The panic I was in when I arrived in Italy and got an email from a friend/reader saying how amazing Nick Olsen’s project in Veranda was…and I had left the USofA magazine-less? Actually, you probably can’t because I am sure it is not normal to be in Italy pining for a magazine, but OBJECTION! Relevance?
Which is all I needed because yes, Nick Olsen’s project in Veranda was joyful.
As they do every small spaces issue.
Remember David Kaihoi’s cover on the small space issue 2 years ago?
Was design lovers (and personal lovers) Bill Brockschmidt and Richard Dragisic’s 640 sq foot apartment. 640 sq. feet, people, that is INSANE!!! That is the foy-yay of a Housewives house!
Those bookshelf stairs lead up to a cozy little bed loft. When entertaining they use the landing on the stairs as the bar/buffet.
Construction-wise they removed a wall that separated the downstairs space and opened it up into one big room, I believe they either added the loft space or at least the stairs that getcha there. The added doors in the hallway and wallpapered them so you weren’t aware that you were entering the apartment through the kitchen.
And now I know I favor high gloss mustard yellow and cobalt blue and some of you might be thinking this place is just much much too much for you in not enough room, but let me explain what EVERYONE should take away from this apartment. This space, without their gay sparkle, is your average tiny, new, apartment grade, loft space. Which I know in NYC is still spensive, but elsewhere that is what the 20-30 year old city buyers are getting themselves into. Look closely. No architectural details. No moulding Tricky double height ceilings. Giant, but charmless windows. I have helped several post-collegiate clients with spaces like this in the past year, and while you can’t achieve this level of greatness without some serious DIY/elbow grease, monies, or both, I think it is super inspiring to see what your basic new white box can be if you really want it to be.
But this is what we all need to hyper focus on and take away from the situation.
Thems be Ikea cabinets. Formica countertop. And, as quoted by the owners/designers “the cheapest subway tile” they could find. Can’t even afford ikea cabinets right now? Paint that junk white and detail it out with some gold paint. Can’t afford even the cheapest tile? Paint the backsplash too, and when you get some dollahs send em that way for the real deal. Find some new cabinet knobs, anthro charges like $20 crazy dollars a piece, but ebay, your local junk shops, even a good internet search can find you some good uns.
Obviously you all need to go out, if you haven’t already, and delight in the actual quality pics. If I felt strongly enough about them to share my crappy iPhone shots of the pages, it is worth your $10 to see the real deal.
And a few notes to the magazines themselves.
Fancy Veranda- You have gotten pretty cool. Thank you for featuring Nick Olsen and a lot of the other good junk you have been showing us lately. You are still fancy, but not so stuffy, and you have moved much higher up my list of Top 5 mags I would bring to a deserted island.
House Beautiful- These small space issues are insanely good. Whoever is in charge of scouting them, editing, the copy, the PRODUCT PAGES, they all deserve gold stars. You used the word “magical” on your cover, and so I know there is something new and funky in the water over at your parts, and I give it all a hearty hug.
That is all. Expect an instagram onslaught tomorrow of all the pretty design moments I have experienced in Italy so far. Also know that I have time to do these posts because on this trip Gracie has been sick for 4 days, Pete has been sick for 5, and now the other members of our party are droppin’ like flies. Ruh Roh, better go drink so orange juice asap!