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I recently collaborated with interior designer and blogger Stephanie Sabbe on a small space decorating story for Boston Home magazine called “Made To Measure." Sabbe decorated relatively small (just under 1,000-square-foot) condo for two young doctors in Boston's South End neighborhood. Sabbe is the master of efficiency. She told me, "City apartments are too expensive for people to not be utilizing every square foot to its maximum potential.”
The main living space is open, with the kitchen, dining, and living area flowing one to the next. The couple wanted a formal dining area that didn't overwhelm the space. Sabbe used a few tricks to make it happen, including choosing a glass dining table, which is less of a “visual space eater” than the reclaimed barn wood they initially requested.
In addition to two comfy dining chairs at either end (with relatively low profiles to keep city views in sight), Sabbe went with ottomans and a bench that could be tucked right underneath to keep floor space free and clear. These pieces are portable, and can easily be moved into the living room when there's a crowd. Sabbe incorporated otter pieces that do double duty, like the kitchen's height adjustable bar stools, which swivel down from bar to table height, allowing two more people to squeeze in at the table when needed.
Shopping guide: 1. Zuo Modern Xert White Upholstered Dining Chairs 2. Warm Bronze Industrial Pendant 3. Safavieh Harrison Single Tray Ottoman 4. Jamie Young Americana Metal & Wood Stool 5. Zuo Graphite Clear Glass Modern Dining Table
A highly textural grass cloth wall covering already adorned the entry when the couple moved in. Sabbe found a super skinny table to fit the narrow hall (and satisfy the homeowners penchant for barn wood) and hung an eagle-topped convex mirror in order to break up the linearity of the space.
Shopping guide: 1. Rectangular Cunningham Rustic Wood & Iron Console 2. Regency Eagle Gold Leaf Convex Wall Mirror 3. Forecast Cassandra Collection Natural Ceiling Light
Sabbe used a bold chevron rug in the living room, paired with an existing neutral chair and sofa, so sprinkling in vintage finds was important to achieve a collected look. The couple scored this Dansk credenza, which the husband painted chartreuse. A distinctive floor lamp completes the look.
Shopping guide: 1. Regency Ivory Lacquer Accent Chest 2. Horse Silhouette Art 3. Diamante Green Rug 4. Lite Source Fenella Floor Lamp
Working on a budget (as is common with small space decorating), Sabbe decided there was no need to throw out their perfectly good duvet. She did, however, spruce it up with a chartreuse border to match the throw pillows. The drapes were also done to fit the color scheme. The bedroom is a bit petite, to say the least, so there was only room for one small side table. Both husband and wife like to read in bed, so Sabbe attached wall lamps for bedroom reading overhead.
Shopping guide: 1. Small Round Rawson Wood Side Table 2. Modern Lattice Green & Natural Throw Pillow 3. Sonneman Perch Black Brass Pharmacy Wall Lamp
All interior photos by Bob O'Connor for Boston Home. For more photos of this small Boston condo visit StyleCarrot.
Marni Elyse Katz is a Boston-based writer and editor, and the blogger behind StyleCarrot. She began her career in the fashion closet of Rolling Stone before moving into the digital space, where she worked for both indie startups and biggies, like AOL. Today, Marni writes regularly for Boston Globe Magazine and other local publications, and is Features Editor at Design Milk. In addition to cultivating a serious Pinterest habit and Instagram addiction, Marni masquerades as an interior designer. She also collects art with her husband, including many nude drawings and paintings, to the dismay of their two easily embarrassed sons. Follow Marni on Google+