Wherever I happen to be I always look around, for manifestations of design thought. In any environment - a street corner, restaurant lounge, woods, hi-rise' lobby. I feel privileged when allowed in people's homes; the way they organize their living tells me more about them then hours of intimate confidences. That's why I am not indiscriminate with my own invitations...it's an act of trust on my part.
So when Apartmenttherapy announces its annual Smallest Coolest contest, I feel a mixture of keen interest, hope of learning something new, and something like fear of being embarassed - for others, like seeing someone flaunt their dirty underwear, mental included.
So far this year' entries mostly felt into the last category. Except the one I saw today.
I will copy my commentary from the thread.
Very smart (both in American and British sense).
Excellent use of under-stairs space for a wall oven.
And my usual objection to the open-shelf kitchens, that the dishes need constant washing due to dust exposure, is negated - by the hinged 2-leaf door.
Purplish-blue for the cabinets doesn't look like the perfect color choice to me, but I'm willing to write this off to the photographic distortion.
Is that a split wall radiator on the window wall? Did you design it to be split, or it's a happy coincidence that it fits your cupboard cabinet perfectly?
I like it that you broke the alignment with the window frames by ending the radiator panels higher, and placing the convex mirror higher yet, for the beautiful stepped/centered Deco-ish line.
The false wall in the kitchen would be even better if you'd extend the counter width-wise (you gain more counter length) and pivot the wall on vertical centerline, so while in closed position it would separate foyer from the room, simultaneously adding counter/serving space to the kitchen inside and a clean wall - to the foyer. Also, this would save you add'l interior kitchen cabinet space (as it is now, when the wall is in closed position, it takes from the inside of the cabinet approximately 2" of hight, right?)
BTW, I don't see tracks on the ceiling or floor - how the false wall slides into the closed position now? Only on tracks inside the kitchen cabinet?
About the rubber floor. Being a less-expensive alternative to the lacquer-polished colored concrete, it serve same function - and looks good. A question, though. Why did you go for a large-scaled rubber tiles? Why not a sheet rubber? It would be more homogeneous and poured-concrete-like.
The laundry chute and the kitty litter tray/door are very clever, too. I also like your choice and placement of the rugs - not a round or diamond one under the table, as the obvious logic would dictate.
The scale of furnishings is complementing the architectural envelope. I like the gentle continuacy (is that a word?) of the form and craftsmanship from more ornate Victorian cupboard to the elegantly detailed Wegner table to the sparse sofa convertible. The colors are not loud, sofa upholstery is a shade or two lighter than the floor, chairs - darker. Quiet and confident, not boasting - that's the general impression; a big plus with me.
The corner of the shower pan is a wee bit too close to the lavatory for my comfort (on the plan); I'd like to see the picture of the bathroom interior. Did you use the terminated partition above the toilet for a shelf? And there is a double-door mirror?
Overall - a very pleasant home to visit and live in. Thank you for giving me a privilege to see it.
Unexpectedly, continuing discussion in the thread of the linked contest entry had touched relevant topic: what people's apartments tell about their owners.
Some dwellers don't think about these matters, some do but don't care, some (more typical of Americans of certain upbringing - one that included regular trips to a psychotherapist) - proudly display the mess and detritus of their lives and think themselves brave and spontaneous.
I prefer people with more adult attitude towards their personal possessions: people who never enter into a situation where they're obliged to utter "excuse the mess". By cleaning that mess beforehead. You will notice in my comment to the poster I didn't evaluate his/her entertaining habits, his/her choice of pets, his/her culinary skills or asked - where are the books?!? or what kind of art? is that bed for two or for one? These things might be too private for a poster to let others on to, so that might be the reason the place looks so sterile. (I know I'd clear MY place of anything revealing if I was going to put it on internet for the world and his neighbor to see. There is such thing as privacy; someone's apartment is like his or her private letter).
There is another interesting twist in the thread, a conversation between a regular contributor *patrick(the other one)* and *Dave*. I would be inclined to agree with many things Dave said, if he stopped before proclaiming [on a parallel thread] this bit of "wisdom": ... ordering a bunch of shit is NOT hard unless you've never worked a day in your life. And yes, it is the same thing as going to a showroom and pointing. Get up on a 40 foot ladder and paint dormers in the hot sun all summer and then we can talk about what is and is not hard.
What are your guesses? Mine - he WAS a house painter. And he WAS scolded (maybe even fined) by designer or architect for the poor quality of his work. And he IS now well-to-do, who "knows it all". Like *patrick (with whom I generally tend to disagree), I'd like to have a pick in Dave's home, or better yet - to see him in action of walking into a showroom and "pointing". I do have an idea what I'd see inside his apartment, though...but I'm willing to be surprised.