Flexible Ryokan Inspired Condo, Bangkok

In a bustling city like Bangkok, finding tranquility and space can be a challenge. Mae Prachasilchai of Studio La Tarta Piccola, has managed to create a serene oasis within the confines of a limited apartment. Inspired by the calming ambiance of Japanese Ryokans, Mae incorporates elements of Japanese design, such as shoji doors, to achieve a softer aesthetic and maximize functionality.

The apartment, initially furnished with a kitchen, bathroom, and sliding doors dividing the living area and bedroom, underwent a remarkable transformation. The sliding doors were removed, allowing for a more open space and increased natural light. Additionally, a platform was added in the bedroom, expanding the living area from a modest 7 to an impressive 17 square meters.

Upon entering the apartment, visitors are greeted by a floating cabinet on the left side, housing a coffee corner and shoe pocket. The right side features a study corner with floating shelves above the desk, providing a dedicated space for work or relaxation. The living area boasts walls coated with a synthetic resin, creating a natural mortar texture. At the center of the room, a comfortable 3-seater modular couch invites residents to unwind. To complement the apartment’s wooden theme, a Samsung Frame TV with a light wood frame was carefully selected which can transform into a captivating piece of art when not in use.

In this space-conscious apartment, every element serves multiple purposes. A coffee table can be raised, transforming into a dining table when needed. Due to budget constraints, the original kitchen remains unmodified, featuring essential elements such as a sink, range hood, induction hob, microwave niche, and hanging open cabinets. However, a separate water purifier with a tap has been installed to meet the residents’ needs.

At the end of the room, a wooden platform adorned with four tatami mats takes inspiration from traditional Japanese Ryokans. This versatile space serves as a second living area or a study, effortlessly transitioning throughout the day to accommodate various activities. By using a futon mattress from the closet, it can be transformed into a cozy sleeping area at night. Sliding panels provide privacy and help retain cool air, while also concealing hidden storage for board games and pillows.

The balcony serves as a laundry area, with the washing machine cleverly placed to maximize space. Adorned with roses, the balcony brings a touch of nature into the apartment, creating a refreshing ambiance. The sliding panels also double as closet doors, conveniently covering any clutter when visitors are present. When closed from the inside, a dressing area with a walk-in closet is revealed, further optimizing the use of space.

In the redesigned bathroom, dark grey ceramic tiles adorn the walls and floor, evoking a sense of tranquility. A floating vanity, made from materials that match the wood furniture in the apartment, adds a touch of elegance. LED lights positioned at the top and bottom create a relaxing atmosphere, making the bathroom a sanctuary within the home.

Prachasilchai believes that living in a small space simplifies life and promotes a sustainable lifestyle. It encourages individuals to only keep what they truly need, reducing their carbon footprint and saving on electricity bills. This innovative apartment design showcases the beauty and functionality that can be achieved even within limited spaces.

As the video showcasing this remarkable apartment concludes, architects and designers are invited to submit their own projects for potential features on, an inspiring platform that celebrates innovative small-space designs.

In a world where space is increasingly limited, this Japanese-inspired apartment design serves as a testament to the possibilities of maximizing functionality, serenity, and beauty within a small footprint.

Images by NeverTooSmall