In the new kitchen, taking maximum advantage of the southern exposure was key. "I'm always conscious when doing townhouses about the fact that they limit daylight to only two directions," Willmer says. She raised the roof to a create a taller space and added a glass window for passive heating and lighting during the days. Photo by Ken Gutmaker
A reflective light shelf sits atop the lower window units. “When light hits the shelf, it reflects back on the ceiling,” Woo explains. “This is a very deep space, so we tried to bring the light as far back as possible.” The Neo sectional chaise by Niels Bendsten provides comfortable seating for Wonbo and his friend Alyssa Litoff. The Cubits shelves are by Doron Lachish.
Since the main living space has to function as both a bedroom and a family room, Krastev and Nikolova make do without a couch. When the family watches TV or reads, they cozy up on the bed or sit on the built-in bench, which also serves as a dining and play area. “When in a limited space, you have to really think: What do we do in this room, what do we need?” says Krastev. “Do we really need a coffee table?” In their case, the answer was no.
"We wanted to keep the exterior walls uncluttered, so you can focus on the views, the light, and the air," says Rosa Garneau, the owner of a 650-square-foot co-op in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. To achieve a clean look, everything gets tucked away, including the mattress and bedding. When looking for the best Murphy bed, look for one that can accommodate basic bedding without having to remove and store it daily.
The combination dining table/countertop, says Woo, “is both a demarcation and connection between the kitchen and main living space.” Originally, the architect considered a concrete surface, but balked at the delivery time and expense. “I kind of like it as it is built,” he says. “All the horizontal surfaces are wood.” The Conical pendant lamp is by Jorgen Gammelgaard and the Compasso d’Oro bar stools are by Enrico Franzolini.
The Kelleys furnished the cottage with help from Suzanne’s daughter Betsy Burbank of Betsy Burbank Interiors. Classic modernist icons, such as a Saarinen Womb chair for Knoll, a Herman Miller Eames lounge chair, and an Eileen Grey E1027 side table look at home alongside present-day pieces such as an Encore sofa (which handily folds down into a sleeping surface) from Room & Board and a Doka rug designed and produced by Stephanie Odegard. The Wohlert pendant lights from Louis Poulsen were designed by Vilhelm Wohlert in 1959, but grouped as such, they appear distinctly contemporary.