Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Daniel's NYC Home

When I look at images of Daniel's one-bedroom Brooklyn abode from the 2012 Small Cool contest, I can't help but think it feels like a much larger home. There are lots of characteristics that contribute to that, which we'll take a look at here:

Daniel has installed wall-mounted nightstands in the bedroom (top), which free up floor area and makes the space look bigger. For more along these lines, see this recent post on bookshelves vs. wall-mounted shelving in small homes.

The living room is furnished with full-sized pieces that don't skimp. Daniel has kitted out the room with serious design classics that will transition easily if he ends up in a larger home, or will stand the test of time if he stays put.

In the kitchen, streamlining is key. The only furnishings are a simple pedestal (i.e. space-saving) table and three chairs. The artwork is bold and graphic, making a statement in a small space instead of chopping it up into little bits.

The bathroom employs the same color scheme as the rest of the home: clean whites with contrasting inky hues. This consistent coloration throughout the apartment lets you experience the entire home as one design, which would feel much more choppy if all of the rooms were of different colors that didn't flow from space to space.

Finally, if you check out the floor plan of Daniel's apartment, you'll see there's a lot of hallway. This is common in NYC, where apartment layouts are often forced into narrow, deep footprints. But don't despair: that hall space is not wasted here! Instead, the hall is used as a gallery for nicely-framed art, and there's even a chair that makes the most of a sunny little corner. When entertaining, that same chair could be pulled into the living room or make a complete set of four at the kitchen table. Isn't it lovely?

What other elements do you see in Daniel's apartment that make the small space work so well?

(Image credits: Daniel)

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Main, Style, Small Spaces, Space Planning

Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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