Big solutions for small spaces
Chicago Tribune (MCT) - Living practically and attractively in a small space is a delicate dance. It requires colors and scales that don't overwhelm; accessories that look good but also perform a function, and a type of just-right storage and organization that keeps necessities at hand yet somehow barely noticeable. It helps to have the assistance of someone who has worked with small spaces, although even then, a certain amount of trial and error is unavoidable. It ain't easy, that's for sure.
The small trend is so big, as a matter of fact, that a single newspaper story could never do it justice. A more efficient way of handling it, perhaps, is to show off a small sampling of the smartest innovations to come out recently.
1. Callie Modular
Aspenhome's very versatile Callie Modular offers an entire living room's worth of furniture in the package of one sofa. Keep it connected as the main _ and perhaps only _ seating in a tiny room, or break apart and reconfigure into different seating arrangements (chaise longue, love seat, ottoman, corner chair, armless chair) when guests converge. Built-in metal connectors keep the unit hitched into the sofa state and fold in when you want to rearrange.
Cost: Order as many or as few pieces as you'd like; $499 (corner chair), $399 (armless chair), $299 (ottoman), $1,197 (three-piece group shown in photo).
Where to get it: Most Walter E. Smithe locations, 800-948-4263, smithe.com.
2. Versatile Vanity Collection
Sonia's new online "configurador" allows you to customize the sink, mirror and vanity arrangement that best fits your bathroom. Play around with arrangements online (sonia-sa.com/configurador/configurador.html) and bring your favorites to your local retailer. The collection's sleek, thin aesthetic and colored-glass finishes are especially fitting in the closetlike half-baths that populate so many Chicago condos.
Cost: $155 (glass front of base unit) to $2,450 (37-inch-wide glass top); a fully decked-out system can run up to $8,000.
Where to buy: bannerplumbing.com.
3. Series 200 Wall Mount
Pocket doors have the potential to save the average 8- to 10-square-feet of floor space taken up by traditional swinging doors. Johnson Hardware's new Series 200 Wall Mount is a hardware kit that "fakes" the functionality of a pocket door through the use of a mounted sliding track. Just the thing for rooms that require the privacy or security of a door but don't have the space to accommodate one.
Cost: $175 (48 inches) to $230 (8 foot).
Where to get it: johnsonhardware.com
4. Affinity Laptop Cocktail Table
Working in front of the TV has become part of the daily agenda at this point, and furniture manufacturers have been accommodating that habit. Broyhill's new piece continues the trend in an especially sleek and compact fashion. With a little maneuvering, the Affinity becomes a hard-working desk. The front panel rises to an ergonomically conscious height to set your computer, while the rear panel conceals a removable desk organization tray. Beneath both surfaces are storage cubbies.
Where to buy: Darvin Furniture, darvin.com.
5. 30-inch, 5-burner gas cooktop
KitchenAid figured out a way to fit the number of burners normally monopolized by commercial ranges (five) into a non-commercial, 30-inch cooktop. How'd they do it? By placing one burner _ the largest of the five _ in the center of the other four. All five burners are sealed for easy cleaning.
Where to buy: Call 800-422-1230 or visit kitchenaid.com to find a retailer near you.
6. Vapor Dining Chair
The clear, molded acrylic of this new Vapor Chair makes it there and not there at the same time. Scattered around a table in a cramped dining room or tucked in a corner next to a desk, it serves its purpose without making a big show of it.
Where to buy: CB2, cb2.com.
7. Palomba Collection Wall-Mount Toilet
Wall-mount toilets are becoming all the rage for their space-conscious design _ the tank, base and pipes are concealed within the wall. This version from Switzerland-based Laufen is about as simple as it gets _ yet somehow still beautiful. Best for remodeling or new-construction projects, as their installation requires fairly major plumbing.
Where to buy: Waterware, 1829 S. State St., Chicago; 312-225-4549.
8. Mia Nesting Tables
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
In this set of three high-gloss lacquered nesting tables, the largest table has a removable drawer that doubles as a 20-inch square tray. Stack the tables when you ...
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