Cubist ClosetLittle spaces can have huge style. See a pre-war apartment's post-modern transformation; meet Houston twins with attached houses that have their own unique style; see an artist who lives and works in a Toronto hotel; and find out what a New York couple did to change the look of a second floor walkup.
When Peter Occoowitz and Chris Dlutowski bought this pre-war apartment, it had all the original moldings. With architect Stephen Alton, they removed the heavy woodwork and streamlined the apartment into a more modern, livable home. They lightened the space with interior doors composed of two pieces of glass with pink linen pressed between them so that they are literally living with rose-colored glasses.
With limited storage available, Alton used an entire wall for a series of closets. In keeping with the modern aesthetic of his clients, he disguised the wall of closet doors with an artistic arrangement of offset squares.
Go With the FlowDlutowski works in a cluttered, hectic environment, so he wants to come home to a clean, peaceful space. In this living room, glass and translucent materials create open spaces. This trick eliminates bulk in the room.
Heightened AwarenessThe couple chose low furnishings to give the sense of taller ceilings. Lower furnishings also have the added benefit of sitting lower than standard windows, allowing for more light in the room. In a small room, use two of the same bedside tables and lamps to create visual balance and the feel of a clean, uncluttered space.
Scaled-Down FurnishingsBungalow For Two
Identical twins Julia and Lynne Schafer found this 1923 bungalow duplex in the heart of Houston, Texas, and fell in love! The space is very open, with an archway separating the living room from the dining room. The kitchens open up to a raised deck and a shared backyard. The arrangement allows them to remain close while maintaining their own spaces.
When living in small spaces, it's important to find furniture that is in scale with the size of the room. Julia Schafer prefers the clean lines of mid-century modern furnishings. Tailored furniture looks better in a small space than big, overstuffed pieces.
A Wood Fireplace of SortsLynne Schafer's woodworking skills came in handy when faced with revamping a large, brick fireplace. She built custom cabinetry around the fireplace and covered some of the brick with wood panels for a cohesive look. The result minimizes the overwhelming presence of the massive fireplace in the living room.
Behind the CurtainHotel Living? Really!
Bruno Billio is a lifetime resident artist at the 118-year-old Gladstone Hotel. In the midst of the 37 hotel rooms, Bruno lives in a suite of three tiny rooms. The 12-foot ceilings allow for the installation of Billio's "towers." He creates these full-height sculptures in the studio part of the space, which converts into an exhibit gallery for entertaining clients.
In a small space, take advantage of the full length and height of a wall to make room for extra needs like storage or work space. Floor-to-ceiling curtains hide Billio's full office, with storage for all of the suite's electronics and supplies, a fold-out desk and a workspace for two people.
Making the Most of ItBillio wanted a queen-sized bed in his hotel suite. The bedroom nook has exactly enough room for the bed. He also tucked in a small table, which holds his television. The bedroom is separated from the rest of the apartment with curtains. Curtains can hide or define an area; change the material for an instant new look in the same space.
Yin and Yang of StorageSecond Floor Walk-Up
Just a few years ago, Ed Tachibana and Ha Lim Lee came across a dark and depressing 975-square-foot apartment with a manageable price tag. By enlarging and opening up the kitchen to become part of the living space, integrating better lighting and covering the dreary concrete with light hardwood floors, they gave the dingy space the feel of a bright SoHo loft.
The built-in cabinetry has open shelving above for displaying items and closed shelving below for storage. It's a clean look that uses wall space well.
Leaving It OpenThe centerpiece of the space is a mid-century dining table that is surrounded by a dozen vintage chairs. The table has two built-in leaves that make the table large enough for dining with friends or for spreading out blueprints when working from home.
Quiet ClosetsSince there were no closets, the couple bought sleek wardrobes to line one side of their bedroom. Lee is very sensitive to sound when she's trying to sleep. So aside from adding extra light in the room with their translucent, reflective doors, the wardrobes create a bank of acoustic dampening. Double that with the cabinetry on the other side of the wall, and the bedroom is almost soundproof.