Small Cool 2009: Cathy's Firehouse Fundamentals

Small Cool 2009: Cathy's Firehouse Fundamentals

Aaron Able
Apr 6, 2009

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Who Lives Here: Cathy
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Size: 300 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? Overall my favorite element is the mix of old and new. The building is very old (late 1800's) so it still has the feel of an old firehouse with beautiful woodwork and attention to detail while still having all of the modern updating that gives it a contemporary feel. If I had to pick just one element in my space I would say it's the stained glass windows that are hung in my living area. They were recovered from an old church rectory attic in Jamaica Plain and given to me as a gift.

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? I think the biggest challenge for anyone in a space that is 300 square feet is the sheer tininess of the space and making it work for your needs. My biggest challenge is me. I am an artist/art teacher so naturally I want to surround myself with every color, pattern and beautiful object that inspires me. Living/working in a small space has taught me to appreciate these elements a few at a time. If I introduce something new to the space I keep in mind that something should come out. So I rotate my most beloved things every season and when they come back around they feel like new again. It's like seeing the forest through the trees. The most important thing I look for when introducing a new item into my space is can it do or be more than one thing. For example, when designing the kitchen counter/island I was mindful that it had to serve as a kitchen workspace, dinning area, and also have storage. The resources that I have found most helpful (and reasonable) are: Boston Building Materials Co-op for both new and used items, Extras for Creative Learning, this place is a gold mine and a godsend. Obviously IKEA, great blogs and having talented artist/designer friends that inspire me every day.

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Thumbs Up Voting is only activated for 48 Hours — so don't delay!
Do you have a Small Cool Home? Enter Here by April 13th!
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