Small Space Lessons: Floorplan and Solutions from Amy & J.T.'s Favorite Things

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There is a lot going on in this 599-square-foot two-story apartment from 2012's Small Cool Contest, including these two adorable pups. Let's break it all down...

One of the smartest things Amy & J.T. did when configuring their home was to Go Vertical. They've taken advantage of their double-height wall, above, by installing a super-tall bookcase and storage for three bikes, one on top of the other. There's also a series of guitars hanging on the wall on the far right, and the extra-long curtains further emphasize the generous height of the space. Oh, and there's also a Union Jack-anchored office, just for good measure.

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Even when it comes to regular-height rooms, Amy & J.T.'s vertical inclination serves them well. In the kitchen, above, the delicate vertical lines of the stools are echoed in the hanging lights, creating a feeling of effortless, graceful height. They also serve to use as little horizontal space as possible, a major benefit in such a small kitchen.

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In the tiny bedroom, verticality is both reinforced (the motorcycle helmets as decorative element) and toyed with (the salon-style arrangement of art). There is a lot of visual excitement in this room, yet the dark-and-white plus pops of color palette keeps everything unified and calm.

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Here you can see the two-story layout more clearly, and also appreciate how much empty space there is. For a home with so much going on — bikes, musical instruments, office, dogs — Amy and J.T. have done an admirable job keeping space open. It's the perfect combination of materials and equipment to do things with, and the room and freedom to do them.

(Image credits: Apartment Therapy)