Thanks to all our blog buddies and everyone who’s come by to check out DesignTies over the last 10 months :-) We’re having lots of fun sharing our decorating projects, ideas, and inspiration. And we’re just amazed by all the wonderfully talented, creative, and kind people we’ve met (both virtually and in real life) through our blog :-)
AND, we’d like to thank Struggler at Struggling to be Stylish for giving us the Attitude of Gratitude Award :-) Because we’re feeling an attitude of gratitude towards all of you who have made blogging so much fun for us, we’re passing this award to all of you!! (OK, that’s not really how the rules of accepting and sharing the award are supposed to work, but now that it’s in our hands, we’re in control!!! Wahahahaha!!)
OK, those are the formalities for today…
This week at DesignTies, we’ve been featuring small spaces:
- On Monday, Victoria gave you tips from Kimberley Seldon on how to maximize small space living.
- On Tuesday, we visited a teeny-tiny 300 square foot house in Toronto.
- Victoria’s Rewind Wednesday post was about the wardrobe her and her hubby installed in their small master bedroom.
To wrap up our look at small spaces, let’s go check out a seriously itsy-bitsy teeny weeny apartment in Toronto. Is everyone in Toronto small?? ;-) Well, actually, Tommy Smythe is!! If you’re a Sarah Richardson fan, you know her sidekick, Tommy:
It’s no secret that Tommy’s a small guy. On an episode of Design Inc., he told Sarah that he’s 5’6” as he proceeded to lay down on a table so they could figure out the length of the table top without a measuring tape : –) And his apartment is small too — a teeny-tiny 180 square feet!!
What can you squeeze into a home that small?? Actually, quite a bit!!
Because Tommy moved from a large house into a tiny apartment, he had to learn to pare down to the essentials. Even though his apartment is small, it has everything he needs. And being a self-proclaimed maximalist, what he needs is probably more than what most people would have in such a small space!! But Tommy says that if the apartment was sparsely decorated, it would feel like a prison cell.
He’s decorated his small apartment the same way he would decorate a room in a five-bedroom house. The walls are a colour called Off-Black. The dark, rich charcoal colour gives the room depth and drama. Most of the time, Tommy is in his apartment at night. He has candles & great lighting throughout the apartment to make it feel beautiful at night time.
The apartment has a tiny kitchen area, but Tommy has closed it off with black curtains. He doesn’t cook—Tommy says that in such a small space, everything would smell like food—so he uses the kitchen for storage. “Excuse my while I get my blazer out of the pantry” ;-)
Tommy says that living in his small apartment is similar to living in a hotel room. He buys the occasional luxury item, which helps to enhance the luxury hotel living experience. They’re pieces that he’ll have forever, so they’re worth the investment. Like this Cartier clock…
The only thing Tommy misses about his former large home is the entertaining aspect. Only a couple of guests at a time can fit comfortably into his apartment — unless they really, really, REALLY like each other!! ;-)
The most important thing for Tommy when it comes to decorating his apartment is surrounding himself with things that remind him of people he loves and places he’s been. His sister made the checkered blanket draped over the foot board of his bed, the gold chandelier above the bed was his grandmother’s, and the red & white quilt is an antique.
Tommy’s Tips for small space survival
1. Find a great storage facility nearby. Ideally, look for a storage place that’s open 24 hours a day, is well-lit, climate controlled, and big enough to hold all the stuff that doesn’t fit in your home. Then you can change things up whenever the mood hits by rotating stuff out of storage and into your space, and from your space into storage.
2. Buy things you love and store them for the future. Unless you plan to live in a small space forever, you don’t want to deprive yourself of something you love or need. When you move into a larger space later, you’ll be able to furnish it with items you already have.
3. Be realistic about furniture. Maximum of two large-scale pieces to anchor a small space. Look for pieces with good lines and that work double- or triple-duty. This antique table beside the bed does triple-duty as a dining table, night table, and desk.
4. Invest in small luxuries. A few luxury items will make a small space feel special — almost like living in a luxury hotel. And you’ll have the pieces forever.
5. Learn to be a great guest and a different kind of host. When you go to a friend’s place for dinner or a party, bring a fun hostess gift and a great bottle of wine. When it’s your turn to host, invite a few people over to your place for a glass of wine and then take them out to a restaurant for dinner. Which may end up actually costing less than cooking a meal, plus there’s no prep work or clean-up required :-)
You can watch Tommy talk about his tiny apartment at House and Home.
Tommy says that decorating and living in a small space has been a learning experience for him as both a designer and a human being.
Now we’d like to know…
- What have you learned about small space living this week??
- Could you live in a small space?? And if so, how small could you go??
- Have you lived in a small space before?? If yes, we’d love to hear about it :-)
Be sure to check out the BIG list of Hooked on Fridays participants over at Hooked on Houses and see what everyone else is hooked on this week :-)