I recently started renting a 1 year old 1 bedroom in the downtown neighborhood in the city i live in. It's small, 550 Sq ft. I am trying to learn about design/style etc. and I am just not that good at it. Looking for advice, any and all is appreciated!!
I am a male urban professional, like funky and modern style. Looking to set the place up so it's still my man bachelor pad but will still get the nod of respect from a sophisticated woman. Yes i know that is alot to ask for, that's why I am posting on this board!
I've attached some pictures of the living area/solarium/storage room/bedroom. I literally just moved in 1.5 weeks ago so forgive the clutter.
Advice on everything from Sofa to Art to where to put a tv stand or if i have space for a rug, what to do with the storage or solarium. I have a borrowed futon at the moment i need to replace with a real sofa, still don't have a bed frame... or much of anything. Anything and everything is appreciated folks!
Here are the pics, and looking forward to your responses!!
I love the modern feel of your place. I would keep the decor clean and crisp. When you go shopping for furniture, look for pieces that have narrow arms and tight backs (no cushions on the back). You want things that don't take up a lot of visual space. I wouldn't use a coffee table in such a narrow area, but some storage ottomans would work as extra seating, a place to put your feet up when watching television, and a place to stash a throw or the remotes. Plus, they are easily moved.
Your solarium/enclosed balcony looks like the place I would end up spending all of my time. I would put a small dining height table out there with two comfortable chairs so that you could work on your laptop, have a meal, play cards, etc.
I look forward to hearing more about your style. Welcome!
Thanks for the quick reply Gracie!
narrow arms and tight backs? not sure what you mean there.. do you have an example? what color as well? Fabric/leather?
so for the solarium a small dining set... any idea on shape of table? i've seen circle/square etc most with 4 chairs.
There are nice finishings and perks like heated floors but its just such a weird small layout. So you think a couch/ottoman - what about a tv stand on the other side? i'm using a old bookshelf i plan to get rid of now. Any idea for the storage room? i currently dont have space for my dishes and food at the same time..
Help me understand your vision in further depth. Thanks!
Welcome. in a small apartment, these are some important things to consider:
-Opt for furniture pieces that are sleek in design such as straight, thin arms or armless(as has already been advised).
-Keep contrast in mind so there is dimension and your furniture won't disappear into the walls. BTW, are you permitted to paint?
-Look for pieces that nest, stack, fold, multi purpose, offer storage.
-Consider a Murphy bed cabinet which can fold up and away when not in use. You can take it with you when you move and can someday become a guest bed. A worthwhile investment.
-Keep traffic flow in mind.
-Keep purposes of the space in mind.
-Allow maximum light filtration and address all levels of task and ambient lighting throughout. A well place light fixture can even bump a wall back creating the illusion of more space.
-Use reflective surfaces like glass, mirrors, metal finishes and ceramics. A well placed mirror can double room size while repeating an attractive image.
-Art or a printed fabric or rug can not only inspire a room scheme but it's feel. Any can act as a springboard for a novice decorator.
-In small spaces, it is especially important to utilize dead space. "Dead space" includes corners, behind doors, under beds, along ceiling line.
-Equally important is the utilization of vertical space while keeping room balance in mind.
-Keep high ticket pieces neutral for greater scheme flexibility in mind. Also, do not scrimp on durability/quality for frequently used pieces like sofas. Buy locally so you can test comfort and construction.
-Regarding rugs, have size and shape in mind. The front feet of a furniture grouping should rest upon it. Most rug retailers will permit you to try a rug for a day or so in your place. Once found, colors in the rug can be pulled for walls, via pillows on a sofa or chair, windows, accessories.
-Browse decorating magazines or Web sites to get a directional sense. Keeping a file or story board of pics and samples may be helpful when pulling a space together ESP. If you are a visual person.
-If hiring a decorator for an initial consultation is not within your budget, enlist the input of talented friends, family or coworkers. Having a trained eye or the eye of a person who's taste you admire will be of great help, but do not forget you personal design esthetic. This is YOUR abode and it should reflect your lifestyle, passions, travels, etc.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
When the term "neutral" is mentioned, it often means any family of whites, creams, black, taupe, gray, tan, brown, gold/camel, or even greens.
These are some basic, non style specific suggestions: When designing a small space consider the lighting. Urban apts. that do not get a lot of natural light can look dreary if you use too many cool colors like grays and blues.Indirect light will make neutral colors look even cooler so that beiges will look more taupe and taupes will look gray.Warmer tones create a sense of warmth and light. Spaces with lots of light can be colored any way you like.
High contast breaks up your sight lines and makes a space look smaller.So while a dark sofa may seem practical, in the wrong space it can make a room look smaller.
Stay away from "feature walls" in contrast paint colors, instead create interest with texture changes.Cousins On Call made a bookcase for a single guy using plumbing pipe and pine boards, Sabrina Soto also did this on The High/ Low Project. You get some interesting and masculine textures in there without chopping up the space with heavy bookcases.
Remember that a larger quantity of smaller furniture pieces also makes a space look smaller.Buy less but larger furniture and art. Smaller rugs also make a space look smaller by defining an area within an area.You want your eye to be drawn as far as possible before it is stopped by the next thing, so as big a rug as possible, and sofas and chairs on legs to draw your eye under the furniture and to relieve some of the volume, instead of bulk down to the floor.
Try keeping an overall scheme of simply designed furniture broken up here and there with some flea market or consignment shop pieces,but don't over do the quirky because a smaller space can look like a mish-mash really easily.
Also don't spend too much, because you won't be there forever, and you may not want your future spaces dictated by stuff you can't part with because of the cost.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charles D,
Just an FYI. Apartment Therapy starts their Smallest, Coolest Apartment contest in April. You should check it out as there are a lot of great looking apartments posted!
Take a look at the web site link below. You may find some interesting inspiration.
How funny, Annie17...we were posting at the same time with similar ideas. I love Apartment Therapy.
Love the theory everyone... anyone have specific suggestions. AKA I think an item like this, would look great in this part of your apartment.
Also becuase it's a rental i have been denied painting and wall mounting my TV(s).
The information is helpful, but i'm also trying to figure out :
- What color Couch? Fabric? Leather?
- If i were to get a glass/mirror/reflective surface where would it ideally go?
- I have a shag rug that's rolled up now.. but it's kind of tight between the couch and the wall.. what sort of placement for rug makes sense?
- In terms of the solarium, any ideas for a small dining set? Circle or Square?
- Where do you think I should be placing art in the apartment?
- where do you think indirect lighting makes sense?
Apologies in advance for all the questions, I'm having a hard time visualizing how these things can come together.
Congratulations on your new home. You have already gotten some excellent advice.
The only thing I will add is to try one of these online room arranger tools: http://freshome.com/2010/08/18...-programs-and-tools/
As long as your shag rug isn't bigger than the room it's not too big, just try to center it as best you can without leaving one of the corners of the rug right in the middle of a doorway where you would trip on it. Empty out the room and lay it out and don't forget the non skid pad.
Regarding a table and chairs, in a tight spot round is better, you won't whack your hip on any corners when your squeezing your friends in, and you can always manage to get one more person at a round. Some nice looking colored plastic folding chairs hidden under the bed works in a pinch for last minute Chinese Takeout parties.
I know every guy heads straight for the oversized brown leather sofa when he's furniture shopping but, don't! Your buddies will run the other way when its time to move it and it will be a monster in the space. Go for washable micro fiber in a mid color, not too dark, and something up on legs if possible.(got an IKEA near you?) If the legs screw off it will be much easier to get it in and out of narrow halls, tiny elevators and through 30 inch wide doorways.
Glass is great but only if you are a housekeeper, dirty glass is just gross.Maybe your 36-42 inch round table in the Solarium can be glass?
Speaking of glass, when it is time to accessorize a good rule of thumb is to change texture. That means wooden bowls or metal candlesticks on glass, and glass stuff on wood furniture. No glass on glass/wood on wood/ metal on metal. Same holds true for lamps; metal or glass lamps on wood, etc. Try to mix hard materials and soft materials.
My advice comes from a mother....and someone who often helped kids move! I echo what Charles said about ease of moving. I encouraged my kids to get lightweight furniture!
Also, this is not likely to be your forever furniture, so get things that are comfy, but not heirlooms! Try Craigslist for tables (end, coffee, dining, patio, etc.). You can buy new pillows, linens, throws, etc. to add color and texture.
Look online at pics, post them here, and ask for opinions and advice. Show us what appeals to you.
Have fun with this project!
Indeed, a round table takes up less space. Also, glass topped tables take up less visual space.
Regarding the color of the leather sofa, a black or brown is masculine, neutral and forgiving. A taupe or gray are also possible. Taking color cues from your wardrobe may help there. Since you
are considering leather, do some Web research to be an informed customer as there are grades and finishes associated with leather.
So glad I posted on this site... You called me out. I had the large oversize brown leather couch on order... it was custom coming from overseas and was going to take 3 months too. Thanks for helping me come to my senses. It was the one in the pic, but brown.
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OK so I have some tips to work with. Couch is my biggest investment and I'll need some examples to work with.
I want to dive deeper into the couch.. you said get a couch sitting on legs, was that just because of moving issues? Or was there a reason for that?
Just so I am clear I'm looking for a microfiber couch, on legs, in a brown or a black, with a tight back and narrow arms? let me post some finds and get your opinion right after i get my deposit back for the big leather couch.
Hey Buddy, the reason for sofas with legs in apts. is two fold. Most guys want a deeper sofa, so one of the dimensions of the sofa needs to be short to get it in and out of smaller spaces (esp. if the sofa has to turn to get into your front door or down your hall). Sofa legs whether wood or metal arearound 4.5-5 inches which can make a major difference in some moving situations. The other reason legs are preferable is because they make the furniture look lighter and less boxy, by relieving some of the visual "volume".
A narrow track arm is less comfortable to rest your head on if you are sacking out watching T.V., but will give you more seating space.But think about who you'll be entertaining, couples are OK sitting closely together on the same piece of furniture, most people need a little bit of their own space, so long sofas can be a waste if no one wants to sit in the middle.Sometimes a smaller sofa with say, two chairs is better than a bigger sofa with one chair.
Also don't fall for the ottoman/cocktail table trend. Guys need a place for their beer and munchies. A coffee table is the best place to consider some funky salvage like a trunk that people can put their feet on while wearing shoes, but is also a hard flat surface for food and drinks.Check out www.charlestonforge.com Industrial Cart Cocktail Table # T 421 for an idea.
do you have a direct link for t421? couldn't find it in their catalogue.
Also I dont think i have room for a coffee table.. between the couch and tv stand there isn't alot of space. see the floor plan and pics i've posted above.
any sample couch suggestions?
What do you think of a sectional?
check out this website... see if you see anything that you think would work. This is a furniture store in my city that's pretty popular.
Loved sectional # 332, esp. in the gray. Sorry about that Charleston Forge table, I had found it in their catalogue and unfortuneately they discontinued it. If you sofa/sectional isn't too long you might be able to get away with just tables on either end. When you're laying on the "chaise" piece you can't reach a cocktail table anyway. You can always put a small bench in a corner and pull it over if you need. Benches and cocktail tables are generally 18 inches high so a bench can do double duty.
Mobler also has an end table #236BLK that can be pulled around to the front of the sofa because of the way the legs are designed, if you needed a spot to put a drink down when having company.
What do you think of this couch style? Color? Only asking because I know the gm of the store and can get a great deal.
Comes in brown as well. Check out the site and see if you see anything else that catches your eye. My friend (fmale) says get the ivory couch in the link above. But some reason I feel like its too feminine and leaning towards the brown which you said is not good.
Actually now that I think about it this couch doesn't have a tight back narrow arms and is not raised a few inches. Why am I still gravitating towards it hmmm
The sofa from The Brick is too bulky. The roll arms and the low chunky dark legs aren't going to work based on the dimensions of the room you posted. There is nothing feminine about ivory leather or micro fiber faux suede per se, it would depend on the lines of the furniture. If you go with a narrow track arm 2 piece sectional in ivory leather/ultrasuede with chrome or steel legs it will be very mid century swank, not feminine.
I foound a couple of sofas on the Ikea website that fit the description of some previous posters.
They are fairly contemporary, but could get a different feel with pillows, throws, and accessories.
Because that's what you like! But it won't work in your current space so you need to find something that will.
The store in question has a lot of sofas with big bulky arms. Here are a couple that aren't as chubby but they may not be to your liking. http://www1.thebrick.com/brick...tion=jump&navCount=3
I would advise you to shop around some more. Just because the store mgr is giving you a deal, doesn't mean that's the only place to buy furniture.
The sofas Cavin posted would definitely work, high enough leg to relieve some of the volume and a comfortable roll arm but not the big bulky kind. Do you need counter stools? Couldn't tell from the floor plan if there was a kitchen peninsula or not. If you like the look of leather, maybe leather counter stools, or a smaler scale leather chair.
Personally I'm not a big fan of gray and brown together. I like camel or black leather with a gray sofa or a chocolate leather with beige or cream sofa. So depending on what sofa color you choose, I'd wait on picking the leather.
I think that with your space constraints Ikea can really be your friend - they have a lot of "apartment sized" furniture and they have more color choices than Mobler - gray would be okay, but don't be afraid to use some color in the room if there's no color in your rug. I'd probably go with a sofa rather than the heavy look of the sectional in a room that's only nine feet wide. You could put a single chair in the corner next to the slider that could be pulled out for extra TV viewing if people are over and keep the television towards the bedroom door rather than centered on the wall.
The other thing I'd suggest is to look at the Mobler site in the dining room section for a server to use in place of a media console because it will give you more storage capacity and a couple are only about 16" deep. You may have to drill a couple of holes in the back for wires but they can be placed where the components will block their view.
Take a look at this site, EQ3.. it's in my city, just a small step above IKEA.
I think the furtiture here meets the requirements you had mentioned.
If you look at my floor plan I think my wall is big enough to fit a full size sofa vs an apartment size, but definitely no sectional.
The other option was to take a look at getting an aptarment size sofa and fitting it towards the wall with the bedroom. It would open up the other wall for a media center and maybe even a small dining table beside the kitchen peninusila?
Take a look at the floor plan and give your thoughts.
I also favor the leather over fabric but put your honest opinions for couch!
as a reminder, i have dark wood floors... offwhite shag rug... no counter stools yet and my walls are offwhite as well with no ability to paint.
also check out http://www.potterybarn.com/sho.../sofas/?cm_type=gnav
i also like the look of the furniture from this store in my city... check out
at this point i have listed a bunch of sites. It would be much appreciated if you could glance through them to see which furniture pieces you think would look great in my place.
also check out
All - 4 months later this is my progress:
1. bought a sectional - against the advice of those on this forum lol
3. wine rack
I need art/decoration idea stuff now... I will post more pictures of what it looks like now. appreciate all your feedback and what I can do to make it better.
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