Small Space Big Style

Every city dweller’s primary design concern is optimizing the small space big style ratio. Perhaps that’s why House Beautiful‘s annual Small Spaces issue is so popular. And in the upcoming July/August issue, Philip Gorrivan shows how it’s done as he transforms a 1,200 square foot NYC apartment into a dramatic jewel box of a space.

Small Space Big StyleFrom the minute you enter the apartment every surface is maximized for visual interest and spatial enhancement. The spectacular entry just oozes glamour with a sophisticated mix, evoking images of Nick and Nora sauntering in with Madeleine Castaing. Saturated color balances the graphic walls of antiqued hand cut mirror inlaid with brass. And sinuous lines of the 1930’s Maxine Old console are echoed in the contemporary custom rug from Holland & Sherry. Like the final touch of jewelry, Lobmeyr Austrian crystal sconces are reflected in the silver-leafed ceiling.

small space big style The glamour of the entry continues with an exotic teal and red wallpapered hall. Every detail is considered such as this fabulous door treatment. A large stud-encircled red leather octagon marks the opening of jib doors while also protecting the paper from constant handling. The colors then segue into both living room and kitchen.

small space big styleNine layers of Hollandlac paint imbue the lipstick red living/dining room with its alluring super shine. On the ceiling, a hand-painted faux-tortoise wallpaper from Gracie was lacquered as well, drawing interest upwards and expanding the space. The room is a masterful melding of art and fashion. If the sconces were the earrings in the entry, the Hervé Van Der Straeten mirror is the brooch in the dining area, its tendrils echoing the custom dining table base so that diners would have “the sensation of eating in a forest of bronze.” A space saving banquette, covered in Cowtan & Tout’s Rajah, continues the exotic theme, balancing the subtle pattern on the ceiling. Leleu originals were models for the dining chairs, upholstered in Knoll’s Classic Bouclé, the bold blue adding to the jewel tone effect of the room.

small space big style The kitchen, visible from the hall, needed to be effectively integrated and as chic as the rest of the spaces. Continuing the teal of the hall with glass mosaic tiled walls and another fabulous lacquered ceiling, Gorrivan created a space as practical as it is attractive for his client who loves to cook. With a more subtle nod to the past and stunning color combination, the kitchen is a thoroughly modern room beautifully merging form and function.

small space big styleall photos of apartment by Brian Doben

And a variation on the same color theme extends into the stylish bedroom, where a luxurious mix of textures, pattern, color and eras results in a daring yet dashing distinctive space. Starting with the cognac Stark Sultan velvet on the bed, Gorrivan and his client were thrilled to find the sculptural cabinet covered in the same shade of crystal mirror. The Jean Bérenger de Nattes rosewood mirror completes the cognac contributions, adding the same warmth as the kitchen cabinets to the peacock-blue of the Maharam wall covering. Like a dazzling ear clip, the Ironies ceiling fixture contributes the requisite glitter against the more subtle sheen of Holland & Sherry’s Sula crushed-shell on the ceiling. A little flirt of fuschia finishes the color story. And like all the other rooms, the bedroom provides multi-functional areas within the larger space.

small space big style

I’m looking forward to seeing many of the other small space big style strategies in the new issue. If Gorrivan’s project is any indication, we are in for a treat!

4 thoughts on “Small Space Big Style

  1. I AM feeling so vindicated…I’ve been painting front doors, cabinets, etc. bronze… This is just so beautiful to me. The photos are fab! franki

  2. I love these colors as well as the dramatic & exotic touches. The kitchen wall and ceilings are gorgeous. Living in only 1K sf this is very inspiring!

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