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I want to share ways to create a signature style in home design for others by offering ideas and pictures as examples.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little Talk About Small Spaces

I live in a very small space. You might as well say it is a one bedroom/bath even though it is a two bedroom/bath. When we moved to our new home, I gave the master bedroom/bath to my 17 year old grandaughter, knowing full well for all intense purposes I would not see it again for any amount of time until she finishes Jr. College, unless she decides to continue at Baylor University.

Why would someone do that you might ask. Easy, try and fit a queen size bed /headboard and footboard, an entertainment center that goes all the way up to the ceiling, a vanity that has a wrought iron mirror attached that is long enough to use one end as a full size desk and last but not least, a FULL SIZE NORDIC TRACK into a guest bedroom. Good luck!

Being a teenager and remembering what a pack rat I was at that age, (yes you could even find a "church key" and a cooler in my room), even though I am 2 generations removed, I have enough sense to not darken the door of her bedroom if at all possible!!!

All that being said, I thought it might be fun to address SMALL SPACES, since there are two takes on them. The first take is that less is more and that placing a few large pieces of furniture in a room can make it look and feel more spacious. One of these days, I am going to figure out how to take a picture from a magazine without a big reflection on it but in the meantime, please bear with me.

In the House Beautiful, January 2005 issue, Atlanta designer, Sherrill Deakins, showed the world what she did with her 1200 square foot apartment. I like it because it is done in neutrals but it is more than that, it is elegant. The photographer was Carlos Domenech.

It makes me want to rush out and purchase the material to cover my Ballard Design ancanthus leaf table, but then I would not be able to admire the sculpture. She placed an urn on top of the table filled with greenery and with blooming twigs; that in and of themselves are a sculpture. And she built an upholstered banquette and put her round table on casters so she could use it as her office also.


We know that having open shelving on top and covered shelving on the bottom in a kitchen, along with  keeping it white and bright, will make it appear larger.

Then there is the other take/theory that more is more in a small space. So in the same magazine issue, let's travel to New Oleans to look at how designer Thomas Jayne helped friend, Robert Clepper, utilize his 350 square foot French Quarter garconniere. The photographer was Kerri McCaffety. Being an artist, Thomas knew that Robert's home would be an ever changing collage of art work. The trick was to enable Robert to change out art collections, and I would say Thomas pulled it off quite nicely. When you have so little space, utilizing every inch is important, including the stairs. 

The daybed below, serves as a eating area for guests in the kitchen, as well as a guest bed for sleep overs.

Even though everything imaginable is crammed into this kitchen, in comparison to the kitchen above, one thing holds true in both. They both have open shelving on top and closed shelving on the bottom.

There was no wall between the bedroom, dressing room and bath. With 350 square feet what can you expect? Remember in a recent post we saw fabric hung between bed posters to make it look pretty? Well here we go again, only this time it was for privacy. The fabric hanging from a rod mounted on the ceiling between the posters serves as a wall hiding the dressing room and bath!

With 350 square feet of indoor living space, having a "court yard" is almost a necessity. One has to have breathing room some how. Besides, it wouldn't be New Orleans without one!

So now I raise the question. Is less more or is more, more? I can't decide because I like both concepts. I try to limit each surface in my house except for the kitchen to the rule of 3 objects of differing heights, but I must admit at times it stills looks like too much. I give up.

You know you can post your ideas on this blog, so please feel free.

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