Storage IncognitoTwo adults, four cats, two home-run businesses ... in 430 square feet! Few would dare to cohabit this tiny Brooklyn space, but owners Peter Sorgenfrei and Kate Roe love it. Clean lines and a modern aesthetic are achieved with hidden storage. Creative messes all disappear behind closed doors. The cats have their own space, too, on wall-mounted, carpeted shelves. It's a functional, livable, tranquil home.
White storage units hold all sorts of items from files to electronics to shoes and even a home office. Storage cabinets keep the clutter down, and these units blend into the room so the space doesn't feel crowded. The cabinets under the window provide kitty perches and more storage space. Windows are a great place to find extra storage: build out sills to sit on or for displays. House open or closed shelving underneath for more storage.
Keep It CoolWhen they first moved into the apartment, a bulky refrigerator dominated the small kitchen. Roe did some research and found two under-the-counter units: one a refrigerator, the other a freezer. In small kitchens, counter space is a valuable commodity. Keep everything up off the counters to make the area more functional and spacious. These homeowners use a metal drying rack that hangs from the cabinets and folds up against the wall when not in use.
A New Piece of OldCreating a home is a surprising and rewarding adventure. Don Stone converted a 670-square-foot hotel room into a comfortable apartment that reflects the building's 1920s architectural aesthetic. Stone got the surprise of his life when he discovered an old wall safe hidden in the closet. It contained newspapers from the 1930s, an invite to a swanky dinner dance and a vintage bottle of champagne!
The closet doors Stone inherited with the apartment were a mismatched, 1950s-era style. He discovered a folding screen at an antique dealer and knew it would fit the width for the closet doors. The screen was too short, so he had a cabinetry carpenter create the upper panels to reach the full length of the doors. Now he has impressive closet doors that fit the style of the apartment.
Nothing UnderneathWhen Stone saw the apartment windows for the first time, he knew he would get furniture that framed the view and echoed the style of the historic building. To keep his small apartment feeling spacious, Stone chose furniture with open legs. This trick gives volume to the apartment and a visual impression of ample open space. He paid careful attention to repeat elements throughout the apartment to make his home a reflection of his own classic, traditional style.
Modern CubismAt 5'5", Sarah Song is made for small spaces. When designing her New York studio apartment, she was adamant about not having to sleep, eat and work in one visual space. She needed a serious strategy to create enough room for her lifestyle. Her solution is a built-in furniture piece that comprises a home office, bedroom and closet; together they occupy different territory in the same 6x6-foot space.
This loft features an office space, which is the perfect height of 5'7" so Song can stand comfortably. A desk and four built-in shelves create a great working environment. The upstairs loft clears with enough room for Song to sit up in bed and not bump her head. This attention to detail should not be taken for granted. People often don't use the loft space they have because of low clearance. The cube also features a closet and a built-in ladder. Other space-saving options are ladders that roll forward from the wall at the base (so it's flush against a wall when not in use), fold away or slide away on a track.
Nooks and CranniesUse every last bit of available space. Anytime you can cut into a wall, you actually increase your square footage. Song built in a small linen closet and a cubby that holds her clock, lamp and reading materials. The cubby adds depth and dimension to the small area.
Streamlined BedroomPaul Corrie and Steve Ewens casually monitored development in their Washington, D.C. neighborhood. They bought their 800-square-foot apartment during its construction: control over the floor plan design allowed them to maximize space to meet their needs. Going vertical enables them to fit all their possessions into the apartment. They even applied this design theory to their garage space and installed a hydraulic lift to stack two cars in one space!
The original floor plan had a larger bedroom, but Corrie and Ewens decided to scale down the space to make a larger closet. A bedroom can be simpler and spacious without dressers and extra furnishings. The closet can then hold more items that need to be stored away from other areas of the apartment. An extra bonus: close the closet door, and it all goes away. Their closet works as a home office, a coat closet, a storage room, a dresser and a hanging clothes closet.
Three's a CrowdMany people love a big, comfy couch to settle into. For smaller spaces, though, a smaller sofa and some chairs are a great option. Three people rarely sit on a couch and chairs are a versatile way to provide a variety of seating options. Corrie and Ewens prefer more floor space than couch space.