Kittie's Tiny Tudor City Triumph

Kittie's Tiny Tudor City Triumph

Jill Slater
Dec 16, 2009
Name: Kittie and Lotus Blossom (her Shih-Tzu) Location: Tudor City, Midtown East, Manhattan Size: 170 square foot studio coop Years lived in: 5 years Kittie is from Dallas where very few things are small. Nonetheless, five years ago she and her husband decided to buy an unrenovated 1928 studio apartment in Tudor City measuring less than 200 square feet as their pied a' terre. To their surprise, Kittie loved it and loved renovating it. Within a short time, Kittie made it her primary home.
Original 1928 Pullman kitchen and Murphy bed
Kittie and her husband pulled out the original Murphy bed and the original Pullman kitchen in order to create a small office nook and a modern kitchen counter, bar and sink area, respectively. In the past six months, she has fully renovated her bathroom and closet, and added a dining bar and cooking island to the kitchen. Kittie spends one week a month with her husband in Texas and her husband spends one week a month with Kittie in Tudor City. Before the full-scale renovation, Kittie recalls that she and her husband would "draw straws to see who would pull down the bits of ceiling that had peeled off that day." As an up and coming interior designer of small spaces, Kittie's alacrity for organization is as important as her sense of style. Here, she has managed to carve out space for a fully functioning kitchen, bedroom, and office space to run her business, as well as storage space for both her and her husband's clothing, shoes, hats, cleaning supplies, bedding and pet accouterments! Check out Kittie's kitchen tour on thekitchn.com.
Bathroom sink before and after
Apartment Therapy Survey Style: Serene, simple (and organized!) Inspiration: My inspiration is this quote from William Morris in 1882: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or consider to be beautiful". Favorite Element: Being surrounded by the beauty of Tudor City, and having a calm, relaxing retreat in the middle of Manhattan. Biggest Challenge: Creating a gracious home with everything I need, including running my interior design business, in a 10' x 17' space. What Friends Say: "I can't believe how spacious it feels" and "I love the wall color" Biggest Embarrassment: Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that the upholstery on my armchair is still held together by pins at the back. Sigh. Proudest DIY: Proudest D-I-Me-and-a-cabinetmaker — my "Stealth Desk" — a complete office hidden out of sight. Proudest DIY: the lampshades I made out of real burl maple veneer for less than $10 each. Biggest Indulgence: My porcelain tea set, and fresh flowers every week. Best Advice: Take the William Morris quote above to heart, and donate everything in your home that doesn't meet those 2 criteria. You will be amazed at how graciously you can live in a tiny space! Dream Source: My very own atelier producing my designs of affordable multi-purpose furniture pieces for small spaces, staffed by cute guys who will work for peanuts because they think I'm fabulous. Resources All renovation work done by Brehm Interiors to my design and specification. PAINT Benjamin Moore eggshell, my custom color (about 30 trials on posterboard using craft paint!) LIVING & SLEEPING Sofa bed: IKEA Karlanda in chamois leather, with The Simmons Air Comfort Mattress from Jennifer Leather. This is The Sofa Bed Mattress of Joy! It has a spring mattress with a little pump to make it firm and comfy in less than 2 minutes. Armchair: $100 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, slip-covered by me with 5 yards of Bisco Titan fabric at $17.99 from fabricresource.com; ball transfer casters from 1stsourceproducts.com Matching doggy bed/toy box: my custom design & upholstery (yes, she's very spoiled!) Throw pillow: made by me with JoAnn's fabrics Wall mirrors: Home Depot Vase: Crate & Barrel Branches: Manzanita & Curly Willow, nettletonhollow.com Rug: Overstock Desk: custom made to my design. Top & Shelves: offcut ¼" 3030 green-edge acrylic Sliding desk doors: frosted glass painted on the back by me to match the walls. Sliding door runners: crlaurence.com, bottom track not used so printer stand can roll out Rackmount 12-outlet power strip: thenerds.com Office supply organizers: Container Store OFFICE Desk lamp: lightinguniverse.com Large vase: Pier 1 Glass plate: Crate & Barrel Green wood box: Daffy's Magazine boxes: Container Store Books: mostly Alibris, ridiculously cheap literature Credenza: Amanda 4 door lowboy - homedecorators.com with clear glass top Credenza handles: Atlas Spa in seafoam green Organizers: Bigso & Bristol boxes, Container Store. Lamps: touch-on bases, lightinguniverse.com; Frame parts: lampshop.com, Veneer: veneersupplies.com, shades made by me Driftwood: petrified teak, aquarium supply store Bamboo container for doggy treats: Container Store (I think it's really for bathrooms) Wood storage boxes under credenza for bed pillows: my custom design All-in-one printer/scanner/copier: Brother MFC 465CN, staples.com Cable box, splitter & router: Time Warner Wireless router: Netgear VOIP phone thingy: Vonage Laptop: Toshiba Portege, also for watching Netflix KITCHEN Cabinets: Thomasville in maple, Home Depot Handles: Schaub mosaic in satin nickel Sink: Moen, with Danze Parma bar faucet and Kraus soap dispenser Refrigerator: Avanti 18" with real freezer, compactappliance.com Single burner ceramic cooktop: Sunpentown Microwave: Haier In-cabinet drawer pull-outs: custom made to size, customdrawerboxes.com Tall base-filler pull-out, cabinet door organizers, tilt-out tray & pull-out towel rack: rev-a-shelf.com Food containers: Container Store Backsplash tile: Daltile natural stone cut face brick in champagne gold, ungrouted Island track light w/pendants & onyx shades: Home Depot, discontinued (why? why? - they were such a steal at $60 each!) Bar stools: homedecorators.com, also sadly discontinued, but they have a huge and affordable selection Bar glasses: Cheers Pastel from Mikasa and replacements.com Wine rack: amazon.com, assembled of 2 cobbled together Art: original 1927 Fred F. French Company floor plan of my building, framed locally BATHROOM Tile: marble white crystal Accent tile: Merola Vetro Marmi brick & mosaic Wall light: Home Depot Towel rack: Ginger Metro 18" double chrome Mirrored vanity cabinet & tall wall cabinet: my custom design Wall cabinet organizers: Container Store Glass vessel sink: overstock.com Waterfall faucet: overstock.com Soap dispenser: T J Maxx Shower column: faucetdirect.com Towels: Overstock and T J Maxx Apothecary Jars: save-on-crafts.com Shells, sea glass: seashells.com Glass & metal flower vase: JoAnn's CLOSET Custom system: designed by me, built by closetorganizersusa.com, installed by Brehm Interiors Drawer fronts: burl maple Handles: Atlas Spa in seafoam green Rolling trouser rack: my custom design Scarf shelf divider: made by me from foamcore Mirror jewelry armoire, used for jewelry, gloves, scarves, sunglasses & doggy leashes: overstock.com Thin-profile stepstool: Container Store Vacuum cleaner: Dirt Devil rechargeable, great for small spaces with hardwood floors and rugs Folding ironing board: stacksandstacks.com, custom covered by me in JoAnn's fabric Laundry hamper: Container Store frame, depth cut down by me using Dremel saw to fit behind door, hamper bag made by me in same fabric as ironing board … and yes, I really am so obsessed with making things fit right and look nice!
Check out Kittie's original House Call | Kittie's Live & Work Studio Space. Check out the details of Kittie's Kitchen in her Kitchen Tour at the Kitchn. Images: Jill Slater • HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here • Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
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