Small Cool 2009: Ann's Ship Shape

Teeny-tiny Division #04

Who Lives Here: Ann
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size: 260 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? After living with a rolling cart and full-size fridge for more than a year, I hired the Kitchen Couple (found through Apartment Therapy) to renovate, and I'm utterly pleased with the outcome. Now I have an under-the-counter fridge, two burners, and a built-in microwave. No oven — I traded it for drawers. It's nice to finally have somewhere to put my forks!

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? I try to think about my apartment as a ship: everything has a place, everything can be put away. The custom Murphy Bed, which doubles as a book shelf, was key to making the space livable. I've also found that renovating while living in a small apartment requires patience and long breaks between projects. The kitchen was by far the biggest undertaking, though modest in scope: the cabinets and counter are IKEA and the appliances are mostly Home Depot. I just finished painting the bathroom, which gave new life to the tiles, and I built a wooden frame inside a wall recession, replacing an old medicine cabinet with a nicer mirror. Small things (a custom window shade, new lights, recaulking the bathtub) make big differences when you cook, eat, sleep, and entertain all in the same 12' x 15' room.

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