Name: Kittie and Lotus Blossom (her Shih-Tzu)
Location: Tudor City, Midtown East, Manhattan
Size: 170 square foot studio coop
Years lived in: 5 years
Kittie is from Dallas where very few things are small. Nonetheless, five years ago she and her husband decided to buy an unrenovated 1928 studio apartment in Tudor City measuring less than 200 square feet as their pied a' terre. To their surprise, Kittie loved it and loved renovating it. Within a short time, Kittie made it her primary home.
Kittie and her husband pulled out the original Murphy bed and the original Pullman kitchen in order to create a small office nook and a modern kitchen counter, bar and sink area, respectively. In the past six months, she has fully renovated her bathroom and closet, and added a dining bar and cooking island to the kitchen.
Kittie spends one week a month with her husband in Texas and her husband spends one week a month with Kittie in Tudor City. Before the full-scale renovation, Kittie recalls that she and her husband would "draw straws to see who would pull down the bits of ceiling that had peeled off that day."
As an up and coming interior designer of small spaces, Kittie's alacrity for organization is as important as her sense of style. Here, she has managed to carve out space for a fully functioning kitchen, bedroom, and office space to run her business, as well as storage space for both her and her husband's clothing, shoes, hats, cleaning supplies, bedding and pet accouterments!
Check out Kittie's kitchen tour on thekitchn.com.
Apartment Therapy Survey
Style: Serene, simple (and organized!)
Inspiration: My inspiration is this quote from William Morris in 1882: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or consider to be beautiful".
Favorite Element: Being surrounded by the beauty of Tudor City, and having a calm, relaxing retreat in the middle of Manhattan.
Biggest Challenge: Creating a gracious home with everything I need, including running my interior design business, in a 10' x 17' space.
What Friends Say: "I can't believe how spacious it feels" and "I love the wall color"
Biggest Embarrassment: Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that the upholstery on my armchair is still held together by pins at the back. Sigh.
Proudest DIY: Proudest D-I-Me-and-a-cabinetmaker — my "Stealth Desk" — a complete office hidden out of sight. Proudest DIY: the lampshades I made out of real burl maple veneer for less than $10 each.
Biggest Indulgence: My porcelain tea set, and fresh flowers every week.
Best Advice: Take the William Morris quote above to heart, and donate everything in your home that doesn't meet those 2 criteria. You will be amazed at how graciously you can live in a tiny space!
Dream Source: My very own atelier producing my designs of affordable multi-purpose furniture pieces for small spaces, staffed by cute guys who will work for peanuts because they think I'm fabulous.
All renovation work done by Brehm Interiors to my design and specification.
Benjamin Moore eggshell, my custom color
(about 30 trials on posterboard using craft paint!)
LIVING & SLEEPING
Sofa bed: IKEA Karlanda in chamois leather, with The Simmons Air Comfort Mattress from Jennifer Leather. This is The Sofa Bed Mattress of Joy! It has a spring mattress with a little pump to make it firm and comfy in less than 2 minutes.
Armchair: $100 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, slip-covered by me with 5 yards of Bisco Titan fabric at $17.99 from fabricresource.com; ball transfer casters from 1stsourceproducts.com
Matching doggy bed/toy box: my custom design & upholstery (yes, she's very spoiled!)
Throw pillow: made by me with JoAnn's fabrics
Wall mirrors: Home Depot
Vase: Crate & Barrel
Branches: Manzanita & Curly Willow, nettletonhollow.com
Desk: custom made to my design.
Top & Shelves: offcut ¼" 3030 green-edge acrylic
Sliding desk doors: frosted glass painted on the back by me to match the walls.
Sliding door runners: crlaurence.com, bottom track not used so printer stand can roll out
Rackmount 12-outlet power strip: thenerds.com
Office supply organizers: Container Store
Desk lamp: lightinguniverse.com
Large vase: Pier 1
Glass plate: Crate & Barrel
Green wood box: Daffy's
Magazine boxes: Container Store
Books: mostly Alibris, ridiculously cheap literature
Credenza: Amanda 4 door lowboy - homedecorators.com with clear glass top
Credenza handles: Atlas Spa in seafoam green
Organizers: Bigso & Bristol boxes, Container Store.
Lamps: touch-on bases, lightinguniverse.com;
Frame parts: lampshop.com,
Veneer: veneersupplies.com, shades made by me
Driftwood: petrified teak, aquarium supply store
Bamboo container for doggy treats: Container Store (I think it's really for bathrooms)
Wood storage boxes under credenza for bed pillows: my custom design
All-in-one printer/scanner/copier: Brother MFC 465CN, staples.com
Cable box, splitter & router: Time Warner
Wireless router: Netgear
VOIP phone thingy: Vonage
Laptop: Toshiba Portege, also for watching Netflix
Cabinets: Thomasville in maple, Home Depot
Handles: Schaub mosaic in satin nickel
Sink: Moen, with Danze Parma bar faucet and Kraus soap dispenser
Refrigerator: Avanti 18" with real freezer, compactappliance.com
Single burner ceramic cooktop: Sunpentown
In-cabinet drawer pull-outs: custom made to size, customdrawerboxes.com
Tall base-filler pull-out, cabinet door organizers, tilt-out tray & pull-out towel rack: rev-a-shelf.com
Food containers: Container Store
Backsplash tile: Daltile natural stone cut face brick in champagne gold, ungrouted
Island track light w/pendants & onyx shades: Home Depot, discontinued (why? why? - they were such a steal at $60 each!)
Bar stools: homedecorators.com, also sadly discontinued, but they have a huge and affordable selection
Bar glasses: Cheers Pastel from Mikasa and replacements.com
Wine rack: amazon.com, assembled of 2 cobbled together
Art: original 1927 Fred F. French Company floor plan of my building, framed locally
Tile: marble white crystal
Accent tile: Merola Vetro Marmi brick & mosaic
Wall light: Home Depot
Towel rack: Ginger Metro 18" double chrome
Mirrored vanity cabinet & tall wall cabinet: my custom design
Wall cabinet organizers: Container Store
Glass vessel sink: overstock.com
Waterfall faucet: overstock.com
Soap dispenser: T J Maxx
Shower column: faucetdirect.com
Towels: Overstock and T J Maxx
Apothecary Jars: save-on-crafts.com
Shells, sea glass: seashells.com
Glass & metal flower vase: JoAnn's
Custom system: designed by me, built by closetorganizersusa.com, installed by Brehm Interiors
Drawer fronts: burl maple
Handles: Atlas Spa in seafoam green
Rolling trouser rack: my custom design
Scarf shelf divider: made by me from foamcore
Mirror jewelry armoire, used for jewelry, gloves, scarves, sunglasses & doggy leashes: overstock.com
Thin-profile stepstool: Container Store
Vacuum cleaner: Dirt Devil rechargeable, great for small spaces with hardwood floors and rugs
Folding ironing board: stacksandstacks.com, custom covered by me in JoAnn's fabric
Laundry hamper: Container Store frame, depth cut down by me using Dremel saw to fit behind door, hamper bag made by me in same fabric as ironing board … and yes, I really am so obsessed with making things fit right and look nice!
Check out Kittie's original House Call | Kittie's Live & Work Studio Space.
Check out the details of Kittie's Kitchen in her Kitchen Tour at the Kitchn.
Images: Jill Slater