Office/Dining RoomWhen Douglas Ratcliff moved into this 400-square-foot cottage in Miami Beach, it was full of fabulous built-ins and space-saving components. But as he thought hard about his needs for his personal space, he made a difficult realization: he didn't need all the space savers. So he took a deep breath and did the opposite of what most people in small spaces do—he ripped them out. Ratcliff's bravery has paid off; he has created a space that functions perfectly for him, complete with all the amenities he desired.
This multifunctional space features a desk made with two drawer units as the base with a glass top. Ratcliff removed a Murphy bed, which left an alcove for the desk. With a dinette set nearby, the room doubles as a cozy dining room.
Hanging StorageHanging rails double the storage in the tiny kitchen.
Bathroom Built-InThe bathroom has a floor-to-ceiling medicine cabinet recessed into the wall so it doesn't take up any floor space. Ratcliff is accessing the cabinet from his ultra-deep tub/shower.
Tiki LoungeRatcliff's favorite room in the house is actually outside. A modern bar and lots of plants gives the space a tiki lounge feel.
Living MuralNine years ago Alexandra Watkins walked into a bland, white-walled loft. Armed with her over-the-top creativity and love of bright colors, she has transformed this 800-square-foot space into her own personal fun house with wall-to-wall eye candy. From the constantly evolving wall mural to the custom-made furniture that hides an unbelievable amount of storage, there's always an exciting new discovery to behold in this loft!
This floor-to-ceiling mural reflects Watkins' travels; when she returns from a trip, the artist comes back and adds to it.
Stuffed Animal SofaWatkins admits that none of her furniture is very comfortable and that she opts for looks before comfort. This highly unusual stuffed animal sofa is one example.
Creative CredenzaWatkins works at home and her business is about food, so her kitchen doubles as the office. This colorful, custom-built credenza hides away all office materials, from files and Rolodex to laptop and printer.
Chilled books, anyone?An old-fashioned refrigerator—in her bedroom—stores everything from books and photos to extra blankets.
Wall SprinklersEvery single item in Michael Connelly's apartment has a story behind it, and he loves to tell all of them! He and his eclectic collections reside in one of Chicago's most iconic and recognizable buildings, the old Edgewater Beach Hotel. Traditional decor meets industrial design in this 643-square-foot apartment. Some of his choices seem risky in a small space, such as dark-colored walls and a random mix of accessories on display, but with his crafty storage ideas and good designer instincts, it all works.
The most interesting thing in Connelly's dining room isn't on the table, it's his collection of lawn sprinklers hanging on the wall. Hanging objects high pulls the eye up and makes the space seem larger. Remember, though, to find the studs when hanging heavy objects.
Light and DarkDark paint on the walls can absorb light and visually shrink a space, but the small living room has seven windows, so there's plenty of natural light to offset the dark walls.
Balancing ActThe bedroom also balances light and dark, big and small. The white linens and doors brighten up the dark slate blue walls.
Sleek IslandAll her life, Madge Whistler wanted a big house in the suburbs. That is, until she got one. The 4,000-square-foot home couldn't make up for the isolation she felt living far away from the city, so she packed up and bought a tiny condo in the heart of Austin. She and her designer, Jerri Kunz, transformed the bland condo into an elegant and efficient open space, complete with double-duty furniture and an elaborate home automation system. Whistler has mastered the art of saving space, as well as effort!
There's a lot more than meets the eye in this kitchen. To downplay the large size of the island, it's topped with a piece of black granite.
Fully AutomatedThis touch screen on the kitchen island controls all of the home's inner workings with the touch of a button or even just the sound of Whistler's voice. She can talk to her house and it talks back!
Sheer SeparationThe bedroom is divided from the living area by a sheer curtain hung from the ceiling.