East #5: Family of Four’s “Two Bedroom” Studio

Name: Patrick & Family
Location: West Village, NY
Size: 640 sf
Rent/Own: Own

What is the advantage of SMALL? For us, small is about sharing our lives with one another. Living small helps us identify our priorities and stay close as a family. It requires us to evaluate what’s really important in our home and find a creative way to fit it into our space...

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What is the advantage of SMALL? CONT'D

For example, our bedroom grew out of 3 priorities: having some private adult space, the need for a place to watch TV without disturbing sleeping children at night or work-at-home mom during the day, and a bed that is safe for sometimes co-sleeping. Our bedroom fulfills all three needs as simply as possible. The TV is mounted on the wall, a pocket door provides a good sound seal, and the fact that the queen size bed is surrounded by walls on 3 ½ sides ensures no one, kid or adult, ever falls out of bed!

Our apartment is now warm and cozy and perfect for our family of 2 adults, a preschooler, a baby, and a dog. We’ve made room for many family treasures that make this our home, including the rocking horse you can see in our current shots.

What's your favorite resource for your home?

In addition to the usual suspects of Apartment Therapy, Room and Board, Design Within Reach, Ikea, etcetera, our favorite resource was boat manufacturers. We renovated our 540 square foot studio to have 2 bedroom spaces (a loft for the kids and a compact bedroom for the adults).

In the process, we spent quite a bit of time reading books and sites about boat design, and asking questions of friends and family that live part-time on a boat or part-time in an RV to figure out how to make a small space work for parents and kids.

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

Our favorite is the stairs and the cabinets beneath. The treads are eco-friendly bamboo, which plays well off the dark cork floors. The resin glows gorgeously at night with the recessed LED lights on. The cabinets look sleek but function as an ultracompact garage.

Beneath the stairs, those white squares are all doors or drawers. Suitcases, DVDs, coats, bags, printer, our “landing strip,” even the TiVo and cable box are organized in them. (The electronics face the bedroom, where we have a wall mounted TV). With 2 kids, we’re also glad the front of the cabinets is highly washable!


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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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