Small Spaces

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Ali’s Bathroom Makeover


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali

This past Labor Day I proposed the question to my significant other, “Signifcant other, what would you like to do this holiday weekend?” His answer: “Complete our bathroom makeover.” So we did. ***disclaimer: we like the color white.

Our bathroom had been quite a sore sight…pea green walls, a sink that was cracked and looked a bit like a urinal, a tub with chipped paint, no storage…overall blahness. The ultimate low was storing our bathroom goodies in tupperware containers or plastic bags on the floor under the sink.

So, starting with the sink area we redesigned the space to provide maximum storage within a small corner of the room. The walls were painted white, a new towel hanger was installed and the tub was painted black (this part was done some time ago).

Finally, all of our orphaned toiletries have a home and I can brush my teeth with a peaceful state of mind.


Friday, April 24th, 2009

Link of the Day


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

I am a little pressed for time today, but I’ll send you off for your weekend with a link to a house that shows how beautiful the simple life in a small space can be. Granted, it’s on a pond in Martha’s Vineyard with ocean views, so I’m sure the pricetag would be anything but simple, but the little camp house that belongs to singer-songwriter-Berklee School of Music professor Livingston Taylor looks like cozy heaven:

You can see why he’s so inspired to write here. Be sure to check out the full slideshow here. The kitchen is my favorite part. 

photo by Jodi Hilton for The New York Times


Thursday, January 29th, 2009

The City: Olivia Palermo’s Pad


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

Since Ali went there and admitted to watching The Real World yesterday, I figured I’d just go there and admit that I watch Whitney Port navigate The City on a weekly basis. The hilariously cold and snobbish “social” Olivia Palermo has a pretty sweet pad. I equate plopping a Hermes logo tray to wearing a T-shirt that says “J’adore Dior,” or me pinning my Ralph Lauren Polo tags to my bulletin board when I was eleven, but this room is pretty nice. I certainly would not let that cousin of hers put his dirty nasty self anywhere near the white John Robshaw pillows, but since those have been available on The Home Shopping Network she should probably pitch them anyway. What kind of trust fund princess with a fake job at DVF would be caught dead with goods that are readily available to the masses?

Also on The City, two random chicks no one cares about gossip about making out while perched in big Kelly Wearstler chairs at Bergdorf’s…

images are screen shots from


Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Bare Bones NYTIMES


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Years ago, this blog grew out of a Design Public newsletter I wrote on a monthly basis. One of my favorite features was the customer profile, which we hoped to continue here on the blog as often as possible. PLEASE, if you want to show off your home, EMAIL US at! We’d love to share it with everyone. You do NOT have to have any Design Public products in your shots, but if you have ordered anything from us, we’d love to see how it fits into your lifestyle.

I realized we have not done a customer profile in awhile when I saw this feature in The New York Times yesterday. In a nutshell, architect Koray Duman found a cramped, dark, 2 bedroom Manhattan apartment on Craigslist and was able to envision its open sunlit potential. With $25K, a lot of sweat, and the help of some friends, Duman realized his vision of the stripped-down bright space. A major factor in his success was minimizing free standing furniture to keep the floors clear. In addition to pieces from IKEA and a sculptural radiator from, he picked up these MASH Studios pieces from Design Public:

Readers, please, don’t make me have to wait until your abode is featured in a national paper to see it! Email us and show off your stuff! Don’t be intimidated by how cool this pad is; I give this one a perfect ten. Often the fives are a lot more interesting and relatable than the tens. If you’re feeling like you’re at a one, send in some shots and tell us about your design struggles and we’d be happy to help.

all photos by Phil Mansfield for The New York Times. To see the entire slideshow house tour, click here.


Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

A Green Remodel: Making a Cottage Modern


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky



Hello, Cottage Living, are you reading?  When I missed my flight on Sunday I really lucked out. My friends Sophie and Kent offered me shelter in the 1940’s cottage they have been lovingly modernizing for many months. Circa 200 years ago, their neighbors would have been Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, as it is located between Monticello and Ash Lawn. It is truly one of the most beautiful spots around Charlottesville. It sits between the flood plain of Houchens Creek and beautiful woods, and when you look in out from the back, you can spy neighboring cows. Sophie and Kent are two of my pals from grad school. Kent has his Masters in Urban Planning and both of them have Masters in Landscape Architecture. Kent also has lots of experience in construction with a focus on green building, and Sophie is a kick-ass fiddler and gardener.

I wish I had some interior before pictures to show you, but unfortunately, they no longer exist. The space shown below used to be four dark, cramped rooms: A kitchen, a dining room, a bedroom and a bathroom.  S & K ripped the whole thing open and installed all new windows, which are all Low E, argon-filled sashes. The ceilings, once low and dark, were ripped out, and now they are 10′ high. The beams were restored from the original structure. The space is so peaceful and sunny that I felt like I was in one of the charming chapels that dot the landscape in the country around Charlottesville.

A very small addition that accommodates a new bathroom was added to the house’s original 840 square feet (it’s on the right side of the exterior “AFTER” photo). The floors are reclaimed heart pine, and all of the poplar siding and trim came from the Appalachian Sustainable Development mills in southwest Virginia, all of it harvested from certified-sustainable wood lots in the southern Appalachians.

I love that they used an antique dresser for storage in the bathroom:

Formerly an unused attic, Sophie and Kent opened up to the roofline and created an upstairs loft. Yours truly was not feeling confident about scaling the ladder after two margaritas, but I could see from below that it  added a lot of usable space to the house:

Here are a few more sweet nuggets:

There is a real nature study aesthetic all around the house:

While all of the walls are crisp and white, S & K’s careful editing of antiques, oriental rugs, artwork and objects add so much warmth to the modern space.

Curious about that lamp? The lovely and talented Christina Michas made the gorgeous shade for them as a wedding gift:

The house is still a work in progress, but I kind of dig these little traces of it:

To read more about the project, check out Strata Projects Design.