Sunday, July 21, 2013

Decorating and Storage for Small Vintage Apartments

I live in a small one-bedroom apartment in a "vintage" building (if you consider the 1960's and 1970's vintage) and I know the frustrations of decorating a small space with little storage. One thing I've learned is that furniture must have more than one purpose and have built in storage if possible.

I'm always happy to share ideas about how to work with a limited space, and recently I've had several friends over at different times who have helped me look at some space issues with new eyes.

So in case there's anyone out there that may be looking to discuss some small apartment decorating ideas, brainstorm some ideas with someone with a similar issues, especially in an older vintage building, I just want them to know I'm here.

I know it can be challenging, even for someone with a visual mind who loves architecture.  I'm not an architect or decorator, but I dwell among them during the daylight hours.

Now, talking to someone I feel is a kindred spirit here, I'm sure that searching Google for small apartment ideas is always a fun activity to indulge in.  In order to get the brainstorming discussion going, I offer a few ideas.

Decorating a small apartment office, for instance, you need to think vertical for storage:

The same goes for living rooms - you want to go vertical (something some of us may be more familiar with than others)- and as I said, go for multipurpose usage, especially when storing or archiving things like movie scripts, for example, or sheet music:

Kitchens are always an interesting decorating challenge, because you have appliances to consider. Now, I rent, so I don't have a choice as to the type of appliances I have once I selected this apartment for rent. But, some of us may be lucky enough to have the option of buying new appliances for a small kitchen. Given the vintage nature of some apartments, you may want to stay within that theme:

I know from watching HGTV that lots of of homeowners these days go bonkers if they don't have stainless steel appliances, but I think I might be safe in suggesting (kindred spirits and all) a refurbished or replica 1920's range like the one above:

Or something new, but with a more vintage look like the one pictured above.

What about going black? Something like the very well named Kitchen Range Majestic for the majestic in some of us.

Update 8/24/13: I think I found the perfect stove for the perfect Guy, I mean guy:

Perfect for a vintage 1920's era apartment building

I know I'm still moving furniture around in my new apartment and looking for better ways to use the space in the future. A challenge (especially for those of us financially challenged like me), but a fun challenge. A friend said to me recently she hoped my apartment was my sanctuary, and I hope to make it so, and hope everyone's home is their sanctuary.

Now for some admin and thanks:

Decorating ideas from the following sites if you're curious:

Thank you to Servetus for the "what kind of kitchen range?" question.

Thank you Richard Armitage Central for the RA screencaps.


  1. Coolest post EVER. And I'm not just saying that b/c it was my question, I watch a lot of HGTV when I visit my folks and I always find it interesting what kind of kitchen people end up getting.

    I also don't see him as someone who really wants high-end / high performance appliances, based on what he's said about his cooking for himself so far. Now, if he had a significant other who liked food, that might be a different matter :)

    1. Serv! I'm excited that you're excited about my post.
      Thank you again for the question, got me thinking as you can see. Thanks for the mention on your blog too, much appreciated.

      I think we all have our essentials when it comes to kitchens, or apartments, and not always just based on income. He said he loves food,loves to eat, but I don't see him as a "foodie" either if you know what I mean.

  2. I almost rented an apartment because of the vintage cooking range that was just to die for. And then I found a small studio that had one even better. A kitchenette that had doors that doubled as cupboard doors to hide the whole kitchenette and I was in love - so I took that one :)

    And Lucas did need major design help with the apartment he lived in at a time.

    1. Hello! your kitchenette sounds fabulous. Storage is always an issue and something creative like that is a bonus, isn't it?

      Now, despite my post, I'm not someone always immersed in decorating and design, but I always thought Lucas didn't like his flat because it didn't really reflect him. I mean, all those objects in the kitchen had nothing too do with the Lucas story up to that point!

  3. I imagine him going for stainless appliances, but not necessarily anything as grand as the stove and hood in Lucas's third apartment. I don't know about Armitage, but Lucas sure did need decorating help.
    If you want to talk vintage- think of Guy's bedroom! ( well,let's do that anyway)

  4. Lucas in a vintage "Guy-like" bedroom would be good too! :) Agree, I though Guy's bedroom really told you lots about him. None of Lucas apartments and even the house seemed to be his, just an MI-5 not-so-safe house he lived in.

    I don't think Armitage will really need any help decorating - I think he knows himself well, what he's comfortable and happy with.

  5. The apartment pictures are just superb... Loved it

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