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Laundry Gets a Lift

Think of laundry rooms… what comes to mind? A corner of the unfinished part of a basement, like mine? A moist, linty space where clutter gets out of hand very quickly? Or do you picture something organized and, dare I say it, pretty? It’s easy to ignore the humble laundry room, but perhaps it is nearly as easy to take the time to make it a little nicer to be in.

laundry-room-582x436

It might even be chic, like this mostly monochromatic laundry room dotted with splashes of color — love that rug — and complete with a sofa on which to rest one’s bum while folding laundry. (via)

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Bigger On the Inside Than the Outside? It’s All Done With Mirrors, Obviously!

Almost all home owners and apartment dwellers could use a little more space, not necessarily for stuff, but rather for the breathing room. Many houses simply don’t have enough windows to let the outside in, and apartment windows frequently open on views encompassing the sides of other buildings, trashy courtyards, and metropolitan sprawl of the least aesthetically pleasing sort. Knocking down entire walls costs big money. Putting in new windows costs less money, but isn’t by most people’s measure inexpensive. So short of giving away one’s earthly possessions, how can one open up a space on the cheap?

Wall mirrors. You read that right, simple wall mirrors. They bring light into a room, especially when placed opposite an existing window, and can even mimic windows when hung like panes and decorated with window treatments. A large wall mirror becomes a focal point, reflecting back the entire room resulting in a depth of space that makes a living room or bedroom feel expansive.

mirrors as windows

This doubling serves a second purpose in feng shui, where a wall mirror that reflects something good or lucky — think a treasured family portrait or beautiful objet d’art picked up on your travels — that positive energy will be doubled, too.

When you’re hanging wall mirrors, play around with the shapes and sizes and styles you choose. A classic wall mirror can beautify and open up a small space like a foyer or stairway landing, while a modern wall mirror will look great hanging above a couch or mantel. Try mixing traditional wall mirrors with mirrors like Jason Nipp’s Umbra Movamira mirror, which is evocative of a large small-paned window.

Whatever you do, make sure your wall mirror or wall mirrors aren’t reflecting clutter, lest that negative energy come back to haunt you in the form of even more mess!

Super Cozy? Or Super Crazy?

Living small. Small space living. Whatever you want to call it, there are people doing it all over the world. Some get into small space living out of necessity — usually because either the money or the space simply isn’t there. Others do it because they want to see how low they can go when it comes to their ecological footprint. And I suppose there are those who think that 175 sq. ft. is plenty, thankyouverymuch.

Zaarath and Christopher Prokop appear to be just that, according to the NY Post. They work a lot, they don’t eat in, and they don’t host guests, which is why they had no qualms about buying a microstudio — possibly Manhattan’s smallest — for $150,000.

microstudio in new york city

The kitchen is used to store the few articles of clothing they keep in the microstudio, with most of their clothes living at various dry cleaners. Oh, and the couple’s two cats eat on the counter. There’s naught in the fridge other than espresso and champagne. A queen bed takes up a third of the microstudio, and the bathroom is the size of a small closet. At a mere 14.9 feet long and 10 feet wide, you can bet it feels a little claustrophobic.


“I’m amazed we can fit two people and two cats in there,” Zaarath said. “But it’s harmonious at this point. I have friends who say they could never live with their husbands in a place this small. It’s a good thing we like each other enough to live there.”

The only other resident of the microstudio is the couple’s Roomba, which must scare the bejeezus out of those poor cats every time it’s turned on. On one hand, I applaud Zaarath and Christopher Prokop for making the most of the space they can afford — they’ll apparently be able to pay off the $150,000 in a mere two years. On the other hand, they seem a little self-congratulatory about their knack for small space living.

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