Take me out of this place I’m in…*

*Lyrics from Human by Daughter off their album If You Leave. I found this on spotify (naturally) and really enjoyed their acoustic “spotify session’s” version. I recommend you check it out before you hear their original album version. The song felt appropriate for my first substantive post in a while. After all, we’re all just human, underneath it all.

I know. I know! It’s been a long, LONG time since we moved in. Since I shared anything relevant to design. I know. Let me make it up to you?

Welcome home.

So, here it is, the Pied-à-Deux: our tiny, sweet, tiny, small, cozy, small, bitty, efficient, annoyingly small living room. And it’s our entryway, and our closet, and my office, and our guest room, and part of our bedroom in that the TV sits on a dresser 2/3 full of our clothing. It’s small. It’s been tough to cope with how small it is, but we really tried to make it as beautiful and practical as possible. And we do like it very much.

BEFORE (left): Former tenant’s furniture layout didn’t feel as useful to us. AFTER (right): We reoriented the sofa/TV layout to allow for easier access to the niches.

And, I can finally reveal that we chose to go with the upholstered bench/ottoman for a coffee table in here. (I hope you weren’t waiting with bated breath after this post.) We ordered it in July, but it didn’t come until late-August, and then life (visiting niece, vacation, other projects, etc.) got in the way, and I never felt ready to share.

Top: Bold patterns with nods to geometric forms play off some botanical embroidered pillows. Bottom: Upholstered bench, topped with a serving tray, is an easy reach for feet, beverages, magazines and the all-important remote control.

I think a part of me felt that because this space isn’t perfect, because there are things I would change design-wise if I could start again, because it’s been really, really tough downsizing and trying to make things work together that weren’t ever meant to co-exist (and generally adjusting to a radically new lifestyle after we sold the house) that if I shared my unfinished work I’d just feel like a hack. And that’s the last thing I needed.

We carved out an “entryway” of sorts by tucking a clear glass table beneath a vintage mirror. Stacks of cookbooks (that don’t fit into the kitchen) share space with the bag drop-zone. The top of the table serves as a makeshift bar, and a spot to rest our daily detritus.

So, here are some source details (on the things that weren’t in the original Pied): sideboard/dresser/TV stand was a craigslist find that we had in our old dining room; ottoman/coffee table is from Ballard Designs; glass entryway table is from Crate & Barrel (similar to this); mercury glass lamps from Room & Board (similar here); blue and white sofa pillows from HomeGoods; throw blankets from Brahms Mount (via Serena & Lily).

It’s tight, but it works. When I need to work at my desk I grab a chair from the kitchen. Nothing extraneous exists in here.

Wall color: Benjamin Moore Gentleman’s Gray. Sofa: West Elm Bliss.

Vintage decanter: High Street Market. Tray: Williams-Sonoma Outlet.

Small space living isn’t easy, but it is enlightening. All of those things you thought you needed? You don’t. All of those things you miss? Well, you get to really pay attention to what you miss and why, when you’re forced to face it all, up close and personal.

Wall color: Gentleman’s Gray. Art: etsy, 20×200, originals by me and Jeff, print from my sister.



    1. kati Post author

      Haha! Been there, buddy… our bedroom/sleeping area, well, that’s a whole other story. Not done. Not ready for its close up.

  1. lindsaykim@mac.com'Lindsay@domicile{blog}

    WOW! Love the wall color, furniture {that sideboard pops!}, arrangement, fabric curtain/room separator…on and on and on. I like what you say about enlightened living with less. It’s so true, I wish I was better at it.
    Also, new web design is the best. Did you do?

    1. kati Post author

      Thanks, Lindsay! My husband did the design based on many, many requirements by me. The design of my niece’s desk was done by me, though. And it took forever. 😉

  2. caitlin.chagan@gmail.com'Caitlin

    Hi there! I absolutely love your space! Is it true that you are leaving? My boyfriend and I are looking to move in together in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area — any chance that you know if your space is still available? I can tell you have obviously put much love and care in… I would love to be able to do the same 🙂

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