Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces

July 26, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan is the founder of Apartment Therapy, a popular network of blogs that reaches millions monthly — all that grew from his passion for decorating and his interior design business. He is also an author with several books under his belt, his most recent happens to be my favorite one from his batch and it’s called Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces published by Potter.


I’d like to briefly review it now though bottom line: Whether you live small, large or somewhere in between this book is packed with great ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

“According to Maxwell, size constraints can actually unlock your design creativity and allow you to focus on what’s essential. In this vibrant book, he shares forty small, cool spaces that will change your thinking forever.”

I agree with Maxwell completely. I’d like to go a bit further to say that not only size constraints can unlock your creativity but also structural and aesthetic restraints that many who rent property have to deal with on a daily basis. Hating your carpet without the ability to simply tear it up can be depressing but it can also stimulate creative, fresh ideas. In this book, the focus is on size and how to make the best use of the space with mostly elements that you can bring in — the focus isn’t so much on the gorgeous tiled bathroom you can install in your small home, but on maximizing the space in your current, modest bathroom and what some key ingredients are in that space that take the focus off of how small it is.

I notice that each home seems to do the same thing right: focal points exist! It’s so important to have good focal points in each room in your home despite the shape though often small space dwellers tend to think there is no room for focal points — this book crushes that common misconception as you browse the inspirational photographs.

All of the apartments and homes in this book demonstrate hundreds of inventive solutions for creating more space in your home, and for making your home feel more comfortable and welcoming. Maxwell tours us of entryways, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, dining spaces, kids’ rooms and home offices. He gives ideas on how to shift the sense of scale through contrasting colors, adding an office to a bedroom, and tons of storage and decorating inspiration for every room.

This book is divine — I really like it — and is currently on my coffee table next to my other current faves where I’m sure your copy of this book will end up, too! :)

(images: apartment therapy)