Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Small Is The New Big

Two interesting media explorations into efficient modern living in cramped quarters.

The first comes from Apartment Therapy's Second Annual Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest. What I enjoy about this resource is the variety of design ideas and styles exhibited by the entries, and the fact that many of the ideas are actually within reach of the average design fan. Not everyone can afford $4,000 Knoll couches, Sub Zero fridges and Ligne Roset storage units. There are a number of entries that show creativity in both their materials and their budgets that is inspiring for amateur design enthusiasts. Of course, there are also some drool worthy entries thrown in for good measure. Gideon and Tracy's Pocket Knife gets my vote as the most inventive, as they have an entire wall that pivots to alternately open up the living space or provide privacy for the bedroom. However, my favorite is probably Jane and Darko's Cozy Thicket - it is one of the few entries that looks lived in. The bold use of color and graphics are fun and interesting, and it has just the right amount of "modern" for my taste. James and Margaret's Iconic Studio should also get a shout out for best transformation - they transformed a confining floorplan into a comfortable living space.

Winners are annoucned on April 20th, but, for me, the contest is more about just perusing the entries.

A shot of one of the entires, James and Margaret's Iconic Studio

And secondly, this month's issue of Dwell features several interesteing homes, all under 1700 Sq. Ft. While that is about double the size of my apartment, it is reasonably small compared to the expansive homes normally featured in the magazines. I really enjoyed the ingenuity of the Puzzle Loft and the natural emphasis of the Kozely/Farmer Residence in Venice, CA. (The latter of which was featured in this year's CA Boom Home Tours program)

Is the Super-Size mentality of America changing? Unlikely. However, it is nice to hear about some designs that factor in efficiency as a desirable characteristic.

Photo of the wet room shower in the Kozely/Farmer Residence, via Land + Living.

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