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Small Spaces in the Big City

These stylish digs prove there's plenty of room for imagination in the smallest apartment.

The residents of these East Coast apartments have found ways to incorporate their personal styles into small spaces and make their homes work for their lives.

Color and Space

Whimsical, space-age touches bring a sense of humor to this New York City apartment. Sticking to a couple of colors makes for a clean look. The resident treated his furniture as a single black-and-white element and painted the walls vibrant green. Coordinating furniture expands your painting possibilities.

If you can't afford a chandelier, recycle old parts to create one that's unique and special to you. Don't feel limited to the floor-plan status quo. This resident turned a large closet into an office space as well.

Setting the Scene

The photo stylist who occupies this L-shaped 500-square-foot New York City studio apartment calls on the same techniques he uses to make interesting sets for photo shoots to create a modern and eclectic scene for high-style living and entertaining. Plexiglas panels suspended from the ceiling separate his dining area and his bedroom, and a custom-built storage bench doubles as a twin bed in his dressing/guest room.

Because there isn't enough room for a freestanding bookcase, he employs vertical, free-floating stacks of books that look like pop-art sculptures. And he hangs multiple chalkboards on a large wall for inexpensive, changeable art.

Vintage Meets Modern

The artist who occupies this 650-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in New York City decorated it with eclectic antiques, sidewalk finds and homemade pieces. Most of his furniture is European modern, including a sleek sleeper sofa from 1954. Nearby are French deco chairs from the late 1920s and an unusual upholstered chair from 1968 that was designed for the French presidential palace.

A vintage bedside sconce from the 1970s is directional, so it rotates wherever light is needed. Lights can be incorporated into a headboard with the wiring run behind it. Swing-arm lamps are a great option for reading lights.

A Taste of Antiquity

The occupant of this tiny, dark Philadelphia apartment wasn't planning to stay long. Twenty years later, he'd turned his minuscule home into a homage to the ancient world. Every inch of space has been painted with images of long, long ago, with murals and other creations that carry guests to Pompeii, Egypt and Babylon. Some might be afraid of peeling plaster walls, but here they equal Old World charm.

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