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The No-Rules Approach
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by Christiane Lemieux 



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Living In 500 Sq. Feet • Living Area 

Hey guys, I'm back with more behind-the-scenes on our small pad's renovation. On a previous post, I covered the juicy details of our kitchen's transformation so today it's all about the living and dining areas. So here's the scoop. Since the original floor plan of the apartment was very boring simple, we had to get quite creative. After opening up the kitchen we were left with a square canvas to work with. The challenge: create three specific areas in the space, one for living, one for dining and a small home office. The solution: building an L -shaped partition that would not only separate the living from the dining area, but also hold our much needed closets, serve as a bookcase and create a hallway to the open bedroom. 


Besides all the construction, there was also a lot of TLC needed in the place. Since we wanted to give the apartment an urban look we went for crisp white walls and ebony-stained floors, creating a beautiful contrast. The white walls gave us the perfect canvas to display our colorful and fun prints from Cuban artist Consuelo Castañeda. To add more emphasis on the partition to the bedroom, we painted it black to create a bold statement.

We knew right away the perfect spot for the home office was where the old closet by the entrance was. So we demolished it. Taking advantage of the high ceilings, we built a new one all the way up. The bottom portion was designed to hold the built-in desk and file cabinet (also housing the printer and office supplies), and the area above became a closet for extra storage.


In order to make the most of the room, we decided to get rid of the non-working fireplace, giving an extra three feet of useful space. Trust me, it wasn't an easy task to demolish all that brick. To add some fun and architectural interest to the brick wall, and to cover the hole left by the fireplace, we built a wall with a display shelf in front of it. After all the hard work we invested in the process, I have to say it really paid off, plus we had a blast decorating it. For a small space, we made every single inch work for us, giving us a place we want to come to home to. BTW, I was recently invited to “Get Personal” with Irene in her awesome design blog Bloesem. Check it out! And for those of you who haven't already done so, today is the last chance to enter our Valentine's Day Giveaway.

Images © TheDesignerPad 

If you're digging this look and would like to try it at home, here are some key pieces that will help you achieve it. Some are the same as the ones we used in our decor, other are a very close and affordable options.

( 1 ) Totem Pillow Cover  ( 2 ) Sunnyside Pillow  ( 3 ) Plywood Lounge Chair  
( 4 ) Wonderful Vase 5  ( 5 ) Parson's End Table  ( 6 ) Ayo Rug  ( 7 ) Candle Light   
( 8 ) Banana Bowl  ( 9 ) Glo-Ball Floor Lamp

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Reader Comments (24)

A pure white set of furniture and interiors really make the room modern and stylish. You just have to be careful in maintaining this kind of look and be extra careful in cleaning everything.
Sep 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing supplies
Thinking about downsizing our current 900 sqft bridal boutique to 500 your design and think something like your designs will work for us...I love you design ideas and want to get you opinion on design options. I am happy to send you the site of the property I am looking at to show you the design layout. We have a small bridal boutique with beautiful wedding gowns, prom dresses, and speciality dresses for display. D0 you have a website to look at other designs you have completed? Margo
Dec 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargo
Well I think there is no problem about this as long as you know hoe to organized all of your stuff at its right place...

Jan 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentershaira
I really loved the renovation and the place is transformed into an urban and cosy place to live. You have played beautifully with colour and space. I am moving into a 500sqft flat soon and bit worried about making the new place my own place. However will you be so kind to have a look at the floor plan and suggest me few ideas about the living room, storage (planning for a storage bed and sofa com bed), home office and slightly separating the kitchen from living room, by creating a separate kitchen top, which will give additional space.
Apr 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPrithula

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