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June 2, 2014
From color palettes to vertical accents, we've rounded up eight proven tactics for making the most of a small space renovation.
renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen

Make the most of a small footprint by eradicating any physical or visual barriers—like upper kitchen cabinets. Elevating cabinetry off the floor is another crucial tactic. The architect of this renovated midcentury home in Austin, Rick Black, explains: “One of the goals was to make the islands more like furniture than like heavy objects that go all the way to the floor.” Photo by Brent Humphreys.

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Originally appeared in A Renovated Midcentury Gem in Austin
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Renovated Upper East Side apartment

A gut renovation of a 400-square-foot apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan yielded a bright new bathroom. Complementing the tiny, apartment-sized bathtub is a salvaged porcelain sink and new white tile, plus graphic tile inserts that draw the eye to colorful moments in the space. Photo by Alan Gastelum.

Originally appeared in A Gut Renovation Transforms a Tiny Manhattan Apartment
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berlin apartment interior kitchen

Berlin designer Peter Fehretnz advises picking a variety of tones within a single colorway for paint and furnishings: "If you choose red, use a mix of reds—some should be more yellow, others more blue or more pink. Colors appear especially vibrant this way, and they won’t clash." Photo by Peter Fehrentz.

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Originally appeared in How to Design with Pink
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woodwork portland renovation dining room

In Portland, custom woodwork and an open interior define a 520-square-foot backyard retreat for a busy family. Insanely detailed pre-planning means that all the main built-ins—a sofa bed, table and chairs, and plenty of storage—run the length of the space and are tucked snugly beneath the ceiling. Photo by Lincoln Barbour.

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Originally appeared in Salvaged Wood Renovation in Portland
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Built-in woodwork hides a sofa, a dining table, and a bed in this small space renovation in Portland, Oregon.
A couch—upholstered by local firm Revive Upholstery & Design—slides out on hidden casters and transforms into a full-size bed (with the headboard doubling as a linen cupboard) where guests can sleep. The dining table tucks under a shelf when it’s not pulled out for meals. There’s even vertical storage for canvases for this Portland couple's teenage daughter.
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A guesthouse conversion in San Francisco

Go vertical. San Francisco architect Christi Azevedo spent a year and a half designing and fabricating nearly everything save for original brick walls to convert a 93-square-foot brick boiler room. “I treated the interior like a custom piece of furniture,” she says. She raised the roof five feet and added a full kitchen, a bathroom, closets, and a sleeping loft, accessed via a steel ship’s ladder and a glass walkway. Photo by Cesar Rubio.

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Originally appeared in A Compact Three-Story Brick Loft in San Francisco
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brooklyn renovation living room

What you may lose in inches is worth it when it comes to building sleek storage that can be closed off to hide clutter. And don't forget lighting. Architect Philip Ryan placed fluorescent bulbs that mimic daylight in the ceiling alcove of his Brooklyn apartment. The glow reflecting down the walls makes the room feel more expansive. Photo by Gile Ashford.

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Originally appeared in Space Saving Renovation in Brooklyn
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modern lycabettus penthouse apartment office with oak vertical slats and vintage stool

And again, verticality is your friend. Architect Aaron Ritenour enhanced the ceiling height of this Athens apartment by installing 300 vertical strips along the wall hiding built-in storage for a home office. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

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Originally appeared in A Modern Penthouse in Athens
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renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen

Make the most of a small footprint by eradicating any physical or visual barriers—like upper kitchen cabinets. Elevating cabinetry off the floor is another crucial tactic. The architect of this renovated midcentury home in Austin, Rick Black, explains: “One of the goals was to make the islands more like furniture than like heavy objects that go all the way to the floor.” Photo by Brent Humphreys.

Photo by Brent Humphreys.

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