Design: Small space solutions

June 24, 2011 10:10:55 AM PDT
For 25 years, Chicago-based interior architecture and design firm, Mary Cook & Associates has provided design services to builders and developers. They have worked with large spaces and very small spaces.

Designer Mary Cook,, says her seven fundamentals of design can help you figure out how to maximize your space no matter the size.

    These fundamentals include:
  • Function
  • Proportion
  • Light
  • Color
  • Pattern
  • Ornament
  • Demographic or Geographic Objective

Furniture Example: Banquette

    Design Tips:
  • To integrate a full dining area into a small space, using a banquette is key. Banquettes can be pushed up against the wall, offering a great space saving option.
  • Banquettes offer the option to add chairs if needed, and don't create bulk.
  • Banquettes also help divide the room into two separate functions; dining and media

Banquette Provided By:

Quincy Settee by Rowe Furniture available via Chapin Furniture ( Price: $729.00 which can increase with choice of fabric & upholstery options

Example 2: Sleeping

Furniture Example: An end table which will hold several types of fabric examples along with an Arc Lamp.

    Design Tips:
  • To integrate sleeping into a small space, the bedding makes the room.
  • Stream-lined, functional bedding is integral to creating a space that's still inviting and open to guests.
  • An arc lamp is the perfect lighting for a small space. It gives the user the beauty of a hanging light without having to rewire a home and is also easily swing from space to space to allow targeted lighting.
  • The Arc Lamp can also serve double duty as a functional piece of art.
  • Arc Lamp Provided By: Relaxar Arc Lamp by Lite-Source, Price: available on Amazon ( for $193.50.

    Example 3: Work/Tech

    Furniture Example: Trestle Desk with decor

      Design Tips:
    • The trestle-style desk is a piece of furniture that has great aesthetic appeal and can easily go from being a work-at-home space to being used as a sideboard for house parties, or later transitioning to be used as a console table if you move to a larger space.
    • With its airy openness, it allows a small space to seem larger.
    • Trestle Desk Provided By: Guilford Saw Horse Desk by Bassett Furniture Price: available on Bassett Furniture's website, for $769

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