Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Elizabeth & Derek's Lots To Love

Having slept in a closet, a kitchen, and other non-bedrooms, I have a soft spot for apartments with barely-big-enough bedrooms. The "bed nook" is just one of many charms to be discovered in this 592 square foot apartment from 2012's Small Cool Contest...

I so appreciate the trade-offs that Elizabeth and Derek have made: yes, their bedroom is basically the exact same size as their bed, but that arrangement makes it possible to have peaceful, open spaces such as the one above. A spacious-feeling living room is truly a luxury in a small apartment, and one that's definitely due to thoughtful decision making.

The dreamy feel of the first living room photo is just the right counterpoint to the cozily-stuffed side of the room shown above. A wealth of books, plenty of art and ephemera, a convenient side table, and a comfy reading chair round out the room nicely. The fact that the sofa and armchair match in color but not exactly in style allows the room to feel cohesive without being matchy-matchy- and the pink and green are glorious together!

Elizabeth and Derek are lucky in that their kitchen has doors that divide it from the rest of the space — a rarity in an apartment this size — but they did one better and painted it a cheery shade of yellow to further set it off. The adorable painted ladder provides an extra pop and oh, right, there's a Wookiee. The playful atmosphere of the kitchen is completely different from that of the adjacent elegant-antique living room, and yet manages not to clash in the least.

My favorite aspect of Elizabeth and Derek's design is that they weren't afraid to go big in their small home. Not only is each room painted a different fun color, but their office (image #3) has an awesome palm tree mural and a bold rug and plenty of room for two desks, musical instruments, and bikes. By opting for novel sleeping arrangements, they were able to create a multi-use room that helps keep the rest of their home blissfully free of clutter. This apartment may be small, but it has all the essentials of a happy home: a sunny kitchen, a cozy living room, lovely colors, and a Wookiee.

(Image credits: Apartment Therapy)