Before & After: A Dramatic Small Space Makeover… and What Makes it Work

published Apr 3, 2014
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(Image credit: Lonny)

Anthony D’Argenzio’s one-bedroom East Village apartment, featured in Lonny Magazine, is my idea of the perfect small space. But it wasn’t always so — the apartment recently got a huge overhaul. Pictured above is the place pre-makeover. The ornately styled furniture, all shoehorned into the living room, made this small space feel even tighter. I think you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised by this little apartment’s big transformation.

You would hardly believe it’s the same space. From the exposed-brick whitewashed walls to the tiny bar nook and rope-wrapped pipe, the makeover gives the small space a light and airy feel, with just the right touch of whimsy and warmth. So what exactly makes this small space makeover so inspiring?

• Mirrors – Using mirrors to make a small space feel bigger is an old trick that never gets old. Along with offering an illusion of depth, it also adds a touch of glamour. I especially love how the shape of the shelf in the living room mimics the lines of the mirror hanging above it. The shelf also serves as an additional ledge for storage, styling, or even a place to set your drink at a dinner party.

• Exposed White-Washed Brick – Removing drywall and exposing the brick opened up the space as well as brightening it. The reclaimed wood trim defines the windows and adds another interesting architectural element.

• An Oversized Plant or Tree – Just because you’re living in cramped quarters doesn’t mean you can’t think grand! Often, scale is the most under-considered finishing touch, so play around with adding one oversized statement piece or detail, and it might just be your missing puzzle piece.

• Open Shelving – Love it or hate it, open shelving and an expansive white subway-tiled wall make this kitchen feel double the size. The reclaimed wood shelves, pot rack, lighting, and rope-covered pipe add personality and keep the room from feeling stark and bland.

• Create a Nook – When space is limited, you might be apprehensive about devoting room for a special spot. Even though Anthony’s kitchen is tiny, he removed the dividing wall between the kitchen and the living room to create a one-person bar. Devote a small part of your footprint to what’s important to you, whether it’s a reading spot, a plant grow room, or coffee station. It’ll make you love your home that much more.

To read more about the apartment and see more before & after photos, head over to Before & After: A Small Space Makeover in Downtown Manhattan | Lonny.

Re-edited from a post originally published 4.3.14-NT