Color-blocking trend spices up a tiny apartment

Jennifer Karmon
December 7, 2012

Even the tiniest places have plenty of room for style, as one of my favorite Web series, "Tiny, Eclectic, Amazing Spaces," continues to show week after week. (If you've never heard of it, the episode starring Living in a Nutshell's Janet Lee, "How to design a small rental apartment," is a great place to start.)

I'm delighted to say that for the next several weeks, Yahoo! Homes' Spaces blog gets to exclusively debut new episodes of the show.

This week features interior designer J. Michael Moore, who makes quirky use of the color-blocking trend that has lately bled from fashion into home decor.

It's a bold choice for his 225-square-foot Midtown Manhattan apartment -- especially given his chosen foundation color of Sienna red, contrasted with a turquoise ceiling and a bright-yellow ladder to his custom loft sleeping area. "I really just got so tired of seeing gray and beige and black and white," he says.

Still, he does introduce restraint (and emphasizes the color blocks) by keeping pattern out of the space. "Everything is blended," he says. "Nothing pops out" because it's all strong.

And for something entirely different, he goes monochromatic in his bathroom, using a single shade of 2013's Pantone-declared color of the year, green, throughout -- right down to the cotton swabs and nail scissors. It helps makes the space feel bigger, Moore says.

More tips from Moore:

• Movable furniture ensures versatility within the home's confines -- he can create "many different areas," he says.
• Embrace the constraints of a small space: There's something really appealing about being able to "(put) your hands on everything, knowing where everything is."
• Add detailing to give a generic apartment character. Moore installed crown molding and changed up the base moldings.
• Think inside the box when necessary. The kitchen used to be a little more open, but he needed kitchen work surface. So he moved a bookcase to the edge of the painted wood floor, where it became a work "island" that helped define the kitchen area. The open shelves keep it airy and add display space.

Want to see more of "Tiny, Eclectic, Amazing Spaces" from SpacesTV? (Note: No relation to Yahoo! Homes' Spaces blog.) Just head on over to the show's YouTube channel.

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