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Alyssa's Light & Views




New Haven, Connecticut



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

I love the light and the views--I'm on the top floor of a building right next to campus and I get to look out on the library, residential colleges, towers, and downtown. I also love the hardwood floors, and the pantry space that was just the right size for my small fridge.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Figuring out how to create a work space. I'm in school, so I needed a spot where I could study when I wasn't at the library, but I didn't want to sacrifice more open space for a dedicated desk. I was able to get a kitchen island that serves as a food prep station, a small dining table, and a desk all in one. My bookshelf (the tried-and-true expedit) meanwhile gets to hold all of my course and research books, computer/electronics, papers, and notebooks, (not to mention helping to separate my bed from my living space).

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (62)

nice & bright!

posted by burcuayaz1 on April 18, 2011 at 6:17am
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I wish I could color-coordinate this well. FANTASTIC job!

posted by ohkatie on April 13, 2011 at 12:39am
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Your place looks great. I love your color scheme!

posted by travelingsoot on April 14, 2011 at 4:07pm
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I like how you used the Expedit, and also the shelves look when you view them from the living area. Also it's nice how you kept the colours consistent throughout your flat :)

posted by hotpaprika on April 11, 2011 at 8:48am
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Really lovely light filled flat! I agree, great use of the space you have. Although personally I couldn't cope without a separate desk for working at, so I am impressed you can use the little island for both studying and cooking!

posted by nutmeg21 on April 11, 2011 at 9:34am
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I'm puzzled by the placement of the yellow curtains--they can't be drawn closed from there and it seems like they could have been moved over a few inches.

posted by pz on April 11, 2011 at 11:06am
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Awesome use of your space! You've worked to complement what was there as standard really, really well!

posted by lei on April 11, 2011 at 9:31am
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love the colors of all your curtains and how u use them! love it!!!

posted by queenielo on April 11, 2011 at 9:50am
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This is a strange question, but is it difficult to make your bed when it's in an area like? That's one of things that's preventing me from doing that even though it will save me space.

posted by Swan Ronson on April 11, 2011 at 10:12am
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I'm stunned by the amount of open space you've created! Also love the color scheme. Do you have storage under the bed? And what is that nook off the living room, and how do you use it?

posted by religio on April 11, 2011 at 10:31am
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What I like best about your place is the space that isn't filled. Having that amount of "air" between useable spaces makes the place feel huge. Also, you've addressed the key to living in a tiny place: cleanliness and order. Fresh.

posted by cvgmiami on April 11, 2011 at 10:34am
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So light and airy; the type of place that makes a person what to linger.

posted by JoAnn Leigh on April 11, 2011 at 11:26am
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Love how airy your space is. About the Expedit, wouldn't it be more comfortable to be able to get around the bed by moving it a few inches, placing the TV set somewhere else ?

posted by Allegra M on April 11, 2011 at 11:58am
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Your set up of this place with simple colors of blue and yellow are just brilliant. I loved how it feels so airy and flowy in such a small space, yet there are all these dedicated areas. I wonder what it would be like if you lose that yellow fabric in front of the bed and hang it on the wall instead. I love it!

posted by pier723 on April 11, 2011 at 12:06pm
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Really cool place! I agree with previous comments about how airy it feels! It's so pretty and fresh. I like the curtains by the bed, they look kinda neat. :)

posted by pheebs79 on April 11, 2011 at 12:25pm
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Organizing books by colours - I do that to!

posted by Éva Torgyik on April 11, 2011 at 12:42pm
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lovely! doesn't look Teeny-Tiny at all!!!!

posted by ticca on April 11, 2011 at 2:09pm
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I did a double take when I saw that your place is only ~325 square feet! The layout is simple and sensible. The amount of light- wow- that just opens up the entire place. Love the openess!

posted by aliciafig on April 11, 2011 at 2:19pm
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not sure if the dimensions would work, but an expedit tv unit would work better in this space.

Otherwise very nice.

posted by ec05 on April 11, 2011 at 2:23pm
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Thank you everyone for the comments! Just to answer the few questions I saw:

@wbruner: My bed frame has wheels that lock in place. To make the bed, I just roll the bed out of the nook, fix my sheets, and then push it back in and lock the wheels.

@religio: I store a few pairs of shoes, some clothes, my keyboard, and keyboard stand under my bed. The nook off of the living room was originally designed as a closet area, and it holds most of my clothes, shoes, laundry baskets, luggage, purses, bags, and misc. like candles/light bulbs/etc. Most of that is set behind those yellow curtains (there’s a hanging bar, and two rows of shelves with baskets to keep it tidy), and the rest is in the dresser and storage tower. I tried to make it feel like an extension of the living room, and when I have a lot of people are over, the trunk that I use as a coffee table/linen storage can be moved over into that doorway to serve as extra seating.

@pz: The curtains are actually just one inch back from the edge of the bookshelf and even with the end of the bed. I tuck the curtains back and to the sides of the bed during the day after I make my bed, and I just pull them forward to the foot of the bed at night to create an enclosed, cozy space.

@Allegra M: That’s not a bad idea at all. I had considered it when I first moved in—especially because I was considering the expedit with the tv space in the center—but I ended up wanting the tv in a spot where it could also be seen from the kitchen as I prepared food. Also, I’m one of those people who actually really likes a small sleeping space (I think of this as a slightly more adult version of a tent over my bed).

posted by azr2005 on April 11, 2011 at 2:43pm
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I really really like this but do you have a shelf in the bed nook? I'd need a spot for a glass, a book and an alarm clock otherwise I'd be lost!

posted by NYKate on April 11, 2011 at 5:42pm
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Just beautiful - the way you have mixed up blue and yellow curtains; the light; the rug; the neatness; the intelligence behind it all. I imagine you are having as much success in your studies as you have had in creating this living space. (This is the first time in my life I have actively LIKED seeing books and binders organised by colour - the bookcase is part of the overall decor, and it just works.) I will vote for you all the way through to the finals.

posted by helanother on April 11, 2011 at 7:05pm
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i wanted to dislike this at first glance, but nicely done. this is real and this is what i like about this contest.

posted by guesswhatwhat on April 11, 2011 at 8:51pm
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The play between the yellow and blue hues is inspiring. You use what little space you have to create something rational, yet whimsical all at the same time. Outstanding work!

posted by zeke_mac_rescue on April 11, 2011 at 8:53pm
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This is my favorite small space so far! I love the colors and how bright everything is. There's a great flow.

posted by annishbat on April 11, 2011 at 9:10pm
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I'm very impressed with the amount of free space you have while maintaining the functionality of your space.

posted by Gaidig on April 11, 2011 at 9:45pm
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I like the curtain over your bed. It makes the bed look like an inviting "nook" from the outside, and (hopefully) makes it a cozy space shut off from the rest of your apartment when you're "inside". I hope sleeping right next to all your school books isn't weird, though. I guess from the back they don't look as imposing.

posted by IvoryOrange on April 11, 2011 at 10:06pm
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Great colors! and way to disguise the bed.

posted by thehealthguru on April 11, 2011 at 11:26pm
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What I love about this space is that all the furniture and accessories are so accessible from a price perspective, and yet the way everything is put together, it has style and cohesiveness. It would be really hard to get this kind of open simplicity with vintage and thrift store finds. Stores like Ikea and CB2 were made for exactly this kind of place.

posted by unabridged on April 11, 2011 at 11:07pm
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I love the first photo. You really got your sleeping area right. The large is totally fabulous. I love how you also have some open space.

The living room needs just a tad of tweaking. The little pictures on the wall look a little silly when compared to the large art. Take a clue from that fab art, pull all the little stuff down and hang one big piece. It's much more impactfull to have one big piece than a bunch of little pieces. Also, it bothers me that your coffee table is higher than your sofa.

Still, skillful use of space. I'm adding you to my favorites.

posted by robertspeg on April 11, 2011 at 11:14pm
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In my first paragraph I meant to say the large piece of art is fabulous. You probably figured that out.

posted by robertspeg on April 11, 2011 at 11:15pm
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I'm speaking from experience when I say that your apartment says 'student' in the very best way possible. You've done a great job of creating a clean, practical research space that still has an inviting and relaxed youthfulness to it. Fantastic.

posted by gerundgirl on April 12, 2011 at 1:00am
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Wonderfully lively & sophisticated use of color, and a very smart, appealing layout.

posted by visualeyes on April 12, 2011 at 1:51am
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very nice - blue & yellow is a trendy color scheme, but i like that your blue is not tourquoisey but more a sky blue/muted. i'd love to see the sofa centered between the windows & the large art piece above it. to make space you could move the butcher block island to the long wall by the door & put the smaller art/shelves above that (but a few smidges lower & closer together would be great). if you don't like your sofa so close to the kitchen, try a light divider like wicker or cut out wood painted white? really well done, all in all :)

posted by siska on April 12, 2011 at 2:09am
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Cute and cozy - well done!

posted by martigny on April 12, 2011 at 8:07am
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@azr2005, thanks for the answer. That is genius!!

posted by Swan Ronson on April 12, 2011 at 9:15am
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Lot of things I like here! But one suggestion: The sagging curtain rod propped over the expedit looks pretty unfortunate and student-ish. Why not a tension rod between the wall and the frame of the expedit? I think it'd look cleaner and less obtrusive.

posted by kmk355 on April 12, 2011 at 9:58am
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I love this space! It is open, bright, uncluttered and harmonious which makes living in a space this size enjoyable. I think the only thing I'd change is to center the sofa between the windows, but I see why it is where is.

posted by lishmry on April 12, 2011 at 11:36am
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Hi! Just here taking a second look. I'm curious - did you ever try swapping your TV stand and your coffee table?

posted by robertspeg on April 12, 2011 at 1:00pm
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Thanks again for the nice and helpful comments! To respond to some of the new questions and suggestions I saw:

@NYKate: What’s nice about the bookshelf is its depth (there’s space for two rows of books). In the cubes next to the head of the bed, I have books or files on the front side (living room side), but I left the backsides (bed side) empty for a “nightstand.” In one, there’s my reading lamp and space for my cell phone; in another, there’s space for books and papers; another holds a picture frame and has space for a glass or two.

@IvoryOrange: Luckily most of my schoolbooks are on the living room side of the bookshelf. I do have double rows of books in the cubes closer to the foot of the bed (one row facing out to the living room, the other towards the bed), but I tried to keep the cubes at the head of the bed free of “school stuff” on the bedside and instead open for a “nightstand space.”

@robertspeg: I completely agree with you about the art above the sofa. The next thing I do with this space will definitely be finding something else to put up there. Oh, and about switching the coffee table and tv stand, I actually need to be able to open the lid of the coffee table (it’s where I keep extra towels and linens).

@siska: Thanks for the suggestion about the sofa—I’ll definitely give it a try. I’m a little worried about centering the sofa on the wall because I’d either have to shift the rug over too (and I don’t want it too near the fridge and kitchen because of cooking messes), or I’d have to have the sofa half on/half off the rug. Maybe if I cheat it over, but not quite centered on the wall it’ll work. About the island, are you talking about the wall where the stools currently are, or the wall where the large photo print is?

@kmk355: You’re right, I hadn’t even noticed the drooping. The worst part of it: that actually was the most expensive curtain rod in my apartment. I’m anxious about a tension rod (I don’t want to put pressure on the bookshelf and encourage it to topple), but I totally agree that whatever new rod I get should run from the wall to the frame of the expedit (instead of on top). I think a simple barrel bracket would do it.

posted by azr2005 on April 12, 2011 at 5:51pm
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We LOVE it! You wouldn't happen to be on Chapel, would you? This is the best I've ever seen a space in NH - You've done an amazing job with this space =) Go Bulldogs!

posted by ColoradoMel on April 12, 2011 at 9:23pm
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Where did you get your marvelous two-tone blue curtains? The style lends a little luxury to your neat n' tidy bright space and is a lovely contrast to the buttery yellows.

posted by elbebuz on April 13, 2011 at 12:15am
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i love it..

posted by atfina_14 on April 13, 2011 at 3:23am
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I love this. Lots of light, lots of organization.

posted by amidalailama on April 13, 2011 at 7:46am
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Not generally a fan of blue and yellow, but this is really lovely. You've made it look a bit more modern and less cloyingly country. And I love the giant photo!

posted by FrontPorchPirate on April 13, 2011 at 10:18am
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@azr2005 thanks for the response! I'd figured you put the rod on top because you didn't want to drill into the bookcase. If you're okay with mounting it, that's what I'd do! Overall, the place looks great (and I'm jealous of you for being next to the campus).

posted by kmk355 on April 13, 2011 at 12:58pm
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this place looks like the living room at a retirement home. where everyone is blind. better luck next time on the apartment renovation.

posted by andrewz on April 14, 2011 at 1:57pm
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Love, love, love the kitchen area! The island adds a nice touch to it - not to mention functionality!

posted by owlmug on April 14, 2011 at 11:10pm
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Thanks for sharing this! I am trying to do a color theme like yours right now and am having trouble finding things in dark blue and yellow that I like. You have given me hope and ispiration...and serious rug envy. The rug in fron of you couch is too cool.

posted by OggDefying on April 14, 2011 at 11:15pm
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what a clearly delineated living area. I love clever people =)=)

posted by JulianneMay on April 15, 2011 at 5:51am
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Someone else who color-codes their books!!

posted by emilynoelle on April 15, 2011 at 11:13am
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@ColoradoMel: Thanks! I’m just a little up from Chapel, over on Howe.

@elbebuz: They started off simply as some light blue curtains that I got at Bed Bath & Beyond a couple years ago. When I moved into my new place, they turned out to be too short, so I got some navy fabric from JoAnn’s (only 4.99 a yard) and added it to the bottom with some hem tape. Took only 20/30 minutes for all four, and was a lot cheaper than buying new curtains!

@andrewz: Haha, thanks little brother

@OggDefying: Thanks! The rug is the “birdwalk rug” from CB2. I only got it about 8 months ago, but I don’t think they’re selling it anymore. That said, if you ever find another rug from CB2, this one has been great--thick, little shedding (after the first month or so), and soft.

posted by azr2005 on April 15, 2011 at 1:01pm
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Your place is so cute and well-thought-out, I joined the site just so I could add it to my favorites! I'm totally going to steal some of your ideas :)

posted by melissapauline on April 15, 2011 at 5:46pm
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This is where good taste overcomes finances. And the "separate" bedroom is just right., Well done.

posted by commonwealth on April 15, 2011 at 8:07pm
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Andrewz...Really? that's how you'd like to be remembered? Your comment is so negative it takes on no meaning.

posted by commonwealth on April 15, 2011 at 8:09pm
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Love the bed nook. Cozy! Love it even more after you explained that bed frame has lockable wheels so you simply unlock, roll it out, make bed, roll it back in, and relock wheels. Brilliant! Did you add the wheels yourself? Is so, was it difficult to do?
Also love the fact you taped additional fabric to curtains to lengthen them. Budget-friendly and time-saving (no sewing!) solution. Very impressed by your eye for simplicity, order, and

posted by gekko on April 17, 2011 at 3:21am
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I love the way you utilized that bookshelf!

posted by Cali Chik on April 18, 2011 at 10:30am
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This is a room I kept thinking about till the next day. I love the way you set up your sleeping area.

posted by Mishu Islam on April 22, 2011 at 1:32pm
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wow! i love your place.

posted by queenyellowsun on April 23, 2011 at 2:11am
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Kudos on making 325 sq feet look like 850 sq! Not really liking the shades of blue with yellow repeated every where. Or maybe I wanted see more bold uses of yellow.

Really like the space though.

posted by warlesha21 on April 23, 2011 at 7:58pm
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I apologize for my rude comments. Place looks great. Stupid little brother trying to be funny.

posted by andrewz on May 10, 2011 at 2:27pm
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where did you get the kitchen table/island? I have been looking for something just like that.

posted by lismery on August 12, 2011 at 9:23pm
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