On my first visit to Paris, the City of Lights had me at “hello”. I remember everything being monumentally beautiful, the people dashing and the food to die for. But as the trip progressed, one thing struck a chord: every Parisian would waltz out of the supermarché carrying these fabulous and trendy shopping totes that were not your typical plastic sacs we were used to in the States. After a couple of days, I knew I had to get my hands on at least one. The curiosity was killing me. But my friend, whom I was staying with, filled me in on the scoop. Apparently, this phenomenon of eco-friendly, reusable shopping totes we are now seeing in the U.S. had been the norm in the Old Continent for a while. Go figure
There is nothing traditional or predictable about this space. And that's exactly why I fell in love with it and had the urge to write about its incredible design. While looking for the genius behind the project, I was happy to find out it was G&R Studio, one of my favorite Spanish architectural firms. Hector Ruiz-Velazquez and Javier Garcia worked hand in hand to create this out-of-the-box conceptual space. As you come in, you're greeted by a white origami-like structure that starts turning like a piece of paper running through the whole 530 square feet. This wooden centerpiece is so cleverly designed that it leaves open the living spaces and gives the necessary privacy to the bedroom and bathroom. It also encases the staircase to the second floor where the bedroom is located.
For the first time last week, our pint-sized one bedroom apartment debuted in YHL. The response was overwhelmingly positive with lots and lots of compliments. People were amazed how we managed to stretch the 500 square-feet we live in, and make the most out every single inch. The questions were many, but what most people asked about was the floor plan to help them visualize the layout. That's when I came up with the idea of this series through which I'll be sharing with you juicy details about how we maximized the space we have — and to prove the point that small living can be beautiful.
Pssst, have you heard about The Homies Awards? It's a way for the great Apartment Therapy to discover, share and honor the best shelter blogs out there. It's not quite a competition, but a way of surveying the blogosphere for the best new home design blogs and sharing them with everyone. And it's also their way of celebrating the richness and awesomeness of shelter bloggers around the globe. Looking at the nominees from last year, I'd be lying if I said that I woudn't be extremely honored and thrilled if The Designer Pad ended up on this year's list. But the only way to get there is to have my lovely readers nominate my blog. Here's what you can do by following these three easy steps:
This past weekend I spent a couple of wonderful and very relaxing days in the countryside, away from the hazle that comes from living in NYC. Every time we have the chance to go, we can't help but think when we'll be able to fulfill our longtime dream of transforming an old, rickety barn into our own weekend retreat. So when I came across this amazing jewel, I couldn't resist posting about it. This old barn in the Netherlands was transformed into a gorgeous family home by Dutch architects Maxwan. They made the owners very happy by giving them what they were longing for: a large kitchen/living room area for them to relax, entertain friends and host wine tasting parties for their customers. What I find interesting about the project is how they chose to invert the layout of the house, converting this old barn into their private quarters and moving their office and storage space into what used to be their living space —a total 1300 square-feet of blissful living space.
It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in New Hope, PA, where I'm spending the weekend with friends. But before we start our daily excursion into town, I want to share this little piece of jewelry I found for your home. The Swing Necklace, by German interior designer Johanna Richter, is an adorable handmade swing that serves as extra sitting and a conversation piece in any room. How fun is this? You have two choices: beechwood and and wool felt. And it's 10-feet length can be adjusted to your needs. I know, you're probably wondering if this gem is steady enough, but don't worry, it has two strong hangers with doubled pressed aluminium shells to make you feel safe.
Back in my childhood, I guess my love for home and design was starting to become noticeable. I remember pretending to build a makeshift house by hanging sheets over the dining room table in order to create my own private refuge. It used to be my sanctuary where I would play with my favorite toys, and maybe, invite a couple of my closest friends. But how times have changed! After drooling over these incredible kiddie cottages, my make-do tent house is put to shame. These über cool and fun structures, by SmartPlayouse, are authentic designer pieces inspired by contemporary architecture. Don't I wish they had existed back then!
I'm so excited that Sherry and John from Young House Love
—one of my all time fave blogs— virtually crashed our small abode in New York City. I have no words to describe how honored I am by Sherry's insanely beautiful write up in their fabulous blog. She definitely has a way with words (doesn't she?). But you don't have to believe me. See the beautiful post here and judge for yourself. BTW, I also want to give a warm welcome to all the new fans that have found my blog through this House Crashing. Thanks for the love, YHL!
P.S. The response to their post has been enormous and everybody has been requesting to see a floor plan of the apartment and more details on our furnishings. Everyone is curious how we managed to include so many storage solutions in such a small place. So, not to panic. As a result, and by popular demand, I'll soon be starting a new series in my blog illustrating how to live in 500 sq. feet, and showing examples on how we did it. Stay tuned!