like one twice its size. Roberta says she and her family use the home at least once a month, and their flexible living/guest area allows them to regularly host overnight guests.
“What I really love are the positive vibes I feel every time I open the door,” says Roberta of her cozy seaside cottage. “The home‘s dimensions are perfect. I have all the comforts I need and I have never felt the constraint of small spaces . At the same time, I have all the benefits of a small home — like reduced cleaning time!”
“I can say that buying this home has been one of the best choices I have ever made,” said Roberta.
Cose di Casa, an Italian magazine focusing on home renovation, featured the makeover in its August issue, with CLEI space-saving furniture taking a starring role.
Never Too Small, a media company dedicated to small footprint design and living, also featured the home in March 2021. Click here to take the video tour, featuring a special interview with Pier.