I occasionally get e-mails or calls from enthusiastic people telling me about a home they are sure will wow me. The first thing they emphasize: It’s huge! Twenty thousand square feet! Or more! As though this alone will make me want to run and see the place.

It does not.

Is it 20,000 square feet of beautiful space? Is it artfully designed and decorated? Is there creativity, ingenuity, a cozy nook or two? My interest is more likely piqued to hear of a well-designed apartment of modest size, with clever built-ins and decorating tricks that make the space seem larger than it is. We feature three such imaginative homes, all 1,000 square feet or less, in this issue.

Aside from the originality it can inspire, living small is impressive for the discipline it imposes on its occupants. I know a couple who live in a tiny condo in a Weese building who never bring anything into it without getting rid of something else. It’s a lesson in continual editing, a guarantee you’ll never slide into pack-rat tendencies.

Another bonus: it’s green to be small. The delightful Peter and Biba Roesch, who designed the apartment on page 84, point out that living small leaves a smaller footprint. You literally don’t take up as much space, use as much energy, or consume as much random stuff.
You don’t need to live in a small space to appreciate the tips and strategies in our Small Spaces stories. Everyone has an undersized room, a storage dilemma, or a need to streamline somewhere.

Maybe our stories will inspire you to pare down an overstuffed closet filled with clothes you never wear, to donate books you’ll never read again nor recommend to a friend, to transform a basement from a black hole to a marvel of easily accessible storage, to declutter your home and your life. And that’s no small thing.


Jan Parr, Editor