Big on ComfortThese homeowners broke a big rule in real estate: they turned a two-bedroom apartment into one open space. Christian Couture and Hayden Goltz transformed a dark, segmented apartment into a one-bedroom, Moroccan-inspired home with more light, bold colors and high-end materials. Now they're living the loft lifestyle they've always wanted.
One thing Hayden absolutely had to have was a big, deep, comfy sofa to lie back into and relax. Well, they've got three. A lot of people think you have to have small furniture in a small space. They found they don't need so much room for foot traffic. As long as they can get from one area to the next, these homeowners would rather have plenty of cozy places to sit.
Raising the BarFor daily use, the dining room functions mostly as an office. Hayden wanted a marble slab top for his desk, but Christian didn't want a huge desk taking over the space. They came up with a brilliant solution: raise the height of the desk so it can double as a bar or sideboard when entertaining. They even have a small refrigerator and working sink nearby. Adjustable-height legs can also make any table do double duty.
Wuthering HeightsIn the bedroom, extra storage was vital. Because they both read a lot and like the look of books displayed on shelves, they took advantage of an unused area and built custom shelving all around the top of the room. They included recessed lighting for extra illumination. Putting shelving up high or low in a room gets it out of the sight line and makes it less obtrusive.
Appliance AppreciationA current trend in home design is to disguise appliances. Christian's tastes run counter to that aesthetic: he likes the look of his modern, high-end appliances. He's proud to have a washer and dryer in a New York apartment, so why not make them a focal point?
Lofty DreamsBarbara Theile's dream has always been to live in a loft. She knew what she was looking for and was instantly sold on her loft when she saw the timbered ceiling and exposed brick. Barbara designed her built-in entertainment center and created a great space to display collections. A spa-like bathroom and a mixture of antiques with modern pieces keeps the space stylish and personal.
This 825-square-foot historical Chicago loft started as a blank slate. Barbara was determined to make it her home. She put in the time and sweat to create custom pieces and a style that is uniquely hers.
Noteworthy KitchenBarbara's gourmet kitchen is filled with wood and stone. She painted the bottom edge of the cabinets above the sink with chalkboard paint. Instead of using sticky notes everywhere, she created a surface on which to write notes. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, you can use magnetic paint to create a place for magnets.
Four-Star BathWide, horizontal stripes make the bathroom seem bigger. Custom cabinetry creates extra storage. Little details like soap, flowers and candles give it a spa-like feel.
Bold, Yet BalancedMasculine colors and feminine touches create a modern bedroom that's soft, serene and romantic. The satiny duvet cover balances the rough-textured, brick wall behind the bed.
360 DegreesNorman and Sharon Wilson's 600-square-foot, one-bedroom Florida condo has high ceilings, lots of light and a user-friendly design. The previous owner, architect Jorey S. Friedman, is responsible for the clever designs that use the space wisely. The view out the living room window gives the whole space a tropical feel, and a patio is their personal jungle paradise.
When you turn around in this room, it's a living room, dining room, office and kitchen all in one view. The 10-foot ceilings give a feeling of spaciousness.
Two for OneThe sliding barn door doubles as a closet door and a bedroom door. This clever rolling system eliminates two swing doors that take up valuable space.
Part of the SchemeOriginally the kitchen was typical, basic white Formica. Jorey wanted it to look like a piece of furniture that felt like it was part of the living space, not just a place where you go to cook. She chose drawer space below the counter and cabinetry above.
Jungle RoomIn a climate like Florida's, an outdoor space is a usable bonus room. The Wilsons enjoy the quiet, lush, tropical feel of their patio for simple activities like reading and relaxing.
Splashes of ColorSteve Sousa was a pack rat who needed a change. Historically a slob, he thought living in a small space would force him to be neat and de-clutter. Now he finds 800 square feet is enough room for the things he needs. With working gumball machines and other delights, Steve's apartment is a bachelor pad with a playful motif.
Steve likes the modern look of the white walls and carpets. Bright, colorful accents and interesting pieces placed around the space add character and dimension to the mono-color backdrop.
Rotating GallerySteve went to the hardware store to gather supplies for this inspired photo gallery. He loves the impermanent nature of his displays and rotates photos on a monthly basis. This way, he actually gets to enjoy his full collection of photos. To create a gallery look in your home, group photos by color or theme.
A Kitchen by NameSteve now likes his space clean and neat. He finds the open, white countertop splashes light from the living room into the kitchen. Since he doesn't cook a lot, he repurposed his cabinets as storage for things he uses, like CDs.
Clean SleepThe bedroom has clean, simple, masculine lines. A bookcase rotates to reveal a full-length mirror. Under his bed he has extra storage with a built-in drawer. If you can't have built-ins, boxes with rollers work well for under-bed storage.