May 20, 2010


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Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces, by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan (2010, Clarkson Potter, 304 pages)
With money, all redecorating desires are possible.

One of the suggestions in Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces is to go for small, thin electronics. For big TVs, the suggestion is to build a false fireplace around it.
The book is all about the smart and attractive, if not exactly inexpensive.

Have a small kitchen? The book recommends an under-counter fridge. Have an open-concept apartment? Consider a platform bedroom, lofting the bed out of the mix of other living space. The book lays these ideas out beautifully. And if you’re looking to cram an office into anything the size of a closet or bigger, it offers suggestions that make you want to max out a credit card and start wielding a sledgehammer yourself (particularly the suggestion for a mini library office).

Not that Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces is all about the high end. Plenty of its space-saving and decorating tips include IKEA items. And while the specific leather chair or chandelier used in the book might not fit in your renovation budget, it’s easier to find a lower-cost replacement for it than it is to stare frustrated at a small space with no idea how to use it. Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces might be just what’s needed when you start your home project — a place to start from. B — Amy Diaz