Happy Monday! How is your week going? Well, I’m still in San Francisco, having tons of fun! I thought I would start your week of with some fun too. Eric Schneider is a teacher that lives on the Upper West Side, in Manhattan. Along with his friend and architect, Michael Chen of Normal Projects, they turned his studio into a home that many New Yorkers will envy. Along with a full sized kitchen with has plenty of counter space to cook in, he has a bed, desk area and living room area.
As a designer, when looking at spaces I’m always trying to figure out how to fit everything in, as well as how to improve spaces. When I saw the video of Eric’s apartment I really was impressed. I’m not sure what I would do differently. Michael has planned every detail so carefully, and the entire space is very well thought out. The Murphy bed folds into the well designed wall, which also unfolds a desk area. When unfolded, the bedroom area divides the living area, and when closed up, there is enough room for a small party. Or a large one, depending on how crazy you want to get!
I have more than just a video for you today. As a special treat, Eric has agreed to answer a few questions. Isn’t it your lucky day? Here is the video, and below are the questions and answers.
TR: What were your biggest concerns when starting the design process?
ES: My biggest concern, easily, was my lack of expertise in the area of home improvement. I never could have done this without my architect. Even so, it was anxiety-inducing to be making decisions on my own. I was fortunate to work with an architect who knows me, my tastes, and my lifestyle. He was able to design the perfect space for me in light of that.
TR: Did you get everything you wanted to fit into your apartment? If not, what do you miss having?
ES: Yes, essentially. In other words, of course I have to make choices about what I can and cannot keep in my apartment, but I appreciate and am refreshed by that active, regular process. In the end, I’ve found nifty solutions to containing a great deal, without living in a space that feels cluttered; and I am very satisfied by all that I manage to have in my apartment. The kitchen alone, I dare say, would be the envy of many New Yorkers who like to cook.
TR: What was your number one priority when the design process started?
ES: Making a studio apartment multi-functional and, on a related note, enhancing its sense of space.
TR: I didn’t notice a bathroom? Is it a shared bathroom with the rest of the floor? If so, how have you adjusted to this?
ES: How people assume! I have a bathroom, just like most other people. The press has so far not focused on it, but it’s there, off the small hall that’s next to my front door. Like the rest of the apartment, it’s small, but it’s similarly renovated so that its fixtures are new and modern. We also focused on lighter wall colors, which, along with its window, open it up a little more.
TR: How did you and Michael decide on a color scheme? Were there colors you avoided, so not to compress the space?
ES: You can see from my answer above that we shied away from darker colors, yes. Most of the walls are white, which balance out the bursts of bold colors that stand out in various parts of the apartment. Michael was perceptive of my personality in his recommendation of these colors, and I’m thankful for that. The orange couch, blue cabinet, and red shelving panel, among others, liven my space.
TR: What are you most happiest with in your apartment?
ES: There are so many things! I’ve mentioned a number of them. One fortunate aspect of the place, even before work was done on it, is that it gets a great deal of natural light. I love that. I’m also pleased with the surprise factor of the Murphy bed. It’s easy to use, and it effectively transitions my one-room home from sleeping quarters to living quarters. Its fold-up, multi-purpose operation set a theme that I’ve continued to attain in other purchases, such as my foldable bike, which I can easily store in the kitchen corner.
TR: What advice would you give to future small space owners?
ES: One response leads right into another: Consider multiple uses of single items. Be deliberate and discriminating in your acquisitions. Learn to live with less.