Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Julia's Cabin in the Hills

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Oh, be still my heart- Julia's 415-square-foot entry from 2013's Small Cool Contest brilliantly combines everything I love about pure white home decor with everything I love about deep, dark elements. The white and black play off each other in perfect harmony- essential, in such a small space...

Just look at all that beautiful white: walls, ceilings, trim, appliances, bedding, and chair (image #5)! And all the gorgeous black: floors, doors, bed, chair, and more. The saturated black anchors the airy white, providing a glorious richness as well as an edge. All-white can be seen by some (not me) as blank, but white and black makes a clear stylistic statement.

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As if the glossy floors and Smeg fridge weren't enough, that is indeed a working fireplace! The way the black interior of the fireplace echoes the television set just slays me, Old World and New World in perfect balance.

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And yet, this apartment definitely isn't devoid of color. There's the amazing yellow light and deep blue chair in the kitchen, the spines of the books, and the red and blue pouf above, each popping wonderfully against the black and white background. In a way, these small bits of color are all the more powerful- and easily appreciated- because they are in short supply.

Beyond her home's color scheme, Julia has done so much right with this small apartment. She's kept the living room open and uncluttered, yet has provided all of the essentials: generous, moveable seating, a central table, a cozy rug, decorative elements, storage, and a fabulous reading nook. The bedroom is small but it ably holds her peaceful bed, with just enough room for a chair and a few hooks to hold robes, bags, and wraps. She has edited her possessions so that it feels as if there's nothing extra, and nothing missing.

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Finally, I just had to show you Julia's charmingly hand-drawn floorplan. Without it, I might not have realized that the chair at the far end of the kitchen is actually the office, and what an enviably sunny office it is. While the room is only 55-square-foot, and is obviously connected to the kitchen, the step makes it feel like a truly separate space. I would have a hard time getting anything done that close to the kitchen, but I would learn some discipline for the chance to work in such a lovely space!

(Image credits: Apartment Therapy)