Small Cool 2009: Zen Buddhist Student's Quarters

Teeny-tiny Division #25

Who Lives There: Zen Buddhist Student plus one
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 140 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? While it's a simple room and it has some great architectural details (the building was designed by Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle) my favorite element is the light. So starting there we placed reflective elements to refract the light around the room, like a handmade mirror and a very large lacquer disk, and a couple of small lamps in the darker corners that accentuate the daylight.

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? We faced the challenge of making a small space a home for two people practicing Zen Buddhism in a religious community. As professionals who have, for the moment, put down our worldly pursuits, we wanted to create a living space based upon simplicity of form and economy of cost. The most difficult aspect of these goals was avoiding the clutter created by the minutiae of small items in a small space. To remedy this problem we focused on creating height and depth with fewer and larger objects as might seem counter intuitive to small space. This approach resulted in a series of simple and clean lines in a warmly lit configuration creating a sense of containment without constraint.

Give Zen Buddhist Student 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!
Want more Small Cool? Check out all the entries on our contest page.

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2009, Small Cool

Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.