Mini Living Spaces

You really can do more than expected with limited square footage. Inventive solutions to the familiar problems of condensed living abound in these featured homes.

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Inspired by the use of yellow in the kitchens of Mexico, Alonso painted his kitchen a bright yellow. He used garage paint on the concrete walls, which is very durable and washable. Since he used to be a bartender, he says he has more glassware than anyone else in Miami. To gain extra storage in the small, visible kitchen, he uses his oven to stow away pots and pans. If you don't use the oven for cooking, take advantage of the storage space—even for unseemly items like sweaters or books. Just be sure the oven stays off!

Alonso loves to cook and entertain. He painted his front door with chalkboard paint – where he encourages guests to leave notes and extemporaneous artwork. He also painted a pipe that runs vertically through the space with chalkboard paint. He didn't want to cover it up since it is a structural element in the loft, so now he embellishes it in a playful way.