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Fantastic, Fabulous, and Just a Little Bit Frightening

Isn’t this just a fantastic space belonging to fashion designer David Delfin and architect turned photographer Gorka Posigo? The open plan, the loft, the amazing blends of browns and colors and black with white, everything about it. I’ll even take the dog. But, oh, that face. And there is a selection of doll head busts on one cabinet. I have this thing about faces, you see. And doll heads. Not all that uncommon, I imagine. Last thing I want to see when I wake up for a tinkle is a giant face moaning and a whole bunch of dismembered baby heads.

I'll take almost all of it, including the dog.

What do you like about this pretty awesome if I do say so myself space? What would you ditch before moving in?

Images via Yatzer: http://www.yatzer.com/2074_delfin-postigo_house_welcomes_2010

The Secret to Hosting Guests Sans Stress

What is it that they say about having house guests and fresh fish? Both start to stink after a couple of days? I’d posit that the expiration date on playing host to one or more people arrives much, much sooner when those people are sleeping in your house. Especially if you don’t have the space for an actual guest room and guest bathroom, and there are consequently suitcases and makeup cases spilling their contents all over your living room.

I think we’ve all been trained to believe that guest houses are something only those with lots of money or lots of property or both can have, but what if your guest house is simply a watertight cozy little structure tucked into one corner of your garden?

With a Beltima Chalet Chambre, your guests still have to trek in to use the toilet, but everything from reading to sleeping to face washing can be accomplished somewhere out of your hair so you and your loved ones can remain on good terms when stays are extended. I have no clue how much one would cost, but I love the idea. I wonder if the bottom bunk could be removed and replaced with a desk, turning the whole thing into an adorable detached office?

Take Your Work Outdoors

Telecommuting rocks, but it’s easy to let work get derailed by a sink full of dishes, a pesky bathroom faucet leak, or other tasks that you’d normally try to avoid doing. Isn’t it funny how the boring-but-necessary becomes so palatable when one is searching for ways to procrastinate? Telecommuting gets easier when you have a home office, but still that sink full of dishes is just a short hallway away. What’s a work-from-home employee to do? There’s always shedworking, which is apparently what’s hot in the alternative home office world! (Suck it, coffee shop!)

Oh em gee, I love it! It’s scads nicer than the home office I have now, I’m ashamed to say.

Unfortunately, while I have a shed, it’s currently full of a wheelbarrow, a push mower, grass seed, trowels and things, and about a gajillion lady spiders watching over egg balls. Creepy. Not conducive to work. Also kind of dirty. But I suppose I could haul all of my outdoor gear into the basement, tear down my yucko shed, and replace it with some chic Swedish work/life shed.

(Image via Shedworking)

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Creative Uses of Difficult Spaces

Difficult spaces make organizing… annoying. Having no logical places to put things makes it hard to keep anything for any length of time without clutter taking over. Luckily, one can create logic in a difficult space, sometimes using craftiness alone, but more often with a little money and the help of a clever contractor. To inspire those readers who deal with difficult spaces on a day to day basis, here are four fab solutions to problems of organization.

under stair wine rack

An under the stair wine rack might be particularly enticing for the homeowner who loves a glass or two or three but has a kitchen that simply won’t accommodate a little wine cooler.

loft storage space

Is that a bike up there? Why, yes… It might not be entirely convenient a place to store one’s bicycle year round, but perhaps it could live up there during the winter when it wouldn’t be in use much. Think of a storage loft as a smaller garage alternative. Those without bikes could store luggage or a fire safe or linens without anywhere else to live.

living room workspace

This is a great idea for those who, like me, work from home but don’t have the space or inclination to put together a private home office. I’m actually typing this at the writing desk in my living room because my home office has been taken over by baby supplies, so I know this solution works. Putting the writing table behind the couch isolates it to some extent from the rest of the living room so you can maintain that work/life divide.

stair bookcase

And then we have the stairway bookcase, which is a classic solution to the very real problem of possessing too many books. I think this one is rather novel, however, as each stair simply wraps around at a ninety-degree angle to create a shelf. Plus the stairway itself is narrow and steep, making it a great way to access upper floors without losing a lot of first floor real estate.

(Photos via micasa)

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.

Making the Most of What He Has

Sometimes people live in small spaces out of necessity, and sometimes they do it for the challenge. I’m not sure why out-of-work architect Sergio Santos chose a small space lifestyle, but I have to admit he’s doing it more effectively than most. He rents a converted electrical closet in Delray Beach, Florida for a mere $150 per month. At five-and-a-half feet from wall to wall, you can touch both walls at once.

small apartment living 2

When you live in a space that small, there’s nowhere to go but up. The bed, television, and closet are suspended above Santos’ office space, and yet he still found places for a mini kitchen and a window sanctuary. Not even wallspace is wasted, provided you don’t call art a waste. Even the shelves have a second purpose, serving as the ladder to the upper level.

small apartment living

Santos built a small seating area, which he calls his terrace, below the room’s only window. It’s the homiest spot in the tiny little space he calls home. The only thing that’s missing is a bathroom, which I hope for Santos’ sake exists somewhere just outside his miniature living quarters.

Even With the Double Tub, Too Big?

When The Beard and I were house shopping, we toured one house whose previous owners decided to swap a bathroom and a bedroom. What they ended up with what a fairly small bedroom — appropriate for use as a nursery, tiny home office, or perhaps a walk-in closet — and a gigantic, wholly cavernous feeling bathroom. While in the past I might have thought “Bathrooms, the bigger, the better,” that strange house cured me of the very idea.

double bathtub

Which brings me to this bathroom, outfitted with fixtures from Hansgrohe‘s Axor Urquiola range designed by Patricia Urquiloa. I adore the colors and the glass and the overwhelming indoor pool spa aesthetic. All the little stools and tables are darling. The whole thing says aquatic and means it. But while the double tubs are… interesting, truth be told, with a tub that big I’d much prefer to invite The Beard in with me. And as for the space itself? It’s just way too big for my particular tastes. Huge bathrooms over a certain size just feel wrong to me.

What say you?

Man caves? Mantuaries? The antidote to the fuzzy toilet seat?

Where dudes can be dudes in a dudeish fashion

I feel like what I’m going to talk about today is more than a little related to yesterday’s post at Manolo for the Brides. Single ladies, MSN said, should eat their ice cream and have a cat while they still can. Now I found out, compliments of CNN, that married lads better learn to like skulking about in basements and garages.

For Brian, it’s not just about holding onto the ratty futon and the “Fletch” movie poster from his bachelor days. It’s about having a “mantuary,” or “man cave” — a space just for him where he can watch sports uninterrupted or play Xbox games with his buddies.

I’m kidding about the skulking. The Beard and I have our separate offices, and that’s good! I prefer complete silence when writing because I’m so easily distracted. He likes listening to music non-stop. When we shared an office back in the day this caused more than a few tiffs.

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