Small Cool 2009: Lillian's Austrian Downsize

International Division #10

Who Lives Here: Lillian, boyfriend, cats Marlene & Lulu Location: Vienna, Austria Size: 600 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? My favorite element is the light — we have many windows for such a small space and most of the rooms face south. Besides, I like the floorplan and the fact that we have a separate (if small) kitchen and office. When we first moved in, I admit I had the urge to tear down walls, but as this is a rental this was out of the question. Now the floorplan has grown on me! We removed most of the doors in the house so the space is still somewhat "open". And with all the colors and light, the house feels very cozy and cheerful all year long.

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? When we moved in, none of our furniture would fit in (we downgraded from 1200 square feet). So we got rid of most things and started from scratch. We were on a very tight budget so DIY was the way to go... for example, my boyfriend built our bed and our office desk so it would fit in the tiny rooms. We also made most of the shelves in the house. Plus, we really scaled down our "stuff" — there´s no way we can host dinner parties for more than four people in here, so no need to have loads of dishes. We also found that colors can really transform small spaces. You don´t always need expensive furniture — paint and creativity can make a house unique as well.
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