Every inch has our design fingerprint on it! Devoid of any personality that a 120-year-old rowhouse should have and with water damage throughout, we gutted everything and refashioned it into a home that denies being small and oozes the character that it should. We put in serious grinding hours to expose brick walls, installed flooring of salvaged barn wood, reclaimed any wood we could from our renovation to use for open shelving, and lifted the 2nd floor ceilings to the roof to expose original beams. To balance the warmth of the aged brick and wood, we folded in a layer of modern—simple, flexible pendant lighting, an acrylic vanity with chrome fixtures, recycled glass countertops accented by glossy white glass upper cabinets, Kristalia barstools, and a simple-form sofa. The rest is personal: artwork by family, rugs carted back from Qatar, copper pots picked from a Paris street market—all jumbled with modest finds from local thrift stores or an occasional stop at a curbside heap.
Biggest Challenge of Living in a Small Space:
Besides the obvious storage shortage, the biggest challenge of living in our small space is its shape—a 12-foot-wide narrow rectangle with a staircase that competes for useable floor space. The shape, plus the fact that it’s a rowhouse, dictates the next challenge—minimal daylight. We mitigated by adding the skylight, enlarging existing windows, adding new windows, and framing partial walls adjacent to the open staircase to share 2nd floor daylight with the first. Mitigation of the narrowness has required the execution of a few projects—the re-fashioning of an elaborate potting stand with a top to reclaim space under the stairs and to accommodate 3 for dining, the search for a sofa small enough to fit the space, but large enough to comfortably sleep one, the creation of a loft storage area using our leftover floor planks that sits on top of a removable closet wall (designed to be mistaken for a piece of art). So, a challenge? Yes. But we’ve certainly made the most of our small space.
If I am the Grand Prize winner of Small Cool, the item(s) or project(s) from my home design wishlist that I'd like to spend my winnings on are::
Our house is situated about a mile and a half northwest of the U.S. Capitol Building, on an avenue that gives us an unobstructed view of the historic dome from our rooftop. We would love to put the winnings towards “Phase 1” of roof reclamation: an extension of our second floor bedroom onto a rooftop deck and garden. With limited interior space, an extension of our living space outside is a no-brainer begging for a start.