Designing for Small Spaces

Whether you live in a modest studio or a trendy loft, it can prove challenging to design and organize a small living space. Luckily, there are simple and creative ways to make a tiny apartment feel [almost] like a penthouse. 

Photo courtesy of Original Style.

In the kitchen, a large, rectangular dining table takes up most of the space. Opt for a small, round table so you can maximize the space to move around in when cooking or entertaining guests. Cabinetry tends to have extra space at the top and bottom. Go for cabinets that go all the way up and down, making the room feel higher. Mirrors create an allusion that a room is larger than it seems. The oldest trick in the design book, mirrors expand the space and add dimension.  

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland.

Photo courtesy of Essential Home.

Day-beds double the size of a bedroom. Try and find a day-bed that is multi-functional, providing storage space or an extra bed when a guest stays over for a night. Don’t have a spot for a desk? Install a wall desk, which takes up less room compared to a regular one. Mount shelves about it for extra storage. 

For studio apartments with less area and no defined rooms, create zones by using dividers or other furniture. This design strategy helps designate where people can go when they visit and what is more private. 

Photo courtesy of Noa and Nani.

Photo courtesy of Einrichten-design.de.

Photo courtesy of Go Modern Furniture.

Utilize pieces of furniture for more than one use. A coffee table can be used as a dinner table, an extra chair means a nightstand. Sofa beds are a great way to take advantage of a location for people to sit and become a place to sleep at night. Murphy beds keep where you sleep hidden and some come with shelving for storage. 

Cheerful, bright colors open up space and liven it up. Pick out colors such as turquoise or pink hues. Cool, even tones make the room feel as if it’s larger than it is. If bright colors aren’t your thing, try neutral, even tones such as tans or grays. This color scheme tricks the eye into thinking the room is bigger than it is.

Photo courtesy of PLACE TO BE.

KB Home Design Studio is known for working with customers as they are building a new home to help them personalize the space for their individual needs.

 

“Because each customer is unique with different tastes, we must be able to include choices that reflect many design aesthetics,” says Gena Kirk, Vice President of Design at KB Home.

 

This method comes readily at hand with a market that is continually evolving, with millennials currently making up the largest share of homebuyers in today’s market. We spoke with Kirk to learn more about how designers and brands like KB Home are staying on the pulse of emerging design trends and what millennials are really desiring in their homes.

 

What tools outside of work help inspire you while you work? 

These are some of the mediums that aid me in selecting the best choices for our KB Home Design Studio customer. In addition to the usual interior design outlets that inspire me, I am also inspired by our supplier partner’s innovative products and consumer research such as Moen’s Magnetix Handheld Shower and Shaw’s Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring.

We’re accommodating a wide variety of customers who are looking to personalize their home at an affordable price so the more information we have about the products being developed and available the better we can provide value products to our KB customer. 

 

 

 

Gena Kirk, Vice President of Design

KB Home

Are there some that don’t inspire but help you get away from work?

I am personally inspired by such mediums as home design shows, decorating magazines, Houzz, Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, decorating blogs and following retail furniture trends. 

 

What kind of styles/trends are most prevalent in millennial-bought homes today, and why?

In millennial-built homes, we’re seeing from the KB Home Design studio a few things. For example, they’re prioritizing things such as flexible spaces within the home, an eye towards health and wellness, an interest in technology and a minimalist design. KB Home tracks these interests to make sure we’re offering our millennial buyer what they’re expecting and what they want to make their homes their own. 

 

Millennials are purchasing only the square footage they need verses the biggest home they can afford. This makes flexible spaces very important to these buyers and they want to make best use of that space.  

 

Millennials also have an interest in the home as a source of health and wellness. They have an interest in things like door fixtures that are antibacterial, or no-touch have become popular, as well as Energy Star HVAC that helps not only cut down on utility costs, but also provides clean indoor air. 

 

Lastly, millennials are looking to a minimalist design aesthetic. This also helps maximize their living space and provide a clean, modern look. They will use neutral paint colors, like greige, to warm the space. 

 

What has been your favorite project to work on at KB Home?

My favorite and most rewarding project to work on was designing, creating and building the new KB Design Studio. KB Home was able to highlight our personalization options in beautiful design studios across the company. Our suppliers have their product on display and are uniquely merchandised to promote customer interaction and product sales. Additionally, our customers love the interactive displays and organized choice making the selection process easy and fun!

 

Was there anything that inspired you specifically?

Designing the KB Home Studio was more challenging than designing a room. I considered the warm and welcoming feeling that I wanted the space to convey, as well as the idea that the KB Home studio needed to inspire our customers and provide them with a creative space to fully personalize and envision their new home.

KB Home Studio. All photos courtesy KB Home.

FROM JIMI HENDRIX’S ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS IN NEW YORK CITY TO GRAMMY-WINNING PRODUCER PAUL EPSWORTH’S THE CHURCH STUDIOS IN LONDON, THE ARTIST-DRIVEN RECORDING STUDIO IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF POPULAR MUSIC.

 

Vibrant spaces designed with the artist in mind, studios like these have become commonplace in North America and Europe where the shared appetite for popular music has created something of an arm’s race, as each studio tries to pack in the latest technology and attract the best artistic talent.

 

A name that may soon be added to this list is Beijing’s 55TEC, a brand new studio that is currently dominating the Chinese pop charts with a string of chart-topping hits, and is turning China’s recording industry into a global competitor.

 

55TEC, designed by the world renowned acoustic design firm Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG), is answering China’s appetite for pop, an appetite that has been pushed into overdrive by its growing young population and recent economic strides into cosmopolitan status.

 

A New York-based firm, WSDG has built its reputation on sterling room design in recording studios and live performances spaces across the world. “WSDG knows how to make a world class studio,” explains Li You, head engineer and owner of 55TEC.

 

“Our clients have been very pleased with the look, sound quality, and vibe of our live and control rooms. This is all due to WSDG’s design work.”

 

The studio has boasted almost 30 charting singles in its first 18 months of operation and is showing no sign of slowing down. Its latest triumph is a song by action movie superstar Jackie Chan, which has currently spent 18-weeks at #1 on the Chinese pop charts. Chan’s hit song, “Nothing Is The Same As Before,” has become a compelling calling card that is drawing new talent to 55TEC.

 

“For the artist, the choice of recording studio is crucial,” Li You notes. “They need a place that inspires their performances and makes them feel like they can do their best work.”

 

 

Photos courtesy WSDG.

FROM JIMI HENDRIX’S ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS IN NEW YORK CITY TO GRAMMY-WINNING PRODUCER PAUL EPSWORTH’S THE CHURCH STUDIOS IN LONDON, THE ARTIST-DRIVEN RECORDING STUDIO IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF POPULAR MUSIC.

 

Vibrant spaces designed with the artist in mind, studios like these have become commonplace in North America and Europe where the shared appetite for popular music has created something of an arm’s race, as each studio tries to pack in the latest technology and attract the best artistic talent.

 

A name that may soon be added to this list is Beijing’s 55TEC, a brand new studio that is currently dominating the Chinese pop charts with a string of chart-topping hits, and is turning China’s recording industry into a global competitor. 55TEC, designed by the world renowned acoustic design firm Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG), is answering China’s appetite for pop, an appetite that has been pushed into overdrive by its growing young population and recent economic strides into cosmopolitan status.

 

A New York-based firm, WSDG has built its reputation on sterling room design in recording studios and live performances spaces across the world. “WSDG knows how to make a world class studio,” explains Li You, head engineer and owner of 55TEC.

 

“Our clients have been very pleased with the look, sound quality, and vibe of our live and control rooms. This is all due to WSDG’s design work.”

 

The studio has boasted almost 30 charting singles in its first 18 months of operation and is showing no sign of slowing down. Its latest triumph is a song by action movie superstar Jackie Chan, which has currently spent 18-weeks at #1 on the Chinese pop charts. Chan’s hit song, “Nothing Is The Same As Before,” has become a compelling calling card that is drawing new talent to 55TEC.

 

“For the artist, the choice of recording studio is crucial,” Li You notes. “They need a place that inspires their performances and makes them feel like they can do their best work.”

 

Photos courtesy WSDG.

This super high-end recording facility is perched atop a scenic bluff overlooking the pristine Minas Gerais mountain range.

By Brielle Bryan

Global architectural acoustic consulting firm Walters-Storyk Design Group announced the opening of Brazil’s first world-class, destination recording facility, Sonastério Studios. A 30-minute drive from Belo Horizonte, the luxurious home is a collaboration between famed Brazilian architect João Diniz and WSDG, and was created for the famous musician and engineer Bruno Barros.

The modernistic glass and concrete 8,000 square foot structure is meticulously well appointed, and features a 1,500-square-foot world-class recording studio with 20-foot-high ceilings. This super high-end recording facility is also perched atop a scenic bluff overlooking the pristine Minas Gerais mountain range.

“Sonastério Studios is a work of art in itself,” Barros said. “More than just a recording studio, Sonastério is a house of creation designed to enhance the natural expressiveness of each artist.”

WSDG was engaged during the earliest phases of the project to ensure a seamless integration of the recording studio component — a key requirement of Barros from the beginning. WSDG has designed nearly 4,000 media production facilities worldwide. Its projects range from Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studio and Jazz At Lincoln Center in New York to broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET. WSDG has additionally designed private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys and Academy Award-nominated film composer Carter Burwell.

In addition to this showcase home’s recording studio, which features an SSL 924 recording console, it has three guest bedrooms, 5-star amenities, abundant natural lighting and drop-dead gorgeous views from both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Photos courtesy of WSDG

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