Floating FurnitureSee an apartment seemingly floating on a cloud; souvenirs add character to a New York apartment; a student uses layering to add space to his Chicago pad; and an interior design graduate put his schooling to work to give his space universal appeal.
Floating on a Cloud
When Karen Skurka found this East Broadway apartment, her original plan was to fix it up and rent it out after a couple of years. But the longer she lived there, the more she fell in love with the neighborhood, the building and the possibilities of the space. She hired the design team known as The Apartment to help her keep the modern international style of the building, while maximizing the light feeling of the space.
Everything in the apartment floats, with walls that don't quite touch the floor and furniture that either sits on pegs or is mounted to the wall. The bedroom wall units hold all of Skurka's clothes and her extensive shoe collection, although most of the shoes are checked in the storage space at the front door to keep the white floors pristine.
Pocket DoorsThe dining room can be closed off from a messy kitchen by a set of double sliding doors.
Hidden OfficeThis may look like a dining room, but the slatted, wall-mounted storage cabinet on the far wall also holds her home office supplies and internet connection. She just sets up her laptop on the table and has plenty of room to spread out.
Shrine to New YorkNew York Souvenirs
As a graphic and interior design professor in Oklahoma, Jim Watson designed his New York apartment with creative ideas to inspire his students when they visit the big city for an extended field trip. Pure white walls create a striking contrast with the items on display. Using bright red carpet tiles, Watson ignored the restrictions of the walls and created a secondary grid for the space, setting the furniture along an angle to provide tension to the walls. The angle, oriented to the river view, relates to the overlapping street grids of lower Manhattan.
Each art display is eclectic and carries the themes of repetition and the city, including three vertical sculptural columns made of 735 recycled MetroCards, shown here with other kitsch souvenirs. Other collections include a 5x5 grid of 25 framed photos of classic New York City icons on the living room wall, and a gravity defying grid of 96 miniature Statues of Liberty and 96 miniature Empire State Buildings glued to the bedroom wall.
Tourist LibraryWatson continues his love of all things New York with his "library" of New York books and tourist brochures, which become works of art. Every guest that visits his apartment is required to leave a souvenir on one of the rolling carts that line the living room carpet grid.
Spatial LayeringStudent Aloft
When Marc Couillais scouted for student housing, he chose this recently converted hotel room because it is located in Chicago's ritzy Gold Coast district. But being steps away from the beach and the 'magnificent mile' definitely came with a price—no space. Couillais admits he was both overwhelmed and thrilled by the challenge of fitting everything an architect student needs into only 270 square feet and still having room to sleep, eat, study, relax—and entertain. (Being from Detroit, with lots of friends, out-of-town guests were inevitable.)
Couillais's major move was to use a lofted double bed to split up the room. He calls it "spatial layering." Enclosing the portion of the room closest to the door made the ceilings appear to be taller—and the living space much larger because when you walk in you now see four separate spaces. It also created a cozy enclosed space under the loft, which Couillais outfitted with a desk and cabinet to serve as a study.
Versatile SpaceWhen guests visit, a small entry table and stackable chairs unfold to become a dining table for four. When guests are ready for bed, the table and chairs fold up again, and a Murphy bed descends in its place. The office cabinet now serves as a nightstand. Couillais also made a point to minimize his clutter (he still stores things at Mom's) and keeps clean lines throughout to maximize the spacious feeling.
Triple Duty RoomUniversal Appeal
As Richard Thompson's graduation from design school draws near, one of his biggest sources of pride is his own 850-square-foot, carriage style condominium. Fresh and modern feeling, but still comfortable and homey, Thompson wanted to create a space with universal appeal. A neutral palette and simple clean furnishings help to achieve the desired effect. Another important consideration was that he hates clutter and can't stand to see unsightly items. Lots of storage helps to keep the space clean and uncluttered.
The den doubles as an office and triples as a guestroom with the help of a sleeper sofa. Thompson moved the large bathroom mirror into the room and added an interesting wood frame. The mirror reflects light around the previously dark room. The small office armoire was chosen for its compact size and storage capacity—it holds all of the office necessities: mail, printer, fax, computer and supplies.
Kitchen GlowThompson painted the oak kitchen cabinets white and enhanced the natural lighting with recessed canned lighting and over-the-counter lighting for a warm, inviting glow. Because the kitchen is so small, and because he enjoys cooking and entertaining friends, the tiny downstairs entry coat closet was converted into additional pantry space, as well as storage for some outerwear and business related tools and portfolio pieces.
Spa BathRemember the large mirror in the den that was removed from the bathroom? It was replaced with two round ones. Because the ceiling is low and the room is so small, keeping the color light is important to offset the fluorescent lighting.