Sep 28, 2014

GRAY Conversations: Living Big in Small Spaces

Live in a small space? It doesn't mean your design ideas have to be small. As part of the IDSWest GRAY Conversations series, we brought together a panel of experts to talk about ways to optimize small living spaces for the biggest impact. 

Jasmine Vaughan, Made & State Design (Portland)
"Pick one unexpected material to add texture to the room." For this project, Vaughn used Cascade Coil chain panels (similar to the material used in vintage fireplace screens from the 1970s) in lieu of traditional fabric curtains. 

"Don't be afraid of going really dark or bold in small spaces." While dark paint has the potential to be overwhelming in a large room, it has a luxurious impact in this small home office. 

Barbara Hyde Evans, Hyde Evans Design (Seattle)

In this 788-square-foot Seattle condo, interior designer Barbara Hyde Evans created two distinct areas, each with multiple functions. The two photos above show the living room and dining area. Behind the brightly patterned screen is the bedroom and home office (below). In small spaces such as this one, Hyde Evans suggests using the multi-functional approach—not every aspect of life needs a specific room. She also notes that the use of lighter colors makes the room feel larger. Watch a future issue of GRAY for more information about this project.

Images by Alex Hayden. 

Eric Siu, Resource Furniture (Vancouver)

Resource Furniture helps with small space planning, allowing homeowners to make the most of their space. Above, a bed from their collection folds up to become a desk, and, below, the couch and desk allow for a living room and home office during the day, while the bed folds out for sleeping space at night.

Jen Eden, Occupy Design (Vancouver)

Vancouver-based designer Jen Eden says that when it comes to kitchens, keep it sleek and scale down the size of the appliances to fit the square footage of the space. "The space will open up if you put the fridge or dishwasher behind a panel because it gives your eye a break as it moves along the space," she says.

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