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Ten Tips for Small Spaces
by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

All of us are really small space lovers. While McMansions rule the suburbs, and those with means build estates and ranches, us city folk aspire to the perfect perch.

Why? Because we are drawn to the warmth and buzz of urban life.

We are cliff dwellers. We long to be close to one another and feel the rhythm of the streets. We want to be right on top of it all, close to our friends, near the energy. If anything, we want a view, we want sunlight, and we want location, location, location. Space we are willing to give away.

But because perches are short on space we are all -- both high and low -- forced to be creative when building our nests. Here then, is our starter list for our fellow cliff dwellers. Feel free to add your own.

  1. Remove your interior doors (use curtains instead on closets and doors).
  2. Replace your big refrigerator with a smaller, undercounter model. Itís more than enough room.
  3. Treat yourself to a really good, sturdy small vacuum (we love Meile).
  4. Use track lighting aimed at walls to free up floor space and create an expansive feeling.
  5. Install lighting inside closets so you can see whatís in there. They will be easier to maintain and you will gain the feeling of more space.
  6. Clean your windows often so that more light comes in and your view is not blocked.
  7. Buy quality cookware, tableware, and linens. Small luxuries go a long way.
  8. Go wireless, transfer all your music to your computer and sell your CDs!
  9. Use full spectrum light bulbs to energize and enliven your home.
  10. Have lots of dinner parties. People actually socialize better in small spaces. And, as an added bonus, apartment dwellers who entertain take better care of their homes.

Copyright © 2006 Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

Author Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan is the founder of Apartment Therapy, a unique interior-design practice in the New York metropolitan area. In April 2004, Maxwell, with his brother Oliver, launched apartmenttherapy.com, one of the most popular design weblogs in the country, featured in the New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Hartford Courant, New York magazine, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and Yoga Journal.

Maxwell is a regular guest on House & Garden Television's Mission: Organization and Small Space, Big Style. He lives in New York's West Village with his wife, Sara Kate, in a 250-square-foot apartment.

Apartment Therapy : The Eight-Step Home Cure

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