Small Cool 2009: Arzee's Urban Jungle Oasis

Small Cool 2009: Arzee's Urban Jungle Oasis

Aaron Able
Apr 10, 2009

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Who Lives Here: Arzee
Location: Hell's Kitchen, New York City
Size: 295 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? It's hard to choose an item that I like more than the rest but I do believe my two large paintings add a lot of character to the apartment. I spent a week just making the frames and stretching the canvas (having never done it before) and the painting itself took almost a year. They are both inspired by the seasonal changes in Central Park which is a few short blocks away. The one above the George Nelson sofa was done last summer and the one opposite the bed, done in the winter (though it is not quite finished yet). These were plain white canvases when I first hung them in the apartment and which each layer of paint they have changed the feel of the surrounding space. I also love the watercolor painting above the orange chair and the hand embroidered bed throw as they bring back memories of home.

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? I moved to Manhattan because it is a dense urban jungle saturated with signs, images, graphics, tons and tons of visual noise and I absolutely love that but I also wish to escape it. I wanted a space that was simple and minimal, pure forms and shapes, white and the occasional bold bright color. It is difficult to achieve that clutter free space in such a small apartment. I got rid of things I didn't really need and invested in some clever storage solutions. I wanted to keep an open airy feel to the apartment without having to conceal the essentials… like my bed. I think of it as extra comfy casual seating on those occasions when I have friends over for drinks or a movie.
Like most contestants on here, budget was an issue. I have purchased a lot of items from ebay, craigslist and ikea but I am also a big fan of CB2, West Elm and White. Other items, like the chest opposite the bed, I found in a junkyard and thoroughly enjoyed refurbishing it. It beautifully simple and offers tons of storage.

Give Arzee a THUMBS UP if you think this home belongs in the finals!
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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