I've been poring over all of the Small Cool entries from the last three years, and this one stands out a mile: it's a 520-square-foot three-story apartment from 2012's Small Cool Contest chock-full of 1830s charm. When I tell you that there's a fireplace in every room, I do mean every room...
There's a fireplace in the bathroom, for crying out loud! When I first saw this photo, I thought, "There's a toilet in the living room?!?", because the idea of a fireplace in a bathroom is so, so far off my radar. Rest assured that it is now a feature I shall require in all future homes.
Each of the fireplaces plays a distinct role: the one in the bedroom is cool and modern, thanks to white paint and stylish art and accessories. It's also literally cool, housing Susan's air conditioner during the off season. The warmth and color of the bathroom fireplace are reinforced by the the throw rugs, while the mirror's weathered frame is the perfect match for the perfectly aged fireplace. The fireplace in the living room (image #2) is grand and formal, suitably surrounded by bookshelves.
The multitude of fireplaces is only one of many charming quirks of a nearly 200 year old home, a few of the others being teeny-tiny stairs, low-ceilinged basement kitchen, and just one closet.
And yet, Susan has managed to create a modern feel amidst all the quirks. Her living room is the best example of this, a crisp combination of black, white, and bold art that provides an intriguing juxtaposition to the stuffed bookcase and, yes, yet another fireplace across the room.
It wasn't until I analyzed Susan's floorplan that I truly understood how remarkable this apartment is, with three tiny floors stacked on top of each other. At approximately 120-square-feet per room, this has got to be the most adorable little tower in existence, and Susan has done an admirable job making it livable for the modern world. Can you tell I'm utterly charmed?