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Bright colors invigorate a small Manhattan apartment


A 600 sq. ft. studio apartment*

I love strong color on walls.  When it is well done it looks stunning and deceptively easy to accomplish.  But remember color theory?  Orange and blue directly complement one another. Using large swathes of saturated complements, such as the ones shown in this image, may spell visual calamity.

Today the New York Times’ Home and Garden section featured Enid Woodward’s 600 square foot studio apartment in Manhattan.  This wonderful example shows how bright colors and good design can invigorate a small space.

Woodward worked with Carl D’Aquino and Francine Monaco of D’Aquino Monaco, an architecture and design firm.  They gutted the wall between the bedroom and living room as well as the wall in the postage stamp sized kitchen.  The blue was inspired from Woodward’s connection with Buddhism and with the imagery of the Hindu gods which sometimes feature intense blue as a background. The renovation cost about

$150,000 and took about 18 months from planning to completion.  Furnishings added another $15,000.

Click on these links for books on designing/living in small spaces:

1. Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by Gillingham-Ryan.

2.  The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space by Brown and Kuma.


West Elm bookcases, Paul T. Frankl chairs, Saarinen table from Design Within Reach*


the 6ft x 7ft kitchen*

*Photos courtesy of Trevor Tondro for The New York Times.

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