Last Update: Thursday, May 16, 2013
|DECOR SCORE- You Really Can Go Home Again, Comfortably!|
|Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert|
|Thursday, 14 March 2013 02:52|
SRO can be as charming as it is serviceable when it's furnished with space-making colors and ideas.
Q: I am moving back in with my parents. I graduated last fall and can't find a job that will even pay the rent! They have been cooler than I am about the "Kid Re- Invasion" and have given me the best extra bedroom. I need it to work like an entire house: living room-bedroom-office (I am working freelance part-time). How do I do that in a 20 x 22 space?
A: Start by downsizing your expectations: forget the "entire house" bit; think efficiency studio apartment instead, with an emphasis on the "efficiency."
This is nothing new. Many young people who start out on their own have to locate their whole world in spaces smaller than yours. I've seen bathrooms in restaurants that are larger than some New York City apartments!
First, click on mcny.org, the website for the Museum of the City of New York, where there's a reassuring exhibit about small-space living. Think 325-squarefeet small! What makes it work: ingenuity! And "transformable" — that is, double- duty - furniture, much of it from Resource Furniture (resourcefurniture.com) a company that knows how to make furnishings work overtime to max whatever space you have.
My point: You are not alone in this squeeze, either job- or space-wise. So you can stop being defensive and start being creative. As inspiration, I offer this interesting bedroom, borrowed from the creative mind of interior designer Steven Gambrel (and from the pages of his handsome book, "Time and Place," published just last year by Abrams).
The designer is making the utmost of space in a guest bedroom. Yes, there's the desk instead of the usual bench at the foot of the bed (think "office"). But other space-making tricks are more subtle — the deep green walls, for example.
Conventional wisdom says paint a small room in light colors. Au contraire, Steven goes for a dark color with a glossy finish that actually pushes back the walls, in the mind's eye, at least. He also carpets it wall-to-wall, an approach out of style for the upfront rooms of today's home, but useful in a bedroom because it stretches floor space visually.
The draperies do the same for the window: note how they're actually mounted higher than the glass is tall and wider on the wall, making you think the window's larger than it really is.
A final professional touch: that standing mirrored screen. Who knows what's behind it — a dining area perhaps, or maybe a bar? Whatever, the mirrors make the entire room look larger and more livable. A final word of caution: don't get too settled into your "temporary" space. When that job opens up in Rio, you may not want to move!
Q: What about hanging art in the kitchen? I'd love something good to look at while I cook, but my husband is horrified. He says the grease will ruin it.
A: Hubby is entirely too practical, but he's also right, for the same reason you don't expose good art — especially original watercolors — to the moisture in a bath (they'll run). But posters, photos, whatever you love enough to keep freshening up, will always be in good taste in a kitchen.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is the coauthor of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 02:59|