If, like me, you dream of that New York City lifestyle: wearing your apartment pants while drinking a decaffeinated latte in your undersized, studio loft conversion, then Designs for Small Spaces is the perfect sourcebook for you. It has short, small and chic furnishings to renovate your equally small interior with style.
Jennifer Hudson is the contemporary design editor who compiled the selection, writing it in homage to the fast-paced trend of ‘four in ten homes [being] inhabited by one person’. This book, published in September 2010, is not just your IKEA-based studio-flat design book. It is a bringing together of a populous who have very much grown apart. It combines students, divorcees and the elderly, who live alone, giving them one common goal of accommodating a small space.
Hudson suggests that there is a simple criterion for making the most of a tiny area, writing that you need a positive attitude to address your lifestyle to get what you want out of your habitat. She details over 500 products and invites you to unlock your imagination in the reinvention of your home.
Image credit: Atelier Opa
This is Hudson’s suggested Foldaway Office; see my designs for small spaces folder for more tips.
As you would expect from a small spaces book, there is the usual suggestion of compaction and flexibility. These factors ask you to revaluate the needs of living and ‘the temptation to constantly acquire things that don’t really add to our daily enjoyment or long-term feeling of well-being is removed: minimum space equals maxim living’.
Although I really did enjoy the space-saving suggestions made from the book, the true inspiration of product came from the illusory chapter. Here, Hudson depicts mirrors, glass and light that bend, reflect and enhance your home, creating an illusionary atmosphere of space and openness. Glass chairs and projectors are among the many designs that are creatively suggested.
Hudson illustrates her points perfectly, depicting the ideal product for each chapter. A recurring element is, ‘if a piece of furniture doesn’t serve at least two purposes then it will be taking up valuable space unnecessarily’. She emphasises this with the image of the Bibliochaise by .nobody&Co. This ingenious creation combines both a chair and a bookcase, perhaps a somewhat garish thought initially, but it is structurally beautiful and unlocks archaic librarian imagery.
The point to emphasis while reading this book is that isn’t simply asking you – repetitively – to buy storage units to hide clutter, it is urging you to be innovative and create colour and uniqueness in your small abode. Of course, some of Hudson’s suggestions are not original concepts but their presentation allows for a new approach to spatial design. The Clei wall bed is reminiscent of a 1960’s, comical, Murphy bed but the redesigned appeal of combining it with a corner sofa and incorporating a bookcase creates a more alluring apartment space.
Designs for Small Spaces is an imaginative read and is a good starting point for any person struggling with a small house or flat to look for inspiration and ideas into re-evaluating their situation.
Have you read Designs for Small Spaces? Let us know what you thought of it and if you agree with my review.
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