Open layout, lots of colors, movie and music references that we enjoy, toys and gadgets that remind us of our childhood, design features and basically all the DIY involved. Having certain handy skills allows us to see something on the net and if we like it we make it ourselves, such as the R2-Beer2, turntable-clock, boom box suitcase, suitcase cat bed, TV lamp, cassette lamp, etc. Nearly everything in the house is secondhand, bought cheaply from our local Ebay and renewed by us. Having all these things done by us makes us really proud.
The lack of summery weather in London over the past few years has
put my balcony on the back burner of my upgrade list. This spring, I decided
that maybe a balcony refresh would bring a sunnier summer. Here are a few of the
simple changes that I made to my teeny tiny outdoor space.
I love that my small house is a complete product of my design and construction. When I moved into this 615 square foot industrial space, the smell of moth balls and the itching of fleas scared away many. In a few days and with three rolls of masking tape, I mapped out a multi-dimensional floor plan for a three-bedroom apartment. Six to seven weeks later I took the pictures posted in this contest. This is truly a space I can call home and gladly share with those friends and visitors that have stayed with me since its beginnings. I love the raw feel of industrially abused space with concrete floors, brick walls, and old wooden beams. Building clean, straight lines among the imperfections inherent in old industrial materials provides for an adventurous living environment.
The apartment is in the oldest art deco building in Shanghai. It was very modern for its time, and build with great attention to detail. It's also my first rental without a roommate so everything in it is very personal. I wanted a mix of East and West and this was the perfect choice. Scouring Shanghai's antique markets have been a joy, trying to find the perfect pieces to fit in a small place. In addition, all of my neighbors are in their 70s and have been living there since the 1960s. They still dry their clothing on bamboo racks on their window sills and check in on each other. It feels like I'm living a time bubble, secluded from the rest of the rapidly changing city.
What I love most about my apartment is that it meets all my personal requirements. It's relatively modern, it has no unnecessarily fussy details, it has a dishwasher, it's safe and it's clean. This rental apartment was a necessary downsize choice that I had to make a couple of years ago, and although I'm still struggling with divestment of my excess "stuff", I know that once I'm finished with the process it will feel even more spacious than it already does. My last apartment was a one bedroom, which was almost three times the size of this studio. And even though I loved it, with the dramatic reduction in my monthly rent, I love my current home even more.
I live in a former factory building built in 1906 where industrial engines were made. The original brick and wood beams are still present; I love this about my space. I also love my cork bedroom wall, 11 foot ceilings, and the general sense of intimacy that almost inherently comes with a small space.
This is an apartment that has allowed us to truly explore our ability to think creatively within a budget and the restraints of being a renter. To maintain our mutual eclectic aesthetic while considering storage, utility, and impermanence has been an extremely gratifying experience that we look forward to developing and expanding.
Name: Beth, Jeff, Ruby, and Fiona Location:
Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, California Size: 1,000 square feet Years lived in: 6 years; Owned
Set back off of a quiet street in Bixby Knolls is Beth and Jeff’s lovingly
crafted one-story 1920s home, shared with daughters Ruby, 4, and Fiona,
9 months. But it wasn’t always so quaint. When they purchased the home six
years ago, it was dilapidated and in desperate need of TLC. With Beth’s artistic
vision and Jeff’s DIY skills, they redid everything inside
and outside the home themselves, as a team.