A highlight of our editorial year has come and gone but I know we'll remember the ninth year of Small Cool as one with a standout selection of beautiful homes. Over 180 entrants garnered nearly 50,000 votes of support from design lovers around the world and we all got a good healthy dose of inspiration and enjoyment for the past month. Let's take a look at your final choices for the Smallest, Coolest Homes of the year...
Grand Prize Winner: Garrett's Everything Every Day
Garrett's NYC studio apartment epitomizes much of what makes the Small Cool contest so intriguing - the concept that you most definitely don't have to sacrifice sophistication and glamour to live small. A beautifully designed, elegant home that looks perfectly polished in such tiny footprint is a challenge to create, so when you see it done, and done this stylishly, it's a true inspiration.
This home is all about the design details: the brilliant mirror-backed Murphy bed, a rich yet restrained palette, an embrace of reflective, clear and metallic surfaces, a mix of dark woods and walls with lighter pieces and upholstery, and, of course, the luxurious textures and great artwork. From the balanced floorplan and multiple sources of lighting to the large scale rug and smart use of selective symmetry, Garrett proves that good interior design can make 340 square feet feel like a million!
International Winner: Carmen's Small Space in Singapore
A truly one-of-a-kind small home captured our readers and judges interest in the international division this year. The wildly imaginative "house within a house" is evocative, charming and is also a smart small-space strategy - it helps define the sitting area and accentuates the ceiling height by drawing your eye up.
Carmen's good design ideas don't end there. The amazing use of bold texture and pattern throughout - from white painted herringbone bricks, a patchworked wood feature wall and pieced fur rug to the collage-like bookcase - creates a visually interesting and rich experience. It's an interior design mini powerhouse, packing a huge amount of creativity into just 570 square feet.
A hearty round of applause to Garrett and Carmen as well as to our other division finalist winners, Julia, Kiera and Adam!
Huge thanks to everyone who shared their style with us this year by submitting an entry. To everyone who reviewed, enjoyed and voted on the entries, including our fabulous judges, Emily, Jason and Emma, GOOD JOB! We love being able to share these wonderful homes and couldn't do this it without the participation and support of our smart and design savvy readers, so thanks to all!
→Visit the contest page to see all of the amazing Small Cool 2013 homes