Sunday, January 26, 2014

Small Space, Large Style

If you spend much time on Pinterest, or reading shelter magazines or blogs, you know that small space living is a big thing now. It's partially a reaction to the housing and economic downturn that we've been climbing out of, and it's partially driven by people who have had the big house, and are tired of cleaning it, maintaining it, and paying to keep the lights on in it. In my own work, more and more clients are coming to me wanting to downsize. They all want quality over quantity. They want beautiful cabinetry, high end finishes, but they don't want a bunch of rooms they'll never use or echoing great rooms that require a riding vacuum cleaner.

So, I've collected a number of pictures over the past year or so that highlight some great small spaces. They remind me of the kind of spaces you might find in a New York apartment (where even a mulit-million dollar budget means small space living), or aboard a beautifully crafted yacht. Then I took a handful of my favorite inspiration pins and brought them together into one beautifully crafted floor plan that is under 900 square feet.

First the inspiration photos:

This is a detail that I love in any size house...the bed set into a beautifully panelled niche.
Dresser as footboard! Genius! And makes the bed a cozy little cocoon.

Gorgeous but tiny kitchen.

Living room with generous built ins is small but very comfortable.

Who needs a huge guest room that only gets used a time or two each year? Here, a bed is built into an alcove. Great for guests, and a wonderful little reading nook the rest of the time!
So I decided to combine all of these inspiration shots into one house...and here is the result:

Here's the result. Hard to believe but its less than 900 square feet! In addition to the inspiration spaces, this little gem has a rotunda entrance, a skylit gallery leading to the sleeping spaces, two full baths, and a laundry area.
What do you think? Could you live here?
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wrapped Up--A Downtown Cottage

Around this time last year, a repeat client of mine approached me to design two houses on the site of a single old residence that had burned down some years ago. The result was two charming designs that we hoped would feel as if they had always been part of the classic neighborhood they inhabit.

The first of the houses (you can see the floor plans HERE) is now finished, and I wanted to share some photos:

The front elevation. The slope of the lot meant tucking the garages below the houses. Brick arches, a swooping entrance roofline, and Tudor accents are typical of other houses in the neighborhood. Our hope is that once the landscape matures, one will be hard pressed to know if the house is new or a recently renovated house vintage to the street.

Elegant brick steps and wrought iron railing lead to the elevated front door.

Gorgeous arched front door with "speak easy" window.

Another arched door leads to the rear porch. These doors are a favorite feature of everyone who sees the house.

The cabinet doors are missing, but a wall of built ins and a traditional fireplace anchor the great room.

A porcelain tile mimics slate on the screened back porch.

The foyer showcases another arch--a theme repeated through the house.

The master bath has a soaker tub, a large shower, and warm slate tile.

Another arch frames the view into the kitchen and dining room. Distressed black cabinetry is dramatic and classic.

A view down the light filled stairway.

A secondary bathroom has a vintage inspired tile design and Carerra marble countertops.

The carpet is missing, but this cozy room tucked into the eaves will make a great home office!