Inspiring Small Homes

May 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm , by

4da0006a32704a4aa7000003._h.500_w.540_s.fit_No matter what size your home, most people have trouble finding room for all of their belongings. That’s especially true here in NYC, where many apartments lack closets (or are, in fact, the size of most closets). Don’t believe me? Check out this controversial 78 square foot abode that was entered in Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool contest.

Since I just moved earlier this month after six years in the same apartment, I especially enjoyed browsing through the entries looking for ideas. My new place has a bit of a storage challenge (only one closet, but the super-high ceilings make up for it). I already managed to get rid of quite a bit and pare down before the move, but it will definitely take me some time to find a “home” for everything. This time around I plan to be much more thoughtful, and slowly acquire furniture that I really love and works in my space. I’m hoping to live by that old William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

That’s why it’s so great to see other people’s ingenious small space planning and decorating tricks. The Small Cool contest winner, Jordan, whose living room is pictured above, was just announced Monday, and her apartment totally embodies that quote. Here, a few things you can learn from her.

1. Make furniture double as storage. Her coffee table, pictured above, is actually a vintage flat file that offers tons of drawer space. Instead of just buying a regular table, she bought this piece and added casters to the bottom, so it’s easy to move. Notice how even her end tables bring more storage into the room.

2. Choose flexible seating. Jordan likes to entertain, but in her small living room, more than one sofa would feel cramped. Bringing in three classic chairs creates just as much seating as another sofa would, but they take up a smaller footprint in the room.

3. Screen shot 2011-05-12 at 12.23.07 PMDon’t be afraid to go big. You want your furniture to be the proper scale for your space, but oversize art on the walls is a-ok! Check out how great the large-scale pieces look throughout Jordan’s apartment.

4. Make the rooms suit your needs. With clever furniture arrangement, Jordan was able to turn even this narrow pass-through room (pictured at left and below) into a double-duty office and bedroom. Most people would have chosen to make the living room their bedroom, but she knew the bigger room would be more comfortable to gather with friends, so she flopped the layout. Smart!

Check out the rest of the small but stunning entries at Apartment Therapy.

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