Small Cool 2012 is finally here and we're excited to see small, stylish reader homes from around the world. Small apartments and houses let your creative juices flow and we've seen some amazing ways to utilize even the teeniest spaces over the years. Today we're taking a trip down memory lane to look at some previous Small Cool entries from the Los Angeles area. We think these homes are super stylish despite their size, but that doesn't mean it was easy. Here, the homeowners describe their biggest challenge with their small home: Jose's Sheer Smallness. Biggest challenge: "Easily the hardest part when you live in such a small space is finding furniture that actually fits, yet still provides all the functions one needs...I've found that patience, creativity, and the gumption to do a little bit of furniture hacking, and pain staking planning (I have a measuring tape in my car at all times) goes a long way to making things work." Maggie's Right Sized 1920's Hotel Room. Biggest challenge: "Finding things the right size, without being custom made or expensive. Everything in here was found outside or bought on Craigslist for under $40. (yes EVERYTHING)" Danielle's Redesigned Disaster. Biggest challenge: "Carefully choosing which pieces you want to keep and which ones need to go. When you are working with such a small space, one must be incredibly selective!" Ariel's Wrap Around Jewel Box. Biggest challenge: "I wanted separation between my sleeping and living areas, but not at the expense of the room feeling smaller." Maggie's Flea Market Treasures. Biggest Challenge: "The most challenging thing about my apartment is the light (or lack thereof). You can see in the pictures that even in the middle of a sunny, Los Angeles day, the apartment is quite dark. I've tried to overcome that a bit by decorating and furnishing with a lot of bright colors and cheerful odds and ends." Emily & Erick's Trial by
Fire Family. Biggest challenge: "When you enter the front door, you are in the main living area and you have to walk through whatever seating arrangement we set up. It was a challenge to create an area that seats at least 4 (plus 2 badly-trained, couch-loving dogs) but that didn't block the way to the rest of the house and didn't make it feel too cluttered."
Vihn's Home Soul. Biggest challenge: "Like most of us, the biggest challenge was affording everything I wanted. Furnishing the space has been an exercise in both patience and self-exploration knowing that I wanted to create a home that reflected my life but would be comfortable for friends and family."
Katie's Hillside Bungalow. Biggest challenge: "Storage! The small bedroom closet is the only storage in the ENTIRE house. We decided to turn the tiny "second bedroom" into a dressing room where my boyfriend and I keep all our hanging clothes and shoes."
Jeffery and Joe's Vintage Collections. Biggest challenge: "I have a large obsession with chairs. When we moved in I had to find creative spaces for my 30+ chair collection. Also, having one closet I had to come up with ways to create more storage."
Kristen's Right-Sized Space. Biggest challenge: " The most difficult area to design around is our living room because the front door of our house enters right into the (already small) space...which means you have to create a primary circulation path through your living room furniture layout."