Thursday, March 7, 2013

small space living

Bigger isn't always better.  Those of us living in the District surely understand the need to maximize space - but not at the expense of style.

The February/March issue of Rue magazine features the small apartment (500 square feet) of Anthony Gianacakos, an interior designer living and working in NYC.  It's a layered, modern, and beautiful space mixing high (Frette linens) with low (West Elm).

Gianacakos's previous apartment design was featured in Lonny Magazine's January 2010 issue. Gianacakos has kept the dark paint color but added additional pieces and textures to his new space.

A few helpful hints for maximizing style and function in small spaces:

1. Edit, edit, edit.  And then edit again.
When you live in a small space, be sure that you love everything you own.  Storage is at a premium and should be reserved for things you have to store like food and clothes.  If you find you've just got too much junk, try selling on Craigslist (apparently posting early on Thursday mornings is the best time). 
2. Double duty is a must.
Furniture - in as many cases as possible - must be able to function in several ways. Like a storage ottoman, which can also function as extra seating.  And don’t buy any furniture before measuring out its dimensions in the exact place you plan to put it.
3. Study retail vignettes for ideas
Grab a friend and spend time at a store like Anthropologie, the experts at styling. Pay particular attention to organizing and closet vignettes, which have clever ideas for saving space.
4. Paint - if you can
Like in Gianacakos's apartment above, paint creates a cohesive link throughout a small space, but also allows for less furniture - like skipping a bulky headboard.  Gianacakos said about picking the perfect paint color: "[it should] emphasize the room's qualities rather than its limitations."
5. Stay Organized & Everything must have its place
Routinely reorganize.  Out-of-place items will make your home feel cluttered and even smaller. Put back things that have migrated from their storage spaces (i.e. clothes, shoes, bags..). Use trays to corral everything from jewelry to books and magazines.
6. Don't rush!
When decorating your apartment, take your time.  Just because a space is small doesn't mean that the job should be done faster.  If you are deliberate in selecting pieces for your living space, then you'll appreciate and love them that much more - and be less likely to toss them out later.
images from and

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