Compact Living, with Style

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a peaceful weekend. Our prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey and their families. It is yet another reminder of how small we are standing alone in front of nature’s incredible forces. We only gain strength as we unite, help and care for one another, so please reach out in any way that you can. Thank you!

The following story originally appeared in the July / August 2015 issue of House Beautiful and I missed it. The other week as I was looking for ideas on how to maximize space for a cute living room project I’m working on, I came across the Manhattan studio apartment of designer Max Sinsteden. It blew my mind!

Clever, functional and so beautiful – the studio is a merely 525 square feet packed to the brim with style.  With a passion for fashion and interiors, Sinsteden was mentored by Charlotte Moss before striking out on his own and his home is an expression of both of his loves. More than just a beautiful space, it is a masterclass on how to create stylish homes within the confinements of space.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Entry

The foyer (above) is a bold statement in both color and finish. The luminous green is Fine Paints of Europe, Cave Creek in high gloss and opens up the space by reflecting the light. I love how Sinsteden covers the ceiling as well for maximum effect.

The foyer opens into the main room which triples as living area, bedroom and dining room. A linen curtain track separates the living from the bedroom alcove. A large photograph wire-hung from the ceiling further accentuates the separation of spaces without actual walls in place. The pair of love seats are a great choice in this space for two reasons. One, size matters. Small scale furniture is generally better suited for smaller rooms. Second, the slim silhouette has less visual weight and tricks the eyes.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Living room

Cafe Design Compact Living Livingroom

In the living area, stacks of books topped with a stylish tray are a clever space-saving coffee table. It also helps with Sinsteden extensive book collection, along with a beautiful Thin Man hutch by Bunny Williams home.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Booksheves

In the dining area, a round pedestal table is again the right choice. With no sharp corners and more legroom, it’s also easier to navigate. We don’t get to see but a glimpse of the kitchen but white cabinets and subway tile are the classic way to go.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Dining area

In the bedroom, aside from the curtains that separate it from the rest of the home, Sinsteden applied   different wall and window treatments making it feel like a totally different room. Thin vertical stripes on the walls accentuate the room’s height. Since there is no space for proper bedside tables on each side, and no table lamps, the designer chose a pair of swivel-arm sconces set on either side of the headboard. When space is an issue, that’s the way to go.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Bedroom

Opposite the bed, more books, a gallery wall and bar area.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Bar

Although tight, the closet space is just like the rest of the home, organized and cleverly functional. There is a place for everything and everything has a place.

Cafe Design | Compact Living | Closet



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