Every year, the Small Cool Contest gets cooler and cooler, and this year, we saw some really stellar entries. The competition was steep, and the judges had their work cut out for them, but in the end, it's like Highlander—there can be only one. (Well, technically, two, since we have an international division as well.) You saw the winners and finalists, but here are 10 of the smallest, coolest places that you might have missed—along with some insight from the inhabitants.
Kyle's Teeny-Tiny City Home, above:
Comes to terms with your physical square footage and let that dictate the amount of things you own. If you try to pack a lot of things into a small space you will always be playing Tetris with your stuff.
My apartment building was built in 1913 and used to house single women who came to Toronto looking for work. I love that there's such a rich history behind my building; there's even a coach house in the back!
Small does not have to mean timid. Don't be afraid of a bold piece that feels right for you.
You should also try to "live large" in a small space. Don't feel as though you are relegated to tiny pieces and sparse furnishings. We've crammed a lot of stuff into our tiny abode, but to me it just adds to the feeling of home.
I love how we have grown from an engaged couple to a family of four in this apartment. I love how I can hear anything from anywhere in the apartment, so there has never been a need for things like a baby monitor.
Living in New York City where space is a premium, we made the easy sacrifice of charm and location over having more space.
Throw out the design rulebook. Having no design background, I've unintentionally broken a ton of rules (too small rugs, no "negative space" and likely many more). I don't care; I adore my home because it reflects the journey of my life so far.
I recently moved into this contemporary apartment, and I love the juxtaposition of my antique and primitive furniture and folk art with the sleek architecture and modern fittings.
Let rules be a guideline but do not be afraid to break them. Painting small spaces white can make a room look bigger of course, but who cares if you love dark colors or your king sized bed? People don't often live in small spaces by choice so I think it's even more important to do whatever you want to make yourself feel at home.
You've got to edit. A rule I have is that if I buy something new, I have to get rid of something else. Every detail and purchase matters so make it count (i.e. LOVE-IT-CAN'T-LIVE-WITHOUT-IT count).