TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT CONCEPT

Check out the latest concept I've been working on for my website! I'm putting together three small residential concepts based on real floor plans from around Vancouver. I hope to specialize in stylish and unique, but often small, metro dwellings that require excellent functionality moving forward, so these will illustrate what I can offer clients looking for just that! 

For this two bedroom apartment, I'm working with high contrast neutrals, warm woods, cozy textures and abstract art to create a look that would appeal to both men and women. The kids room was created with a little girl in mind but with a few small changes it could work for either gender! I ADORE designing kids rooms! 

Stay tuned for more developments on these concepts!

XO Bryony

LIVING ROOM

DINING/KITCHEN 

MASTER BEDROOM

LITTLE GIRLS ROOM

How to Decorate a Small Space for Christmas

The holiday season is upon us! Bells are ringing, children signing, all is merry and bright.....and all that jazz! This post is for anyone hoping to dress up their small space for the holidays! 

1. Go Natural

Use natural items like greenery, berries, and pinecones to fill existing vases or bowls! Add a little greenery to the top of a table or the mantle of your fireplace! The perfect thing about these items is that they are long lasting (Think the month of December) and disposable after the holidays are over. If you're on a tight budget, you might even be able to collect a few of these items from the great outdoors! Go for a hike and see what you can find! 

Decorating for Christmas is a fun tradition! If you're living in a small space you may not have a lot of room to store decorations throughout the year. You also don't want to go overboard in small quarters or you might reduce the functionality of your space and feel overwhelmed by the extra clutter. Here are some simple tips for getting your small space festive! 

6. Get a Mini Tree!

Don't have the space for a full sized tree? Why not get a mini one instead? Many florists and nurseries carry real mini trees at this time of year and the best part is you can probably plant it somewhere after the holiday season! Make a mini sized garland and some mini paper snowflakes to hang on the branches. You can even get a set of mini twinkle lights! 

2. Make it Smell like Christmas! 

Scents have the ability to bring back good memories and improve well being. Every time I smell cloves I am reminded of the joy of opening up the Christmas chest to decorate our house as a kid (We always had a basket of pomanders in there). You can make your house smell great by brewing your own pot of Christmas potpourri on the stove (Any mix of cinnamon sticks, oranges, pine trees, and cranberries), by burning or diffusing essential oils like fir, pine, or cloves, or by burning holiday scented candles! The great part about these suggestions is that they can all be used up throughout the holiday season and they don't take up a lot of space! 

3. Candles.....Lot's of Candles! 

Candles are great for adding extra light on dark days and setting a cozy mood! They can fit on to any surface and will be used up by the time the season is through. If you're on a budget, grab candles from the dollar store and put them in existing jars, glasses, or on a serving tray!

4. Make your own Garland!

Garlands can be simple to make, cheap and disposable! Make it fun and get crafty! You could collect pinecones from outside, or cut snowflakes and stars out of printer paper and thread them on a string! The possibilities are endless but be sure to keep it simple for the best results! 

5. Get Cozy!

Make some space on the couch! A chunky wool or (faux) fur blanket is the best way to add warmth and texture to your decor. I personally love having them around all year long but they are especially nice to have during the holidays! 

Who's excited to start decorating?! December first is right around the corner! Wishing you all a fantastic holiday season full of family, friends.......and miniature Christmas trees! 

Please visit my Pinterest page here for the sources to all images and more fun decorating ideas! 

Living Small: My Micro Apartment in Paris

For the past five months my husband and I have lived in a pocket-sized 130 square foot apartment in Paris. We rented it from an interior designer who designs luxury yachts in Italy and who is most definitely a master of small scale design. Living in this minuscule apartment has admittedly peaked my interest so much that I too am working to make it my expertise. What draws me to this niche is the higher level of creativity and customization it takes to pull off a functional small interior. I now know first hand that living in a small space can be enjoyable with the right design and I want to help others discover that too! Today I'm taking you on a grand tour of the space and sharing my experience living in one of the smallest apartments imaginable.  

Full Measure Floorplans

Full Measure Floorplans

Here is the floor plan to give you a sense of the overall space!

On the left, we have our front entryway and closet! We came to Paris for the year with two large suitcases and a few small carry-ons. For two people, the closet space is limited so we pared our clothing and shoes down to the ones we were consistently wearing and left the rest in our suitcases. The smaller bags are also stored inside of our larger suitcases which are neatly tucked on the platform above the closet. Here you can see that the murphy-table is in the upright position and is secured to the wall with a slide bolt. The table's legs are on hinges so that they fold against the table when not in use. A small ledge underneath the table acts as a support system and as a small desk when the table is up. Most of our shoes fit under the closet space and a few of the taller ones sit under the table. 

On the right, you can see that there is a rod to hang jackets from and a few additional shelves for storage. The rod is able to extend out so that it is easier to get items out of the closet.  I am used to hanging most of my cloths at home so only being able to hang jackets was an adjustment. My wardrobe is much more casual here for that reason. 

When the table is down we bring over the "living room furniture" and use it as both a shared desk and dining table. It is actually quite a spacious table and can easily support two work stations. We both work from home so having a good workspace is important to us. 

Here we have the table back up and the murphy bed down for sleeping. It's a comfortable and simple bed with two white pillows and a duvet....What more could you need? When the bed is down it basically fills the room. As it only comes down right before we go to bed this isn't a problem. Murphy beds can transform any room into a bedroom in a flash! It's one of the best tools in the small design belt and is perfect for multi-functional rooms. 

Here we have both our kitchenette and bathroom sink. This concept took a bit of an adjustment period but makes perfect sense in a space like this. The key is keeping it really clean so that there aren't dishes sitting in the sink when you want to brush your teeth at night. Small spaces tend to force good habits like that! Our kitchen consists of a two burner stove and mini fridge. I do miss having an oven because I love to cook and bake but it's still possible to whip up great meals in here. I even managed to pull off a half decent Thanksgiving dinner! I did have to buy a little rotisserie chicken but the rest was possible! 

Under the sink we store toiletries, hand soap, dish soap and sponges. We attached a metal hook onto the existing rod to hang our dish towel up after drying dishes. Under the toiletries shelf we have a small garbage can that we take out daily. Each day we shop for groceries and then use our grocery bag to line the garbage can. Our small fridge is more than sufficient and I waste a lot less food when things can't hide in the back. I really enjoy the "daily shop" lifestyle and hope that I can continue with smaller shops at home. Luckily I live close to Granville Island Market in Vancouver! 

This is the other corner of the room when the bed is down. We tuck the lounge chair in the corner and have a small side table and lamp for bedside reading. The small table can also be used with the lounge chair when the bed is up for a nice little reading nook. 

On the left you can see our shower next to the kitchenette. We added a hanging shower caddy so that we can easily reach our bath products. Using a small shower means having one bottle of shampoo, one conditioner, and so on open at a time. If your shower is feeling cluttered at home and you are constantly picking bottles up off the shower floor, consider this idea. 

Fresh flowers always bring natural life to a space. No space is too small for flowers and I like to keep them around! Instead of keeping a vase, jars like this one work well and are multi-functional for times when you don't have flowers. 

Here we have our living room set up. The fireplace isn't functional but adds charm to the space and provides a nice shelf for the TV (even though I haven't turned it on) and some decorative mirrors. Mirrors help to make the space feel larger and I often do my makeup over here as there is better natural light. Behind the fireplace is a nook with shelving from floor to ceiling. We store books and some pantry items over there. Behind the chair is a cupboard with two shelves where we store our dishes and the rest of the pantry. We have a complete dish set for two and a few pots and pans! Sometimes I have to get creative when cooking but we make it work!

On the left you can see the shower and the toilet. This was the hardest part to get used to as it doesn't offer a lot of privacy. Not shown here is the make-shift curtain we threw up between the toilet and the shower. The barn style door is a smart solution in this case as fitting a regular door in here would be next to impossible. Not shown here are metal hooks that we hang our bath towels on to dry after a shower. 

On the right the barn door slides open to reveal our little toilet room. I'm not going to say this couldn't be bigger. It's like human origami to fit in here with the door closed. There is a small storage space in here where we keep cleaning supplies for the apartment. 

levi.jpg

In warmer months, the balcony can be used as a little work station or breakfast spot! There is nothing like having your morning coffee in the rooftops of Paris! The table also folds down so that both of us can stand out there and watch the sunset. Having a balcony is a lovely thing. To step out in the fresh air and take in the view is something I have really cherished. 

Here are some of the splendid views from the balcony. A nice view can make all the difference. Especially when it's a view of Paris!  

So there you have it! My tiny Paris apartment. Do you think you could live here? It's definitely an extreme case but it has taught me a lot about design and about myself. This experience has taught me to live with less and that's something I would never change. 

Living Small: 5 Micro Apartments

Becoming a first time home owner is a serious issue for millennials today. Student debt, high rent and disproportionately low wages are pushing home ownership farther and farther into our futures. I however, have the perfect solution for us. Micro apartments! 

When properly designed to maximize space, micro living spaces can be all that you need and more. I currently live in a 140 sq ft (not a typo!) apartment in Paris; half the size of the smallest home shown here. I can personally vouch that it is not only possible, but enjoyable. Check out the five homes below to see how good design mixed with small amounts of space can be a match made in heaven.

1. The Ultimate Man Cave By Architect Denis Svirid - 377 sq ft

I call this the ultimate man cave because it utilizes natural materials and a neutral colour palette to create a comfortable yet sophisticated space perfect for any bachelor. This space optimizes storage by building drawers into the stairs leading to the bedroom loft and taking bookshelves right to the ceiling. Hanging lights in the bedroom make for great reading lamps without the need for side tables. The office nook downstairs has a sliding door with a mirror on the other side of the door allowing you to close off this work space when necessary. Mirrors create the optical illusion of a larger space and are a great tactic to work into any small space. 

2. The Plywood Loft By Architect Ewa Czerny - 300 sq ft

This ultra stylish loft space uses texture and materials to great effect. A fun tile pattern in the entry and plywood elements make it both unique and interesting. High ceilings were utilized to build the bedroom loft over the bathroom and they took advantage of the space under the stairs for plenty of storage. Subtle pops of yellow add a nice touch to the otherwise neutral palette and unique lighting gives it flair. Floor to ceiling windows and sheer drapes allow plenty of natural light into the space which help keep it light and airy. 

3. The Colour Block Micro By Nicholas Gurney - 290 sq ft 

The highlight of this micro marvel is the use of colour to separate the space. The pops of red and yellow are a welcome burst of energy amongst the otherwise monochromatic space. I find the all black kitchen to be particularly striking yet stealth. Sliding doors can be moved to close off the sleeping area and to help keep the minimal design in tact. As always, built in storage is a key component to making the space work. 

4. The Minimalist Micro By Freaks Free Architects - 376 sq ft 

This space uses an all white interior to create a serene and peaceful space. By keeping the floor plan open and bright they create the illusion of more square footage. Plenty of built in storage allows for a minimal look with a place for everything and everything in it's place. 

5. The Storage King By Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture - 500 sq ft

This place sure knows how to maximize storage space! There is plenty of built-in storage so that everything can be tucked away making clutter a non-issue. Even the stairs were designed to be drawers! The heavy use of wood and the large sectional sofa gives the space a comfortable and inviting feel. I love the sleeping loft concept in that it provides some separation between rest and work/social areas. It adds a little more privacy to the traditional studio where the bed is simply in the corner of the room. High ceilings in these double height lofts also help to make the space feel larger in general. 

Do you think you could live in a micro space? If so, I want to design it! Let's start a micro movement! 

Living Small: Using Your Stairs To Their Fullest Potential

Have you ever considered whether or not you're taking full advantage of the storage space under your stairs? When you live in a small space, every space has to be functional and under the stairs is no exception. While many people have an open closet under the stairs, it's most likely a hodge-podge of luggage and camping gear, very few will use it to it's full potential. A truly functional under-the-stairs space should be organized, useful, and aesthetically pleasing. When planning a renovation or new-build, don't forget to consider this space as a prime storage unit and never hesitate to transform your current stair situation. Here are five ideas that might just give you a case of stair envy. 

Source: Dwell.com

Source: Dwell.com

1. Bike Storage

Got a cool looking bike? Put it front and centre with this under-the-stair storage solution. This idea keeps the bikes out of the way and adds a certain je ne sais quoi to any staircase. Finding a place for bikes in any small place is a serious conundrum. This is an amazing solution. 

Source: Apartment Therapy

Source: Apartment Therapy

2. Built-In Kitchen

Who wants more counter space in their kitchen? Look no further than this idea to build your kitchen appliances and cupboards right into the stairs. This one wins in my opinion for the most useful under-the-stair idea. This is designed so that the entire space is useful and creates a really unique look. Nailed it. 

Source: Brit + Co

Source: Brit + Co

3. Coat Closet

If your entry way doesn't have a coat closet, under your stairs might be the answer. It's also the perfect way to get traffic flowing away from the door when welcoming guests so it doesn't become crowded in the entrance. The added hooks outside the closet, under the stairs, are great for hanging your daily bag or a guest's coat. This particular coat closet is awesome because it has a basket for hats and gloves, hooks to hang bags, places for shoes, and a bench to sit on. Great use of this space. 

Source: De Zeen Magazine

Source: De Zeen Magazine

4. Shelving

A simple solution for under-the-stair storage is to build open shelves right into the stairs and stairwell. They could be open and filled with books and objects or closed for a more minimal and clean look. Either way it's a modern, interesting, and functional approach to making the most out of your stairs. It works well when the shelves and walls are kept neutral and pops of colour are added through the objects themselves. There are endless options for configurations of shelving so make sure to consider what you'll be storing before deciding what type of shelving will go in.

Source: Unknown

Source: Unknown

5. Wine Storage

Being a minimalist, I don't really agree with keeping this amount of wine stored in your house, however, if wine is really important to your life, this is a great idea. Not only does it look cool, but keeps your wine organized and on hand for any occasion. After living in France for a while, I can definitely see why some might like more wine on hand and why some might like to buy in bulk with the ridiculous price of wine in Canada. In fact, I might just have to ship a few cases home after this adventure and set up a little under-the-stair wine rack. Will definitely be dealing with sticker shock when I get home in the wine department. 

I hope this has inspired you to look at every space in your home as an opportunity for storage space! 

Wishing you a well organized home,

Bryony

Maison & Objet Fall 2014 Discoveries

I was very lucky to attend the Maison & Objet show in Paris this Fall. It was definitely on my bucket list of interior design trade shows to attend and it did not disappoint! The show was massive, spanning multiple buildings with different themes like home accessories, home textiles, and ethnic chic. Many of the booths impressed me a great deal with suppliers building entire showrooms within the exposition centre. I walked around for a few days and to my surprise recognized very few of the suppliers! This was actually a great thing because I found many new European sources for beautiful products that I can put in my back pocket and use in my own projects. Below is a collection of some of my favourite new suppliers that I thought you might like to know about too! This was a show consisting of suppliers from all across Europe and I found many of my favourites to be of Scandinavian origin. 

Bloomingville

Bloomingville is a Danish company that offers a stunning collection of raw products with a Scandinavian twist and reproductions of vintage items. They focus on quality, reasonable prices, and a high level of service. The majority of the products are designed in- house with some vintage products being sourced from select suppliers. I personally adored their booth and was pretty excited when I stumbled upon it! After looking online at their collection, I know I will be sourcing items from them for many years to come! 

www.bloomingville.com

String 

The String shelving system was designed in 1949 by Swedish designer Nisse Strinning. Still going strong today, the design is modern minimalist and can be configured in endless combinations. I like how this system can be customized to fit exactly the amount of items you wish to store and can be added to over time. There are colour and finish options available to suit any home and modern open shelving is always a great look! 

www.string.se

House Doctor

House Doctor was my favourite booth at the show. It had really creative ideas and an aesthetic and colour palette I am really loving right now. The company is based in Denmark and was started by three creative siblings who together with their team, design everything in-house. They aim to be stylish, inspiring, and the source that helps you create a more personal home. I think this company is just what the Doctor ordered! 

en.housedoctor.dk

 

 

Secto 

Secto is a Finnish lighting company driven by innovation and craftsmanship. They use birch veneers to stunning effect to create pendants, lamps, and sconces. Their manufacturing process takes environmental practices into consideration and has been honed over the years to produce high quality products. Seppo Koho is the Finnish designer behind this innovative yet simple line. Personally, I love this lighting because of it's versatility. I could see these lights as a focal point in a restaurant, dining room, or bedroom.  

www.sectodesign.fi

Petite Friture

Petite Friture is a French company that brings together emerging design talent and gives them a launching pad to sell and develop their work. All of the curated items are unique conversation pieces that tell a story. My favourite is the Vertigo Pendant designed by Constance Guisset. It really caught my eye at the show and made a bold statement. The design reminds me of a floppy brimmed hat, both elegant and whimsical. Keep your eye on Petite Friture for an ever evolving collection of the latest in French industrial design. 

www.petitefriture.com