Inspiration Album


Small modern dining room with red accents

I listen to this debate all the time: does a dark color shrink a room or not? I'd like to answer that with 'Yes and no.' A dark color can bring the walls closer towards you, but it also makes the room appear to be vast, like the night.... I remember years ago seeing a photo of a room Billy Baldwin designed in the sixties. It described the paint color as 'Coca-Cola,' or what I would call a red black, but it was in one of those Upper East Side apartments with plenty of wood paneling painted white so the color never became overwhelming. I thought this room was gorgeous, and it made quite and impression on me. I live in the smallest apartment in Christendom and have a long, dark brown accent wall. So for the end of small apartment month at Apartment Therapy, let's take another survey. Who is brave enough among you to paint a small space dark, and what would you choose? Once again, I'll try to pick fun colors for our options. Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter.

Small contemporary dining room

Q: We're giving our living room and fireplace a makeover. The fireplace has deep grout that makes a simple re-paint job difficult and I don't like the dust accumulation in the grout areas. We will replace the drywall and plan to tile over the brick with Walker Zanger tile called Sansui. My husband and I can't decide if we should hang these long and narrow tiles vertical or horizontal. What should we do with the damaged black slate bench, keep it or change it? Our kitchen has red oak flooring which is in need of refinishing and the front hall is tiled with the black slate. Should we match the kitchen or go with another type of surface. Should we change the entry flooring to match the kitchen?Sent by Leslie. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Leslie in the comments - thanks! Got a question? Email yours with pic attachments here.

Minimalist dining room

Ok, that's a dramatic opener, but this book is really remarkable in its structure, quality of photos and pure enjoyment value. Arranged from smallest to largest, the homes featured in Living Large in Small Spaces start at 100 square feet and go up to 1000 square feet; from simple student digs to the just-so grandeur of some very elegant abodes. It's the closest thing we've seen to the AT House Tours meets the Small Cool Contest....on paper. 400 pages of inspiration, ideas, eye candy and voyeuristic forays into the homes of people from across the US. Our copy is getting worn out from the many many times we pull it off the shelf and enjoy it. We've often wondered how many fellow AT-er's also have this book in their design library.... Written by Marisa Bartolucci with photos by Radek Kurzaj, it is available in bookstores everywhere and online.

Dining room with feature wall

One very small things that I grew up with in my parents' house was the presence of nightlights in the hallways. They only came on when the hallways were dark; as a kid, this was highly useful when my imagination went into overdrive and I thought monsters were going to jump out at me from the coat closet. Ever since I've lived on my own, I've always kept a nightlight in the hallway. It's mainly due to habit; but it's definitely saved me from a lot of stubbed toes, numerous cases of having the heebie-jeebies, and tripping over rugs and dog toys. Do you keep a nightlight on in your home? Do you have any little things that you do that makes your home feel a wee bit safer?

Dining room with modern furniture

Q: We just bought a 1930s tudor, and can't figure out how to layout our living room. The room has lots of openings as well as a fireplace. Should we mount the television over the fireplace, keep it on the wall where the previous owners had it, or something else? I wish scrapping the tv altogether was an option, but my husband won't oblige. We'd like to maximize our seating options without creating disjointed space or having to squeeze by furniture to get from room to room. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Terra in the comments - thanks! Have a question for our community? Send us yours with a photo or two attached.

Eccletic dining room


Small industrial feel dining room


Picnic table and yellow accents dining room


Minimalist dining room

We're quite fond of putting a small, sometimes subtle spin on the traditional to make it something new and fresh. These mirrors are a great example.... The frame of the mirror is nothing new-a gilded ornate molding for a rectangular mirror. Goody Grams has shaken it up a bit by creating a ledge that is also mirrored, making it seem like the mirror has been bent at a 90 degree angle. It is a simple detail, but we think it gives this mirror a very interesting look. Used as a tray, we can see this being a great entryway mirror. We really like the way it looks in the corner of a wall or ceiling. It's a bit of unexpected fun-the kind we can really appreciate in a home.

Dining room with eccletic furniture


Outdoor furniture in indoor dining room

I had decided on dark tile floors, but now I am wavering and thinking about something light colored....apartmenttherapy(dot)com). Can you tell me will dark floors make my tiny place look bigger or smaller? The overall effect that I want is it to be airy and organic. In general, the lighter the floors the airier the space. Check out the rooms in today's earlier post on Stellan Herner's interior photographs. We pulled another example of a bright, simple, organic space - Andreas's Greektown Loft house tour. He chose to paint his floors black throughout rooms otherwise committed to white and off-white. What to AT-ers think? Should Karen go bold with dark tiles or emphasize openness with light floors? Karen, whatever you decide, please send in some photos!

Dining room with 50s furniture


Small dining room with green walls

We love this sweeping staircase even without its hidden storage, but the bank of drawers elevates these stairs to a masterpiece.... Ctd 2005 designed these stairs for a client who wanted to combine Shaker and Japanese utility into the space. There are lots of other great inspirational pictures in Ctd 2005's photostream.

Dining room with leather chairs

I love that we made a tiny room feel gracious and bright! Victorian Houses in Richmond, Virginia's Historic Fan District are so narrow they can feel like living in the barrel of a shotgun, but I think we made the most of this small space that empties into the front entry! Sidebar: I painted the piece above the mantle one rainy afternoon when my precious little girls were plugged into a Disney movie because I was at the end of my parenting rope- ha! I love rooms to feel like a designer was never there, rooms that feel like they evolved over time, and rooms that are polished but not too precious. We also use the heck out of this room so I store blocks, games, and puzzles in the boxes under the table. I adore so many things in this room! I was named after the woman in the portrait on the right, and I cherish those two ancient paintings. This room is a fresh spin on family heritage; I think it is timeless yet right on trend. It is the first room everyone sees when we come into this house, and it makes us feel right at home! Would you like a room in your home to be featured as an Apartment Therapy Favorite Rooms post? Submit your room here.

Rattan chairs in dining room


Dining room with groovy style

What to do when you when you want a $900 bathroom table and sink, but are on a limited budget? Get hackin' of course. Ikea hacker Karen took an Ikea Bekvam kitchen cart for $49.99, took a sabre saw to it, installed a sink, stained/sealed it, and then added all the necessary plumbing.... All hardware and plumbing were purchased from the Expo Design Center. A commenter also mentioned creating a pedestal sink using a barstool for a small space bathroom, so even a small footprint could be created with the right complimentary sink. Just remember to waterproof seal any of wood pieces used.