Don’t forget – especially this time of year – that good things come in small packages.
In an age where bigger is better, what can be done with a small 9×11 room? Our answer: PLENTY! Case in point: This “den” in Bethesda is featured in the Winter 2013 issue of Home & Design’s Expert Advice “IDEAS for small spaces” (pages 159-161).
The homeowners wanted this space to function as a casual TV viewing space for at least four, a guest bedroom for two, and a room that provided ample display and some storage. This was a big request for a small space, but here’s how we accomplished this feat.
1. Storage furniture was designed to provide maximum storage and display that looks good and functions well. To keep the cost down, we had the cabinets made in paint-grade wood – we had them painted the same color as the walls, so the cabinets would recede into the background and not be seen as “visual weight” on the left side of the room. This shows the cabinetry with doors and drawers. The glass shelves keep the piece from looking heavy. Lighting was installed above the glass shelves.
The center section is attached to the wall and “floats” above the dark wood floor, while the bases of the furniture were stained a shade darker than the color of the floor to provide an interesting contrast to the painted wood. The shelf above the TV was stained in the same color as the bases to tie it all together.
3. Two small scale yet comfortable upholstered chairs with tufted backs were chosen for additional seating. These chairs have long legs so they do not look heavy, and they literally are not heavy, so they can be moved around easily. They are accented with nailheads – these provide a finished and elegant look. These chairs purposely go with the fabrics in the other seating areas, so they can be removed from the room altogether when additional seating is needed.
4. The colors in the room were kept neutral to make the space appear larger and not busy. The sleeper sofa and chairs were upholstered in the same fabric to keep contrast to a minimum.
5. The custom cabinetry was designed so that when the sleeper sofa is pulled out, it comes within 1-1/2″ from the handle of the built-in. Talk about using all available space in a room!
6. A lucite table was outfitted with a cushion (in the same fabric as the sofa pillows) to provide a small piece of furniture with multiple functionality as a table and an ottoman. The cushion looks like it is floating in the room.
7. Window treatments are simple – natural shades in a neutral tone for the large window with a valance to coordinate with the fabric of the flat fold Roman shade on the narrow door. Again, the colors are neutral, but the circles on the fabric provide visual interest as does the the texture of the shades.
8. The room entrance is outfitted with a pocket door with a frosted glass inset. The pocket door takes up no space in the room, and the frosted glass provides privacy for overnight guests.
Small rooms often provide a challenge, and usually have to serve many functions. They provide a welcomed challenge for the experienced designer. Thank you to Home & Design for including this room in their 2013 Winter Issue.
We leave you with one more view of the room from overhead that gives a real feel for the space.