Space Planning in Interior Design: How to Split 1 Apartment Into 2

Andrea Tru
by Andrea Tru

I’d like to offer insight into how I approach space planning in interior design. I'm going to use a new project I’m working on which is an apartment in Mexico City. This rooftop apartment is going to be divided into two units to become two Airbnb rentals. So I want to break this one space into two different apartments and make it function well.

Using a yellow marker to indicate natural lighting

1. How to divide space

One of the most important parts of my job is to provide clients with a functional and efficient space. First I start off by tracing the existing walls on my plan.


With the yellow marker, I will indicate natural lighting. Each apartment has two skylights. I like to think about lighting early in the process.


Of course, I want to keep the entry in the same spot because this is an apartment.

Using a red marker to indicate modifications

2. Dividing it down the middle

This space has two balconies and two skylights (one is not technically a skylight but more on that in a minute), so it makes perfect sense to divide it in half from the entry to the back bedroom.


One of the challenges of this project is that I need to demolish as few walls as possible. I will use a red marker to draw a new wall that needs to be built here actually to divide this space into two.

Adding additional doors

3. Adding an additional door

I will now add an additional door to enter the other apartment unit.

Adding a new bedroom

4. Adding in a bedroom

In one apartment there is already a wall dividing the bedroom space and I want to add a similar wall in the other apartment to create a bedroom there, too. The balconies have French doors which can stay.

Adding a new bathroom

5. Adding the bathrooms

Because the apartment had only one bath, we had to add one into the apartment that was split off. It needs to be close to the bedroom but also close to social areas. So it has to be convenient, so it will go in the middle of the space.

Placing the living rooms

6. Placing living rooms

I want the living room on one side under the skylight, but the configuration may change. Since this is a rooftop apartment, the other side doesn’t really have a roof where the skylight is, so it can stay an open-air type of courtyard or roof garden. Or, I might need to close it up.


On that side, the living room will be right near the entryway and the kitchen will fit perfectly in the far corner, almost out of the way. There’s no room for an island, however, which is fine, so I’ll just add in a small peninsula with seating for two.

Locating a second kitchen

7. Locating the other kitchen

In one apartment, I will put the kitchen at the entry. Since this is an Airbnb, we don’t need a formal dining space. I will put in a peninsula with some seating space.

Space planning in interior design

8. The long hallways

I’m going to put artwork and pendant lights on the long hallways to make them look nice.


Space planning in interior design

So, there you go! I was able to turn one apartment into two functional apartments with the least amount of modifications possible. It’s a perfect interior design solution for two small spaces. Do you think these two apartments will work well as Airbnbs? Let me know in the comments.

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  • Beth dodd Beth dodd on Aug 13, 2023
    Video was too hard to hear. The lady spoke too fast and did not enunciate well. Her voice was muddled and actually disappeared at times when she was at the end of the sentence Would have been better without the music.
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