Make the Most of Your Space in the City
City-living sometimes means cramped-living, and finding your ideal space at the perfect price can be nearly impossible. It can also provide the opportunity to work from home, which is appealing to some, and less than ideal for others. These reads will spark inspiration, help you redesign your small space and guide you in finding the perfect balance between comfort and functionality.
Houses and Apartments Under 1000 Square Feet by Yuri Caravaca Gallardo
In Gallardo’s book, there’s small and then there’s small. The tiniest space of the bunch, at just 258 square feet (sq. ft.), can be found in France, and is divided into four levels to provide more floor space and functionality. At the other end of the spectrum is the 958 sq. ft. home in the Czech Republic that utilizes the attic space as the bedroom, and houses the stove and wine refrigerator in the side of the stairs. Other inspirations include the home in Israel that uses pocket doors to separate different areas of the home as desired and provide more privacy, and the unconventional floating bedroom in another French home. Even if some of these design elements won’t exactly work for your living space, you’re sure to be inspired by the innovation and creativity within these small spaces.
The Apartment Therapy Complete Home Book by Maxwell Ryan
Apartment Therapy’s book is a go-to if you need some serious design inspiration. Maxwell Ryan has included almost every aspect of designing and decorating your dream home, whether it be a bungalow, a colonial or a modern high-rise. He provides floor plans, gives suggestions for window treatments and shows how you can design and decorate specific rooms including nurseries, kitchens and entryways, no matter their size and shape. Ryan covers even the smallest and occasionally overlooked details, like how to have a lawn-less garden or choosing the perfect picture frames as wall decor.
Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office and Studio Decor by Desha Peacock
Working from home can be a double-edged sword. Some love it because they get to stay within the comfort of their home; others hate it because there’s less separation between work-life and personal-life. Desha Peacock’s book focuses on creating a work space with an energizing aura that you will enjoy working in, but also won’t distract you from successfully doing your job. She gives feng shui tips and features the home offices and studios of over 15 authors, designers, photographers, etc... But don’t let their occupations discourage you from picking up this book. The goal is not to exclude at-home-workers who aren't in the arts; rather, it’s intended to inspire all people who work from home to create a space that they enjoy being in while they work.
The New City Home: Smart Design for Metro Living by Leslie Plummer Clagett
Admittedly, Clagett’s book isn’t completely current in terms of styling, as it was published in 2002, but it still offers fantastic advice on how to make the most of your loft, apartment or townhome space, which is often times limited and precious. She offers tips on how you can cancel out the noise from the busy city streets, as well as from the neighbor down the hall. She also offers ways to provide separation in your home without closing off your already limited space.
The First Apartment Book: Cool Designs for Small Spaces by Kyle Schuneman
This design book is every DIY-er’s dream. Schuneman opens his book with apartment hunting tips, and heads straight into examples of apartments that he’s designed for 10 different “types” of people. He designed a space for an art lover in NYC with only 425 sq. ft. at her disposal, an 800 sq. ft. space for two roommates in Boston and a 700 sq. ft. apartment for a homebody based in Los Angeles. Along the way, he gives instructions for several DIY and how-to projects, and he ends with a cheat sheet based on each apartment that he featured, which includes tips and tricks for making the most of your space and budget.