Ordinary to Extraordinary

Four homeowners transformed ordinary small apartments into extraordinary, stylish homes.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionVerin recessed futon mattresses to create a level floor and gain additional ceiling clearance in the loft.
Meet four homeowners who think big even though they live in small apartments. Grab your own big ideas from a lot of cork in New York, a crafty writer's Hollywood bungalow, a modern take on bookcases in New York and a geometric guest house in Chicago.

Crazy for Cork
Helene Verin designed this 550-square-foot apartment for her boyfriend, Jim Burnham. She created a simple and unified home using cork as the primary material. The floors, kitchen counters and cabinets, tub surround and even some furniture are made from cork. The space is extremely functional for Burnham, his visiting teenage boys and their friends. The bedroom, living room and loft can actually sleep eight!

The 13-foot ceilings provide just enough room for a loft. In an inspired design moment, she removed the ticking and installed lighting in mattress springs for offbeat illumination beneath the loft. The stairs to the loft fold up and tuck behind closet doors. The kitchen to the left combines high-end and more affordable materials that blend to create a visually interesting space.