Living Large In Small Spaces
Textured walls, worn stone, distressed finishes, wrought iron and colors of cream, deep brown, burnt orange, burgundy and navy blue bring Old World style to the everyday, modern kitchen.
Hoods, ranges, sinks, backsplashes and countertops usher in the latest innovative kitchen technology with rustic flair. Placing stone alongside dark woodwork, barn-door inspired cabinetry and the most recent, sleek subzero appliances brings an air of antiquity to a fully equipped cooking space, set to fulfill even the most discerning chef's needs.
In addition to your dinner feast, create a visual one with high attention to architectural detail, decorative crown molding, plaster-treated built-ins and arched windows and doorways stand in structural contrast to dramatic ceilings fashioned with stacked molding or rough hewn-beams. Copper posts and Corinthian columns divide cooking and eating areas while maintaining the room's regal atmosphere; curved molding above cabinets and built-in appliances instantly carve the Old World look out of an otherwise contemporary kitchen.
For finishes that round out the space, look to the kitchen's floors, walls and countertops as high impact areas: wood floors – particularly Cherry and Oak – can be distressed , edged, sanded and even painted to achieve a shabby chic, Tuscan/French County look. Tile flooring is also an excellent choice for a rustic kitchen's feel of worn elegance.
Walls – whether treated with the most basic paint job or embellished with understated murals – can also be distressed, textured, or matte/honed. Countertops should boast natural-appearing materials: marble, granite, corian, quartz and limestone are popular choices and come in a wide arrange of colors with unique mixtures of undertones and designs. Look to combinations that fit with your already established color scheme, as these are most likely to recall the period materials of yore.
Woven tapestries, damasks and small prints (cotton or silk) balance the room with soft textures while continuing to compliment the kitchen's rugged air. Further your Tuscan design with dark, burnished gold iron tables, distressed (or umber finished) media/storage pieces, Bombay trunks, wooden drum tables and much more. Reproduction pieces (when available) go a long way: period faucets, Old-world lighting fixtures, antique tabletops, imported trinkets and playful, "farm"-style sinks add unparalleled authenticity.
Wood-burning hearths smartly embody old-world style while creating the savory flavors of celebrated archaic feasts. For chefs on a budget (or with more modern tastes), faux hearths are simply assembled by fashioning arches (preferable brick or stone) above the range's recess. Further your kitchen's antiquated feel with a nearby island (which supplies the look and feel of worktables: Old-World kitchen standbys). A hanging chandelier (of suggested gold, copper, bronze, silver, iron or cast brass mixed with optional crystal) provides maximum lighting while furthering the kitchen's rustic sensibility. On the higher end, look to artisan-crafted pieces with detailed scrollwork to truly impress.
Whether on a tight budget or amassing a celebratory dream home, bring the tastes of the Italian countryside (and the charming ambience of a delightful French country cottage) to your updated kitchen, all with the latest appliances and modern comforts.
Having a spacious home no longer requires having a large footprint…as long as you know how to maximize your square footage.
Bigger is not always better.
With oversized, difficult to furnish rooms, unused spaces and ever more costly energy requirements, exceedingly large homes – once popularized by builders and developers with pecuniary interests – are quickly becoming passé.
The latest European and contemporary design trends stress that petite is definitely in. Fresh, modern and environmentally conscious as a bonus - current home fashions are all about high style in uncomplicated, well appointed, small spaces. Craftsman bungalow plans, modest mountain homes and narrow lot urban retreats transform lofty real estate dreams into more affordable realities. The rising popularity of affordable cottage homes and truly fabulous contemporary house designs means that desirable neighborhoods and vacation homes are finally extending to less rarefied lifestyles.
Natural materials and sleek, minimalist finishes make efficient house plans personal, spacious, gloriously fashion-forward, and completely in vogue. Hip to the environment, smaller living spaces also require fewer utilities than larger homes and function with unparalleled use of space and energy-efficiency. With Efficient Living upgrades, a durable, sustainable, certified home will stand out as a masterpiece of its time.
Mixing the lower costs of building alongside incorporating all the ameneties of a larger home - our compact, extremely livable home plans offer the chance to be extravagent while maintaining your budget as well as pleasing your eco-conciousness.
Decorate for the size of your home
A smaller canvas requires keener focus, which is why some of the freshest and most eclectic designs can be found in compact homes. Decorating small spaces requires decisiveness and artistry; when furnishing small rooms we learn how to maximize available space and invent new ways to distinguish rooms with a few key, bold punctuations and room separations. Below are some suggestions and trends that help bring compact spaces up to style.
When considering a smaller room’s overarching design, we suggest thinking “cozy” rather than limited or cramped. Creating separate, intimate areas within the room – with dividing screens or well-positioned furniture pieces – affords the room with the livability and functionality of a larger space. Keeping the room clutter-free is vital: we suggest keeping your photos and knick-knacks on rotation and taking advantage of underutilized upper wall space. Go higher!
By carefully selecting one or two stunning, large-scale pieces (and keeping all other furniture in proportion to the size of the room), a small space can feel as stylish and complete as a larger one without overbearing its petite framework. Multi-functional furniture (with built-in storage) and glass-topped tables help make the space feel less crowded. Want to create the illusion of even more space? Mirrors open up a room; placing lighting pieces along the room’s perimeter helps draw the eye back.
To make a small space feel larger, it’s best to avoid dramatic contrast in prints, styles and colors. Keeping colors on the lighter end of the spectrum helps establish an airy feel. If your color palate is exclusively light, we suggest taking the wall color onto the ceiling, which often allows a space to look taller and wider than it actually is.
Small homes need not feel unadorned. With a little spatial creativity and a few daring design choices, a modest space bears the potential to be even more stylish and more comfortable than a large room. In addition to the interior design challenges small rooms present, a smaller canvas means that compact space designs are often very thoughtful and sublimely unique.