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Stellah's Disappearing Bed

Name:

Stellah

Location:

Brooklyn, New York

Division:

Teeny-Tiny

Square Feet:

400

What I Love About My Home


The chef's kitchen, the magical disappearing bed and the verdant garden views.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home


The biggest challenge in furnishing my place was definitely the editing process. I previously lived in a 2500 sq ft loft so it was a definite adjustment.

785
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Comments (115)

Nice place and I'm loving that bathroom!

posted by le_mond on April 22, 2011 at 12:35pm
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Like your ideas on how to use your bedroom when the bed is put away. Like so many others I would like to have seen a picture of the bed down. Beautiful place!

posted by Tracy333 on April 22, 2011 at 12:07pm
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Your kitchen looks GORGEOUS. I was mad that ikea got rid of their wooden cabinets that didn't look like veneer, but this solution is perfect.

posted by finnlay128 on April 22, 2011 at 8:34am
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Ooh, I want to see the bed down!

posted by JoJenks on April 22, 2011 at 8:16am
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Amesome bathroom. Millwork heaven.

posted by apappa on April 22, 2011 at 8:49am
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Great apartment. Really love the colors you used and the bathroom is really cool! thanks for sharing.

posted by dillonliving on April 22, 2011 at 8:55am
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your home is beautiful!

posted by Rae N on April 22, 2011 at 8:58am
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I love this entry-ALL of it...

posted by Otilly on April 22, 2011 at 9:08am
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Love this place... comfortable and homey.. it needs more splashes of color here and there.. but it has my vote.. :)

posted by NHRecycler on April 22, 2011 at 9:17am
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Where was this entry hiding? Quite stunning! love the kitchen and the simplicity of it all. Great job!

posted by scandesign on April 22, 2011 at 9:30am
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I hope you don't miss the 2,500 sft loft because you live in 400 sf of absolute glamour! I really enjoy when someone doesn't let the size of the space dictate the level of taste. Size issues aside, this could be the refined Manhattan duplex of an heiress.

The *only* change I would make is to replace the small, round mirror behind the sofa with something grand and over the top. I wonder if you've considered that?

Anyway, a top fave without a doubt. I adore.

posted by cvgmiami on April 22, 2011 at 9:30am
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this is simply stunning, stellah.

posted by meredithk on April 22, 2011 at 9:52am
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Lovely! Great that you have such fantastic materials in your wonderful little home. The bathroom and kitchen are fantastic; I too would have liked to have seen the bed down. Beautiful!

posted by RMF325 on April 22, 2011 at 9:58am
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Thank you so much for all your great comments!

A little background for the curious...

When I bought my apartment (summer 2010) it hadn't been touched in 40 years and it was a total wreck albeit one with tons of charm and potential.

I've loved being able to completely design the space according to my needs. In the process I got to work with a wonderful contractor (http://diamonderaconstruction.com) and a talented architect who helped with the drawings to realize all the mill-work and bathroom details. We managed to achieve the look I wanted on a very tight budget AND we are all still speaking to each other now that the project is done!

To see the before pics and the bed down, I've posted a gallery here:
http://tinyurl.com/3exbelb

posted by stellah on April 22, 2011 at 10:25am
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I love the colours, and that bathroom is ridiculous! (read: freakin awesome!)

Also, I love the white dog statue :)

posted by pheebs79 on April 22, 2011 at 11:12am
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Where is the "Love" button? Oh.. wait. This isn't facebook. The world could use more Stellah style. Please put your stamp on the hotel world & start a product line next. Bravo!

posted by NicoleO on April 22, 2011 at 11:17am
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Your place looks darling, what do you use the bedroom for when the bed disappears ?

posted by Allegra M on April 22, 2011 at 11:26am
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Agree with everyone so far--this is beautiful. I'm a little confused by the murphy bed, however. Why did you choose one since you have a separate bedroom? Also, what do you use this room for when the bed is up? I didn't see any furniture besides the side table/dresser and chair to denote a function. Regardless, it's a gorgeous room.

posted by azr2005 on April 22, 2011 at 11:29am
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(I do agree with the poster above about the mirror above the couch but that is the ONLY thing)

posted by azaleasmoke on April 22, 2011 at 11:50am
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agree with @scandesign - where have they been hiding your entry!? Your place is amazing! I'm a Brooklynite living in a tiny space too, submitted my entry about a week ago but still no post... how long did it take them to post yours?

In love with your entire apartment. Kudos.

posted by Alex Pandel on April 22, 2011 at 11:31am
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Alex, I submitted my entry on 04.20, it's taken them 2 days to process... Hopefully yours will be posted today?

posted by stellah on April 22, 2011 at 11:46am
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Good questions! In answer, I installed a murphy bed because:
1. edging around the bed to get dressed in the morning is a drag
2. my room becomes a place to meditate when the bed is closed
3. I love to cook and throw dinner parties, so on the weekends, I drag the drop sided table in from the living room and voila! the bedroom becomes a dining room with enough space to seat 8 (in a pinch).

posted by stellah on April 22, 2011 at 11:43am
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I NEED that white dog statue in the living room!! Source??

Also this is incredible. Methinks your idea of a tight budget and mine are miles apart, but your style is still impeccable.

Also, is the bedroom lined with closets? Is that the thinking behind the murphy bed (ie. so you can open the closet doors)?

posted by azaleasmoke on April 22, 2011 at 11:44am
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Oh my god, just saw the transformation and can't believe that you saw the potential for this in that! I would see potential but never to this extent. Incredible!!!

posted by azaleasmoke on April 22, 2011 at 11:47am
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It becomes the dining room! Again amazing! So insanely impressed!! This is totally what this contest is about too!

posted by azaleasmoke on April 22, 2011 at 11:59am
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Great job! I would love to see a House Tour from your place!!!

posted by Chara on April 22, 2011 at 12:01pm
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I like the way the living room mirror echoes the shape of the lamp.

And thanks for the explanation about the Murphy Bed - that room would be awesome as either a meditation room or dining space.

posted by Britomart on April 22, 2011 at 12:01pm
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Ok, a bedroom that doubles as a dining room is amazing. Especially because that room is decorated/has the vibe to serve both functions (which I can't imagine happening anywhere else).

posted by azr2005 on April 22, 2011 at 12:04pm
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azaleasmoke, I bought the dog statue in Paris over 10 years ago now... He's made of silicon and I've never seen another like him... I agree about the mirror, I'm thinking something venetian and etched, still looking for the perfect one!

posted by stellah on April 22, 2011 at 12:10pm
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Wow, I am SO impressed/jealous! That transformation is incredible, and I couldn't be more envious of your location in Brooklyn Heights. You've got my vote.

posted by fcresenc on April 22, 2011 at 12:17pm
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Wow. Seeing the before-and-after makes this place even better. Great vision and space planning and beautiful, timeless stuff. I wish there were categories for Favorite, No Really Favorite, Super Favorite and Extra Uber Favorite. Maybe in future contests have a rating system of 1 to 5 Eames Chairs or something?

posted by cvgmiami on April 22, 2011 at 12:36pm
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impressive

posted by msmezzo on April 22, 2011 at 1:00pm
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here's a pic of the bed when it's down— http://tinyurl.com/3t8wjfw

posted by stellah on April 22, 2011 at 1:50pm
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wow! super cool flat. I wished I could see more of it.

posted by brightred on April 22, 2011 at 2:10pm
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Amazing! I'm sooo impressed!

posted by MindShapedBox on April 22, 2011 at 2:53pm
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they should definitely make a house tour! love it!!!!

posted by tmilan on April 22, 2011 at 3:48pm
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To the chorus of well-deserved ooohs and aaahs, let me add mine... this is truly amazing! You have a magician's genes combined with an intuitive ikebana master's taste.

posted by visualeyes on April 22, 2011 at 3:57pm
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Unbelievable! Well done Stellah! I loved the colors you used in each room...so soothing and sophisticated. Fantastic!

posted by Beacon on April 22, 2011 at 4:59pm
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Wow. You and your contractor did an AMAZING job. I love our bedroom / dining room/ meditation room.

posted by ElaneB on April 22, 2011 at 5:01pm
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very nice!

posted by sousa609 on April 22, 2011 at 5:04pm
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looove the grey in the bedroom - what color is it?

posted by formosagirl on April 22, 2011 at 6:05pm
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This is just my style. This is what I planned to do with my home. Who made your murphy bed?

posted by Little Lulu on April 22, 2011 at 6:35pm
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What is the paint color you are using for the kitchen. 5 photos is really not enough. I need more.

posted by Little Lulu on April 22, 2011 at 6:54pm
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I love it all! I checked out the before photos and the transformation is impressive!

posted by oliviacharles on April 22, 2011 at 8:58pm
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This is one of my very favorites. You did a wonderful job. But I do have a question: What do you do with the bedroom when the bed is put away? Kind of looks like there is not much going on in there, which makes me wonder what the point of a murphy bed is?

posted by ecorabbit on April 22, 2011 at 8:59pm
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Oooh pretty grey and pretty flowers!!

posted by irry on April 22, 2011 at 9:05pm
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Very impressive! Lovely use of style and rustic/modern mix. Beauty!

posted by Wildsong on April 22, 2011 at 9:07pm
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I registered on this site just to comment on this entry. It is beyond fabulous! Just looking at the bathroom makes me want to book a spa day! Where can I see the before photos?

posted by Clairesf on April 22, 2011 at 9:19pm
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That's beautiful!

Love the bathroom. The kitchen is a bit narrow, but those countertops are great.

posted by Sam I Am on April 22, 2011 at 9:55pm
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I really loved being able to see these photos bigger. I wish ALL the entries had a way to view the photos at that size (click through?) because it's amazing how much more detail you see.

posted by tequila red on April 22, 2011 at 9:34pm
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Love, love, your home! Thank you for sharing.

Thanks for posting the site for the before pics and the bed down. The work you've done is impressive. Congrats!!!

I like your reasoning for the murphy bed. I love how the room is decorated so it doesn't look like your typical murphy bed. Great work!

posted by lol.sweet.lol on April 22, 2011 at 10:35pm
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Such a nicely refined space. I love seeing homes that clearly have a lot of thought behind the design.

posted by analogdialog on April 22, 2011 at 10:45pm
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I thought this space was wonderful before I saw the before photos! You did such a fantastic job getting this place to perfection! I am 100% impressed and stunned! Everything is so beautiful and flows very well. It is both calm and refined. I love it!

posted by HandmadeKatie on April 22, 2011 at 11:10pm
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That bathroom is beautiful! And I really like the choice of using "wet pavement" grey. That color really makes any accent color pop.

posted by D2 pad on April 22, 2011 at 11:34pm
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So tasteful!... I agree about the small mirror. I would take it down altogether until I get something more suitable. But everything else is styled perfectly... and à la japonaise, especially that bedroom with the hidden bed and closets.

posted by Graphist on April 23, 2011 at 12:10am
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Love this place. A sure winner. I want to see the bed down.

posted by nik111 on April 23, 2011 at 1:04am
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love the place. hate the dog and wow that is a creepy picture in the living room!

posted by queenyellowsun on April 23, 2011 at 1:38am
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The finishes are phenomenal which makes this space incredible.

posted by Ban Clothing on April 23, 2011 at 5:34am
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Very elegant. Love the whimsical little dog and I can't see the picture.
Getting this kind of quality on a tight budget seems like a miracle.

posted by Kate (NC) on April 23, 2011 at 6:46am
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Stunning...agree that mirror in living room is wrong scale and makes the room a bit bottom heavy. Would swap it out w/something w/more presence for balance.
Bravo!

posted by C. Love on April 23, 2011 at 1:31pm
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This is unbelievable. What a masterful transformation!

posted by Terry3 on April 23, 2011 at 1:40pm
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wow. this is such a great place.

posted by -kellen on April 23, 2011 at 11:49am
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Seriously, what you've done with 400 sq ft is amazing. Great job.

posted by AmyPureHome on April 23, 2011 at 11:53am
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Where is your storage??

posted by mellowhome on April 23, 2011 at 11:54am
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Living room is so well edited and put together. Definitely an example of less is more.

posted by david @ justveggingout.co on April 23, 2011 at 9:20am
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good job! best small cool so far! cheering for you!

posted by Natasa Dobrinic on April 23, 2011 at 6:59pm
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Hi Stellah,

It's funny, I live about 3 blocks away from you, and recently bought a small studio - yours is such an inspiration! I'd love to know the name of the architect you worked with... also, could you kindly let us know what the paint colors are that you used throughout the apartment? (Bedroom, kitchen, etc?)

I wish AT would interview you about your remodel...

posted by tinybkheights on April 23, 2011 at 10:30am
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I was trying to figure out where storage is too. I think the wall opposite the bed must actually conceal a closet? Anyway, it's a very impressive remodel. Only in NY is real estate valuable enough that it makes sense to sink that kind of dough into a 400 sq. ft. apartment!

posted by waterville on April 23, 2011 at 12:28pm
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I used zero/low VOC paint throughout the apt and used an eggshell finish for it's durability & subtle light enhancing qualities... The paint colors are as follows: Kitchen- Pratt & Lambert Accolade in Nickel (eggshell finish) Living Room- Benjamin Moore Natura in Marscapone (eggshell finish). For the Bedoom I also used Benjamin Moore Natura, I believe the color is called elephant hide. Ceilings are all Benjamin Moore Ceiling white. For the little hall the color is called night shade and its matte (to hide the imperfections from my attempts to strip off the 50 coats of old paint) Benjamin Moore Natura again.

All the tile came from the BuyTile.com warehouse in Brooklyn they have the the best prices but really weird hours.

My other favorite source is build it green (www.bignyc.org) and craigslist - the entire poliform kitchen & appliances were bought off there.

posted by stellah on April 23, 2011 at 3:01pm
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The Murphy bed mechanism came from www.outwaterhardware.com - it's a good spring loaded mechanism and cost around $380. they are to the trade only & my contractor had to place to place the order. All the millwork for the bed surround was custom made for the space. Hope that helps!

posted by stellah on April 23, 2011 at 3:13pm
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TinyBrooklynHeights, my architect's name is Cornelia Sterl, contractor was Dave from diamonderaconstruction.com- I reccomend both highly.

posted by stellah on April 23, 2011 at 3:17pm
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Holy sh*t.

posted by Juliet___ on April 23, 2011 at 3:51pm
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You got my vote !

posted by Allegra M on April 23, 2011 at 6:00pm
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Incredible! I seriously am having countertop envy. Was wondering if you had a bathtub or just a shower? Liked the addition of the nooks in the bathroom too keep the seamless quality but to add storage. Really would like to see the bed down & or bedroom turned into a dining room for 8.

posted by warlesha21 on April 23, 2011 at 8:25pm
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Love. this. place!

posted by YB on April 23, 2011 at 9:53pm
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FANTASTIC! Total envy, not just for the end result but for your VISION!

posted by loquaciouslaura on April 23, 2011 at 11:41pm
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so i look at all of these and think about adding to my favourites but with this... it is indeed ridiculously awesome.

i am an architecture and i love a good murphy bed. the surface materials of this space are what make it. the mixture of textures. just so well curated! i want to live here.

posted by blackink on April 24, 2011 at 12:12am
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What a coincidence! We remodeled our bathroom last year and chose the exact same colours as you did. Is that the Winckelmans anthracite tile in the shower?

posted by Hinke on April 24, 2011 at 12:31pm
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wonderful!

posted by ck_arc1 on April 24, 2011 at 1:50pm
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Stellah,

I love it! You do have a great eye for esthetics, hope to see you soon.

Matthew Pope

posted by Matthew Pope on April 24, 2011 at 4:14pm
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Hinke, the bathroom floor tile is vein cut limestone in Chenille White from Daltile (http://tinyurl.com/veincut). I love the way it resembles driftwood and merges nicely with the bleached/pickled white oak floors elsewhere in the apartment...

The wall tile is a full body porcelain - I was obsessed with the mutina tile range called tekno but couldn't afford the $40 a sq ft price, I managed to find a much cheaper version at buytile from Cotto in Grey. It's made in Thailand instead of Italy and was around $4 a sq ft.
see http://tinyurl.com/cottotile

I'd love to see a pic of your bathroom!

posted by stellah on April 24, 2011 at 7:00pm
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It's nice, but most of the style comes from the architecture, not the decorating. And I don't understand why the Murphy bed if you have a separate bedroom area with nothing else in it?

posted by highondesign on April 24, 2011 at 8:29pm
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The smallest, coolest apartments are in Brooklyn.

posted by LadyDecor on April 24, 2011 at 11:47pm
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Come on, Stella! I keep looking at your gorgeous space. I don't Do you work in your bedroom when the Murphy is put away? It's a great room. I think I would write there. I cannot believe how homey this is while sparsely but perfectly put together. I'm very, very inspired. Thank you so much for sharing. Tres beau!

posted by Wildsong on April 25, 2011 at 12:01am
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Whoa! Homeowner Stella+Architect Cornelia+Contractor Dave= Sheer Brilliance. You three really should go into business together, Stellah.

Not only could this flat win this year, a different tenant or homeowner moving in there later could also win a future Small Cool contest because of the great bones that have been sculpted out of nothing here - it's hard to go wrong on decor if the spatial 'armature' is made right.

Congratulations on a transformation very well done.

posted by leilanitexas on April 25, 2011 at 7:45am
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Leilanitexas, funny you should suggest going into business-- see www.theoiseau.com :) - it's in Beta (read, still getting built out) but you get the idea. We're about to start work on a new design/build project in the west village!

posted by stellah on April 25, 2011 at 9:38am
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Love the Scandinavian look

posted by Ana Carolina on April 25, 2011 at 11:15am
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I'm drooling over the bathroom. Stunning.

posted by LauraInCancun on April 25, 2011 at 1:37pm
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Would have loved to see the bedroom with the bed down. Veyr cool apartment though, the kitchen and bathroom are to die for!

posted by sweethomesweet on April 25, 2011 at 3:06pm
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sweethomesweet-- there is a pic of the bed down along with some apartment before pics here

http://tinyurl.com/smallcoolest

posted by stellah on April 25, 2011 at 3:14pm
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I love the bathroom and the black drawer... but where is the dining table?

posted by Ofelia on April 25, 2011 at 4:29pm
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I remember how it looked when I saw it under construction. It is now a wonderful little garden hide-away. A Brooklyn treasure. Enjoy. Very inspiring.

posted by Roy Berkowitz on April 25, 2011 at 4:39pm
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Ahh a little bit of Melbourne in Brooklyn. Simply perfect. But where is all your stuff??? That editing must have been hard. Maybe that's what I need in my life!

posted by melbournebec on April 26, 2011 at 12:37am
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I love everything about this place. There must have been a really talented architect who worked on this.

posted by Zacharacha on April 26, 2011 at 12:50am
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They did a great job on your place but I'm really confused by it. I don't know where your storage is, you don't seem to have closets or even storage furniture. I like the murphy bed room but why isn't in multipurpose - it just seems like an empty room when the bed is up, which is a waste of space in a tiny place. And finally, there is apparently no dining area. It doesn't even seem like there is much seating if you were to have people over. I think if I was going to spend a lot of money on an architect remodel, I'd want all sorts of clever solutions to the lack of space like some other small condos I've seen.

posted by fiatblanco on April 26, 2011 at 1:37am
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Who would think that a 1 bedroom flat could have an empty room? Even I would sacrifice my bed lounging and napping habits for the sheer luxury of space to meditate in. Lovely.

posted by djanicki on April 26, 2011 at 7:46am
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Fiat Blanco, I know, my apartment looks tricky. In the bedroom the entire paneled left wall in the photograph (10'w x10'h) is closet space-- we even built in seasonal storage beneath the flooring panels. I've also got storage closets above and beside the murphy bed which is where pesky things like my vaccum cleaner live. Personally, I find having the room empty a gift, but everyone is different.

I installed a storage closet in the bathroom too (6'hx20" w) and there is a medicine cabinet behind the bathroom mirror for girly things.

As for the seating areas- There is a breakfast counter that seats 2 in the kitchen and there is a drop sided table in the living room that can seat 6-8, I move that into the bedroom when I have dinner parties (I keep extra chairs in my basement). Hope that helps to clear up your confusion!

posted by stellah on April 26, 2011 at 10:07am
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Hi stellah,

Thanks for all your gracious answers to questions and the link to additional pics! I would love to see Apartment Therapy do a post on your renovation process and show more of your beautiful apartment.

posted by emmelemm on April 26, 2011 at 9:50pm
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Bedroom/dining = genius!

posted by cj204 on April 26, 2011 at 10:23pm
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The use of earth colors in the living room against the white is a stunning contrast. Otherwise, so elegant!

posted by Cayennegirl on April 27, 2011 at 2:01pm
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I love it! Now, I know, being home happy, no matter what the size is always a great thing..but to have gone from 2500 sq ft to 400 sq ft...such a big, no, huge adjustment! But I am sure you are where you wanna be and you did good- very good!

posted by wendym1 on April 27, 2011 at 4:27pm
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LOVE that your bedroom serves as a dining room when needed!! i did the very same thing in an old apartment i had in seattle (also had a murphy bed). the process of editing from a such a larger space to this one must have been challenging; you did a great job.
jordan

posted by 3floorsup on April 27, 2011 at 6:24pm
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I will be very, very upset if you don't win. Here's why: the versatility of your apartment is astounding. You figured out how to make the place work for numerous functions, and yet, it's not crowded in the least.

Everything is just perfect.

I do like many other entries this year, but yours is the best in terms of imaginative use of space and most versatility.

I'm very envious of your talent.

posted by Terry3 on April 27, 2011 at 9:26pm
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It really is too bad that because of the way the contest is set up this year this entry likely won't have time to "catch up".

posted by azaleasmoke on April 28, 2011 at 10:48am
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OMG you tease, you! I was staring at the non-bed going "There's THAT huge an entryway in such a small apartment?!?"

posted by Annie-O on April 28, 2011 at 12:19pm
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Everyone, thank you so much for all of your kind words-- please help by sharing the link to my entry with your friends. Only a few voting days left...

posted by stellah on April 28, 2011 at 1:50pm
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thanks for passing along the link to the before pics. i love your space even more seeing that...

posted by 3floorsup on April 28, 2011 at 2:17pm
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love it all.

but what about that couch? if it's comfy, where's it from??

posted by RtU on April 28, 2011 at 5:11pm
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RtU- the couch is a vintage Harvey Probber piece. It is comfortable, I bought it from a vintage store in SoHo that sadly is no longer there...

posted by stellah on April 28, 2011 at 5:41pm
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LOVE your place, Stellah. If I wasn't in the contest I'd vote for you, for sure. :) Is that the Gianni rug from C&B, btw? My sister needs a rug for her family room and that's one I'd recommended. Looks great in your space. I want her to get a pouf, too - CB2?

posted by jayro212 on April 28, 2011 at 6:45pm
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Would love to know that paint colors you used, too. Beautiful.

posted by jayro212 on April 28, 2011 at 6:46pm
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Jayro-- I still voted for lots of folks in the contest even a couple in my section ;). if you scroll up I listed all the paint colors I used as well as other sources. Rug isn't C&B, pouf is CB2, well spotted!

posted by stellah on April 28, 2011 at 7:17pm
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Stellah,I have been in the contracting business for over 20 yrs and have worked for over a 1000 clients.It was very exiting working with you,turning your ideas and visions into reality.Your creativity alone wins my vote

posted by Diamonddave on April 28, 2011 at 8:45pm
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Camel and grey. I love the color combo. I think Murphy beds are genius. I wonder why more people don't use them. As for me I spend so much time lounging on my bed that it would not be practical to put away my bed but turning a bedroom into a dining room is a great idea especially since I love to cook and entertain.

posted by House Voyeur on April 30, 2011 at 10:16pm
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Incredible use of space; an illusion of size, potential for multiple uses, color selections and that stunning hallway vignette all make me wish I had such an innate design sense.

posted by minimalist1 on May 5, 2011 at 4:22pm
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