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Small-Space Solutions: 5 Tiny Bedroom (and Dorm) Ideas to Steal from Stockholm’s Hobo Hotel

Leather headboard, Hobo Hotel Stockholm designed by Studio Aisslinger. Patricia Parinejad photo.

Set in a 1970s brutalist bank building on Stockholm’s Brunkebergstorg Square, the new Hobo Hotel  is positioning itself as a social space for creatives to gather and volley ideas. In addition to a cafe and bar/restaurant, it has a monthly schedule of performances and panel discussions, and an ongoing pop-up area off the lobby for local startups to strut their stuff. The 201 guest rooms are also exercises in creativity.

Designed by the inventive team at Studio Aisslinger—whose work we were just admiring in Dorms for the New International Nomad—the lodgings make the most of very tiny spaces. Here are five ideas we’re inspired to apply to our own cramped quarters.

Photography courtesy of Studio Aisslinger and the Hobo Hotel.

1. Deploy pegboards.

Hobo Hotel, Stockholm: a photo rendering of a guest room design by Studio Aisslinger.
Above: Julia Child popularized the use of pegboards for pots and pan storage, and of late, we’ve been seeing birch plywood pegboards hung all over the house, including on the side of a fridge. But this is the first time we’ve seen pegs applied to the upper reaches of a bedroom. And why not?

Shown here, in a Studio Aisslinger photo rendering, pegboards become a graphic element while also supporting a wall-to-wall shelf and hanging rail.

Guest room pegboard at Hobo Hotel Stockholm designed by Studio Aisslinger. Patricia Parinejad photo.
Above: Deployed at the Hobo in range of ways, including as vertical paneling, pegboards also provide a place to display schedules, artwork, tips guests can leave for the next occupants, and hotel accessories (a backpack, umbrella, and  pocket synthesizer for use during their stay and to buy if they wish).

Pegboards can be a DIY project for the handy: See Instructables’ Big Peg Board Shelving System. Four good readymade options: George & Willy’s Bang Bang Pegboard, $265; Kreisdesign’s range of Peg-It-All Pegboards, starting at £95; and the Block Pegboard with Wooden Pegs, available in a range of sizes and colors, starting at $34 on Amazon. Photograph by Patricia Parinejad.

2. Orient the bed to the window.

Clever use of tiny bedroom: Hobo Hotel Stockholm designed by Studio Aisslinger. Patricia Parinejad photo.
Above: A floating furniture arrangement allows a tiny space to be put to multiple uses without feeling crammed. To make the most of the views and allow space for desks, the designers at Studio Aisslinger’s oriented the beds right up against the small, funnel-shaped windows lined with sheer curtains in palest pink (and barely noticeable blackout curtains for use as needed).

A powder-coated steel lattice separates the sleeping area from the rest of the room, while providing a place for hanging bedside lighting and allowing the natural light to travel. Bathrooms, see top, have glass walls with slatted wood privacy doors, “so while having a shower you can still look into the room and out of the window,” says Studio Aisslinger interior architect Dirk Borchering. Photograph by Patricia Parinejad.

3. Hang a headboard.

Leather headboard, Hobo Hotel Stockholm designed by Studio Aisslinger. Patricia Parinejad photo.
Above: A look borrowed from vintage gym mats: upholstered leather panels affixed to the wall (or lattice bed divider) as a headrest. Leather was selected to add texture and warmth to the room, and because it improves with age, but canvas and other fabrics would also work well. Photograph by Patricia Parinejad.

4. Create the illusion of space with mirrors.

Red mirror, Hobo Hotel, Stockholm. Studio Aisllinger design. Erik Lefvander photo.
Above: Introducing mirrors is an age-old way to create the illusion of extra square footage. Studio Aisslinger added a surprise touch: a rose-colored mirror that contrasts with the pale green-gray walls.

Ideal for use as glimmering space enhancers (rather than for looking at yourself), tinted mirrors are having a moment—see Trend Alert: 9 Tinted Decorative Mirrors and Antiqued and Colored Mirrors from a Los Angeles Designer. Photograph by Erik Lefvander.

5. Discover double-duty furniture.

Combination desk and headboard, Hobo Hotel, Stockholm superior room. Studio Aisllinger design. Erik Lefvander photo.
Above: In tight spaces it makes sense for the key furnishings to multitask. On boats and trailers, drawers are inserted into stairs, and kitchen tables morph into beds. Here, the lattice-framed bed doubles as a desk. Photograph by Erik Lefvander.
Combination desk and headboard, Hobo Hotel, Stockholm superior room. Studio Aisllinger design. Erik Lefvander photo.
Above: The desk-fronted beds are custom Studio Aisslinger designs. So is the hotel lighting; it’s now in production by Wästberg as the Hobo Lamp Family. Photograph by Erik Lefvander.
Felt-lined shelf bench, Hobo Hotel Stockholm designed by Studio Aisslinger. Patricia Parinejad photo.
Above: A Studio Aisslinger felt-fleece-lined bench incorporates shelves and a hanging rack.

For more transformer designs, see Live/Work Furniture from Hirashima in Japan and A Shape-Shifting Studio Apartment in London. Photograph by Patricia Parinejad.

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