Library LivingArchitect Justin Korhammer and his wife Florencia Kratsman purchased an apartment in a century-old building, but the 700-square-foot space had absolutely no character. The couple renovated to create a functional, livable space with a fluid, loft-like feel. They decided against including transition spaces in the design. Everything has to have a function; for instance, the corridor outside the bedroom became a changing room with the installation of floor-to-ceiling closets. They love the results: "It's our little jewel box."
Dark bookshelves, a black plaster wall and black and metal furnishings with only a few accent colors give the living room the reflective feel of a library. It is also a place to hang out and watch movies. This couple has cleverly hidden their TV by placing a video projector in a cutout in the wall above the couch, which also allows natural light to filter through to the rest of the apartment. A huge screen pulls down in front of the windows. A video projector is a great way to save space and money; it is usually about one-third the cost of a flat screen TV.
Stunning DiningThe white and silver color palette of the dining room is in direct contrast to the dark tones of the living room that shares the same space. This contrast defines two separate spaces in one room. To accent the linear quality of the room, the couple chose a long dining table and aligned it with the window.
Radiator SolutionThe area around a radiator is often wasted space. This couple took advantage of that space in their bedroom by building a desk. It holds paperwork they don't want visible in their apartment, gives them a private area to work and also hides an unattractive appliance. Other ways to gain space and hide a radiator are to build a shelf on top of it or to place shelving or cabinets around it.
Art-chitectureAs architecture students, Mark Shatz and Anne Eamon bought a cheap, overgrown lot in inner city Houston. Over eight years, they built a striking contemporary home — by hand. The couple opened their interior space by linking it to the outdoors. They even added a small reading loft to view the leafy canopy above. Their most creative touch, though, has to be the mini-window for their dachshunds.
When designing their eating area, the couple placed the window at the eye level when seated at the table. This allows for a comfortably accessible, splendid view. Painting the wall dark green highlights and localizes the area. It also focuses the eye on the window, giving it the prominence of a piece of art.
Smart StacksThese bookcases are on casters and usually sit off to the side of the room stacked right against each other. Because they are mobile, they can become part of the structure of the room. They can wall off areas for privacy and change the flow in the room for different occasions.
Curator of ColorMarc Pachter always dreamed of living in a loft. He enlisted the help of architect Reena Racki to transform the dark, dingy basement of his Washington, D.C., home. The result is a wonderfully inviting, colorful, multipurpose guest apartment that he calls his "lower loft." He feels that his guests can't help but be happy in this space.
Small SuccessThe bathroom is tiny but offers guests a place to shower. Instead of taking up visual space with a fixed under-sink cabinet, Marc found a rolling cart that sits between the shower and sink. It can easily be moved to access the shower and gives a more versatile storage/counter space in the room.
Diner ClosedWhen Tanaka Gaines told friends that she planned to live in downtown San Francisco, they didn't believe it. A newspaper advertisement for "a beautiful small space" changed all that. Tanaka hired designer Richard Pennington, who used stylish, multi-functional storage to streamline the space. Tanaka likes living small. The apartment stays clean because everything has to be put away or it's in the way.
No room for a traditional table? Tanaka solved the problem with a double drop-leaf table that she tucks against the window between her kitchen and couch. Other options are a table that folds down from a wall, TV trays stored under a couch or even a coffee table that can raise up to accommodate chairs.
Guests Not IncludedWhen Tanaka wants to entertain, her dining table can open up to seat six to eight guests. For eating alone, she can raise a leaf for a modest table for one. It's important when living in a small space to know what the maximum capacity is.
Efficient EfficiencyWhen designing the space, Richard suggested placing the kitchen all along one wall. European appliances save space and complement the contemporary look. Making them a part of the cabinetry and counters detracts from the space being a "kitchen," a separate space from the rest of the apartment.