Subtle PassionNot having enough room is no excuse for not giving a space some kick. See Columbian influence in a Columbian Heights townhouse; a young family creates a home that takes advantage of their surrounding landscape; South Beach inspiration meets New York square footage; and a Philadelphia designer fills her space with personal style.
As a kid in Bogota, Jaime Palmera used to sit under his dad's drafting table and draw architectural designs of his own. Well Columbia Heights is a far cry from Columbia — but that's where Palmera finally got to put his ideas into action. He completely gutted and renovated his 1940s townhouse to make a living and work space with a bar/gallery feel that looks "bold, not small."
Palmera designed his kitchen to fade into the background. An island made of stainless steel with a marble top separates the kitchen from the living area. The island has a dishwasher, stovetop (with covers to hide it when not in use) and shelving on the kitchen side. In the adjacent living room, the low furniture expands the view through the space.
A Separate PiecePalmera played with ideas to separate but not totally close off his bedroom from the rest of his home. In the end he chose a chest-high wall that doubles as his headboard. It hides the bed from view and creates another interesting area in his living space. Another trick he used to define the bedroom is floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall curtains.
Mini Wall of StoragePrimitive Modern
Near Austin, Max and Melody Schleder fell in love with a piece of land: 23 acres with a 300-foot cliff overlooking Purgatory Creek. So they decided to build a home that fit in with the natural surroundings. Their home captures the primitive feel of the landscape while providing modern amenities that accommodate two adults, two children and a dog in a very small space.
Echoing their own organizational strategies for the adult items in the house, the Schleders incorporated cubbies, bins and baskets on a shelving unit along one wall in the kids' room. And, if you start them young, they'll grow up to be organized and neat.
Keep It SimpleThe floor plan is simple and compact: an open kitchen, living and dining area on one half of the home, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the other half. These spaces are divided by a main wall that doubles as the home's core storage. In the kitchen, the wall supports the cabinets and a pantry.
Small Space, Big RocksTheir friend and architect, Chris Krager, was inspired by the limestone and rock outcroppings on the land and suggested using very large 2- by 2- by 6-foot rock blocks to construct exterior walls on two sides. They make the house feel monumental while still blending in with the surroundings. The other two walls are completely made of glass to take advantage of the amazing vista view and let light into the home. A continuous glass band wraps around the entirety of the home just under the roofline and gives the illusion that the roof is floating above the house.
One Room LivingSouth Beach Inspiration
Zachary Sosne bought the only place he could afford in his favorite neighborhood, the Upper West Side. Since his fiancee Lindsay Joyce joined him, it's been a gradual upgrade. Their stay at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach inspired the gray and aqua color palette and mid-century modern decor.
With a mere 16- by 18-foot space, clutter-free is a priority. A tiny, wall-mounted dining table is paired with chairs that slide perfectly underneath the table and take no space when not in use. On another wall, a long built-in unit with massive drawers houses storage and a wall-mounted TV. Over one of the small closets, they cut a cubbyhole for additional storage. Joyce's tiny closet has its own carefully planned organization system. And since they run their business from home, all of their work materials are systematically categorized and stored under the bed. Even the pugs fit away efficiently, sleeping on a blanket under the sofa.
Open All NightThis couple got inspired and started by ripping out the kitchen in the middle of the night. Their new kitchen is made of mostly raw materials: a concrete countertop, a copper backsplash, glass cantilevered shelves, a moveable butcher block shelf and a chalkboard wall.
Liberating BrickBetty's Room
Betty Kim's design philosophy is simple: make your space personal. She filled her industrial-style loft with hand-me downs, family heirlooms and reinvented pieces of artwork. She keeps storage out in the open: "If you have stuff that you need to put away, then you just shouldn't have it." Even so, Kim is a self-proclaimed minimalist and likes to keep things looking clean.
When Kim moved into the 900-square-foot loft, all the walls were white. She personalized the raw, open space by painting the bricks in different shades of silver and gray. It became a meditation for her each day, to unwind and paint individual bricks.
Floating TriptychTo separate the guest room from the main living area, Kim hung large panels of orange and purple that her mother painted.
The Gate of RichesAs she was moving in, Kim found an old gate in the hallway. She dragged it into her bedroom and now uses the metal structure to store jewelry and display other accessories.