When it comes to small spaces, I choose to celebrate them! You see, I am quite fond of old houses and, because many of them come with little rooms, I consider these modest spaces an important part of the overall character. A home comprised entirely of tiny rooms might be challenging, but a few can be charming – even special if thoughtfully appointed. So let me share examples from our home. These rooms are decorated with function, flow, and aesthetics in mind.
But first, it’s my pleasure to announce the winner of the 6 Wilson pillow drawing chosen randomly at 10:00 PM on 2/15/14 via random.org. There were 144 entries, but three were duplicate / clarification comments.
Congrats to anonymous comment #6 – Barbara P (pligko)! Carol will email you for shipping info. Many thanks to everyone for participating in this drawing. I hope you all will continue visiting 6 Wilson. I am especially grateful to Carol
for her generosity!
Now let’s start the tour:
Guests are greeted in our 7′ 4″ x 6′ 2″ entry foyer located on the side. For reference, the average sofa is about 7′ long.
Originally, there wasn’t a foyer as the front door, located in the center, opened ungraciously right into the living room. (See before photos below.) During the renovation, a portion of the wraparound porch was converted into the new entry vestibule.
This simple foyer is furnished exclusively with antiques. The Swedish console is long, narrow, and airy. Its drawers are perfect for keys, gloves, etc., while the open legs allow the French iron stools to be tucked under. Not all the furniture in a small room should be undersized. One large statement piece can create an illusion of scale. Here, I’ve chosen a French trumeau mirror to do just that. On the console is an early barometer.
On the other side is the coat closet. Embellishing these doors would draw attention to their short stature, so I opted for molding-free jib doors with concealed hinges and sliver-thin pulls.
The tole sconces and iron umbrella stand are French from the early 1900s – imagine the fish “swimming in the water” from wet umbrellas.
The entry leads into the 9′ x 7′ 8″ conservatory, which was formerly a dated sunroom with partially glazed windows, terra-cotta tiles, and pine paneling. A large skylight, floor-to-ceiling windows, and limestone flooring completely changed this little room.
There are two sitting rooms directly off the conservatory, so I mainly use it to grow my beloved topiaries.
What’s this? A red geranium?? 🙂 The blackbird is from a cute shop in Brooklyn, NY.
Once again, I’ve furnished this room with smaller-scaled antiques such as the American Delaware blanket chest, French iron bench, and Swedish table. The exception is this tall Swedish Gustavian corner cabinet to take the eye up. Even with all the furniture and plants, there is ample room to walk through.
Please step inside our compact 4′ 5″ x 6′ powder room. There is a pocket door, which I highly recommend for small spaces such as closets, bathrooms, etc. To not crowd the room, I chose an open-leg sink console from Waterworks. An antique French silver gilt mirror is flanked by sconces made from architectural elements.
The group of 17th century German garden studies add impact and scale. They are almost like window panes looking out to garden plots. And the architectural zinc corbel ties to the sconces’ curlicues. Five years later, I’m still searching for that just-right wallpaper 🙂
Finally, our sunny mudroom which we added during the renovation. Notice the abundance of natural light and airiness. Since there are two closets to the right, storage is not an issue here. When I found this antique pine piece in France, I knew it would make an unusual but special focal point for this casual space. It’s open shelves are decorative and sensible – no need for cumbersome doors. Also, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams give the room extra height and volume.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our small spaces. Remember, a tiny room does have to be forgettable!!
– Consider using antiques and vintage pieces as these are usually smaller. Plus, being one of a kind, they are sure to stand out.
– Do include something larger, showy, or unexpected for scale and impact.
– A table with legs allows a stool or two underneath, which can be pulled out for seating when needed.
– When space is tight, try a pocket door.
– Open shelves are airier and do not have cumbersome doors.
– If you can’t expand out, then go up. Add volume with vaulted ceilings.
– Bring in more natural light with skylights, taller windows, cupolas, transoms, etc.
Until next time ~