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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

01.08.2007

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big ideas for small spaces
who says size matters?
by Susan Johnston | 1 2 3
continued from page 2

the situation | Youíve finally left your best friendís brotherís coworkerís apartment, moved out of the shoebox-sized studio, and into an apartment with more than one room. Launching your own business sounded like a great idea, until that dot-com starting taking over your bedroom. Or maybe youíve decided to use your living room as a pilates studio.

the solution | Maintaining separate spaces is essential to maintaining your sanity. Having a mountain of invoices and half-empty coffee mugs staring you in the face will give you just as much insomnia as that cheap futon mattress. And no one wants to trip over your pilates gear during an Oscars party.

Home workstations that fold up at the end of the day are space-efficient, but often expensive. If itís not in your budget, then find a desk that has as much storage as possible. Ditto on the other furniture. Once you run out of floor space, itís time to start thinking vertically. Mount some floating Ikea shelves on your wall or buy a small filing cabinet to use as a printer stand. And for the love of Vera Bradley, if you must have file folders and piles of paper out in the open, at least buy some in a funky color or pattern. Vera Bradley and Paper Source offer some cute options. Add some stacking letter-boxes to maximize surface space, and youíre in business.

For a dual-purpose living room, coffee tables with extra shelves or drawers rock. If youíre going for an eclectic or exotic look, then you might opt for a steamer trunk instead. Theyíre sturdy, inexpensive, and you can stash all your winter sweaters or work-out gear inside.

Ottomans can also offer extra storage and flexible seating arrangements. Or buy a second-hand piano bench. This super-versatile invention stores extra magazines and works well as a side-table or as additional seating. It also helps to have your TV and other electronics on wheels so you can maneuver them around for workouts or parties. Utilize all your square footage with a small, skinny bookcase that hugs the corners of the room. Invest in practical, dual-purpose pieces, and youíre on the right track.

o

Susan Johnston is a Boston-based freelance writer and marketing specialist who recently launched theUrbanMuse.blogspot.com. Email her at SusanEJohnston@gmail.com.

check out these related articles:
space savers | maximizing kitchen space | notes from a small kitchen | entertaining in small spaces | gardening for small spaces | home/work

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