East #19: Tony and Hilary's 3 in 1 Studio

Name: Tony & Hilary
Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY
Size: 460 sf
Rent/Own: Rent

What is the advantage of SMALL? Living small forces you to live and think creatively. We moved to this apartment from an 800 square foot apartment and had to think very carefully about what we can and can't live without...

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What is the advantage of SMALL? CONT'D

For instance, if we buy a new pair of shoes, an old pair needs to be tossed. We also love that by living small in an urban center, we're placing less of a demand on natural resources - it's a significantly smaller space to heat and cool and we don't need a car to get around. We also like the idea of creating modular, mobile pieces that can move with us. This way we won't end up throwing out a custom design solution once we decide to move to another apartment.

What's your favorite resource for your home?

Craig's List is where we've found our vintage furniture, Ikea for unobtrusive basics, Muji for office supplies and our family and friends for basic hand-me-downs and decorative items. The two dressers were found by Tony's grandfather in an old rental unit. The hardware store/lumber yard has to be the best resource. Hilary made the cube bookshelves, coffee table and side tables from MDF and particle board (very cheap). We designed the loft ourselves and hired a furniture designer to build it for us from birch plywood.

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home?

We love the high ceilings, natural light and our live/work loft. We have space for our closet, media and book storage, a home office and entertainment center before we even get to the bed. At the top of the loft, we have a queen size bed, enough space left to sit up comfortably in bed and more storage for our linens in the headboard. All of our furniture is made to move easily since we're still renting. The loft is like a big piece of furniture, but comes apart so when we move, it can move with us and change to fit in a new space. Living here as a couple with a cat, we have enough space to store everything we need without sacrificing comfort.

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2008, Small Cool

Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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