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Apartment Therapy's 'Big Book' showcases small-scale living

September 8, 2010 |  6:02 am


In a time when people are downsizing and trying to make do with less, Apartment Therapy co-founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s “Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces” inspires.

Apartment-Therapy-2 The book makes stylish small-scale living seem like a possibility. Even if you don't live in a small home, he writes, "nearly all of us have at least one small room that we don't know how to handle, such as an entryway or a galley kitchen."

Gillingham-Ryan highlights small spaces that prove you don’t need endless square feet to create a dramatic living space. 

The book is filled with great photographs, detailed shopping resources and helpful tips on choosing paint colors (and brands) that complement a small space, maximizing space in kitchens and more.

In the 630-square-foot apartment of Jen Chu, above, a platform bed hides a storage area below. Chu created the bed frame from cinder blocks and a metal grate topped with a mattress. For the bookshelf and desk, she added nail heads to white-painted wood.

Keep reading for a few more featured projects ...


The 400-square-foot studio of Luis Caicedo is blessed with tall ceilings and windows that bring in light from outside. Caicedo brightened the space further by using neutral-colored furnishings such as the cream rug, the George Nelson pendant lamp, clear Lucite table and lacquered sideboard. Unusual decorative objects add color and give the room a sense of humor.  


In the 500-square-foot studio of Yiming Wang and Xian Zhang, the kitchen has black floor-to-ceiling tiles paired with Ikea cabinets, stove top, faucet and stainless steel racks. The tiles reflect light and give the room a surprisingly airy feeling. Colorful accents such as the red teapot stand out in the monochromatic space.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Jim Franco / “Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces,” Clarkson Potter