Name: Satya B.
Location: Financial District, NYC
Size: 730 sf
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What is the advantage of SMALL? Although 730-sq-ft is certainly on the large side for NYC, it can become cramped quickly when you have a roommate...Every effort was made to maximize storage and space and avoid compromise; proper dining table and chairs, fairly comfortable seating for 7+ in a living room that is 10' x12', 100-inch projection screen for movies......
What is the advantage of SMALL? CONT'D
All the furniture is low profile and mostly elevated off the floor on legs (with nothing usually underneath), so the entire living room can be moved in a few minutes to maximize seating for movie screenings. More than one overnight guest can be accommodated in comfort, so up to two weekend guests are tolerable (but only for the weekend!) Sticking to the principles of small-space design can still be useful when you have more space; you can always make more out of less.
What's your favorite resource for your home?
Thanks to the wonder of the internet, anything you can think of, you can find for cheap...custom cut foam and glass, machine parts created to custom specifications, custom shelving and cabinetry. That being said, my favorite resource is still Ikea, for the same reasons. There is a wealth of cheap and highly flexible furniture pieces and parts at Ikea, simply waiting for a spark of creativity. While stores like container store and CB2 have started offering similar resources, Ikea can't be beat for value and (usually) convenience. While lifting entire living room ensembles from the catalouge is always an option, Ikea offers a wealth of inexpensive resources (shelving, lighting, textiles, etc.) for the creative and discerning eye.
What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home?
Favorite element is the created wall to convert a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom. When we moved-in, we were looking at a $1200 fee for a pressurized wall from the buildings preferred conversion company. It was clear that there would also be a major storage issue in the converted bedroom.
The same $1200 covered the cost of the sturdy Ikea wardrobe and construction materials to create a wall with an 8-foot tall sliding door. It provides an entire wall of storage for the bedroom, with room for clothes behind sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling open storage for books. It also allows more light into the living room (although fortunately there are windows there even after the conversion).
The reverse side is covered in textured recycled-cardboard tiles for visual interest, and provides much needed overhead light in the living room as well, which was easier than trying to drill discretely into the concrete ceilings in a rental. Because the solution is so compact and space-saving, it allowed for great maximization of space and storage, and the living room is consequently a couple of feet wider without the bedroom feeling overly cramped.