Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Small Space Dilemmas

Jay Jeffers in the San Francisco showhouse in 2005. Woah, pattern.

So, now that I'm moving, I have to downgrade to a smaller space: a studio. I know. Woah. This evening apres work, I went around and saw a few of these studios, and boy do I have a challenge ahead of me. It got me thinking of how to divide the space so that it looked the biggest and also how to carve out each area; living, sleeping, eating, and baking. Fortunately, I like challenges like this. Also, fortunately for me magazines (that I worship) like House Beautiful and Domino have little guides for this sort of thing. Among other things, one of the tips that sounded the most interesting and intense was Amanda Nisbet's advice of covering everything in the same pattern. Wallpaper, fabrics, lampshades etc. Let's see how this plays out...

The shades and wallpaper are the same beautiful chinoiserie pattern. The desk is gold leaf and it floats right into the space. Designed by Philip Gorrivan, who, btw is amazing.

Ah, Katie Ridder, you never cease to amaze me. This canopied day bed blends right into the gorgeous wallpapered back wall. Matching throw pillows and the mirror add depth to the room.

This small study in Atlanta from Traditional Home looks quite a bit larger with the large scale geometric patterned wallpaper and roman shades. I think the overly tall pedestals with the lamps also play with the scale of the small room.

How much do you want to curl up on that blue chair covered in that soft white cable knit throw and read a book? I know this is a relatively large space but the wall paper and corresponding fabrics really do lighten up and open up the space.
Designed by Ashley Whitaker in the Hamptons.

This is also a large open space but I wanted to show it because it literally has the same fabric on everything: chair, ottoman, roman shades, bedskirt, and ....lampshade! It's such a pretty house-- this image was featured on Architectural Digest about a year and a half ago
(designed by Alexa Hampton).

I think the uber patterning has the same sort of effect that painting a room a dark color has. It seems to eliminate the fact that you're in a small space by not letting you define the space on your own. If the shades, the drapery, and the walls are all the same pattern then you lose your sense of depth. And lets face it, wallpaper is fun.

Alicia B.


Unknown said...

downsizing is tough. After my husband and I got married, we moved into a studio apartment that had been converted from a motel room. I was horrified at how small it was compared to the three-bedroom house I had just moved out of, but I was surprised by how much I ended up loving the space. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to paint, but I found ways to divide and define the spaces, and get creative with storage. The few months we spent in that little apartment will always be remembered as some of the best in our lives... I'm sure you'll have no trouble solving your small-space-dilemma! Good luck and keep us updated!

Alicia B. Designs said...

Yeah, truth be told, I secretly love this kind of thing. It's going to be a really fun design challenge and I'm actually looking forward to it. Thanks for the encouragement!

Lauren said...

I think doing the same pattern throughout a room is gorgeous & a show stopper, but I'm not sure I could live with it after a while, day in & day out.

can't wait to see what you do with your new place! :)

Raina Cox said...

I never loved any apartment more than a 500 sq.ft. jewel box I had in a 1960s high rise tower.

I hope you post pictures!

anusha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anusha said...

I am not really into wallpapers, but I really liked the small study area from Traditional Home magazine. I liked the geometric shades and the patterns. Also since the colors used are mainly neutrals, the room seems to look more open. If i ever have to use wallpapers, i would probably go with something like this.