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Art in a Small Space

The thought of living in a small space sounds both enticing and daunting to me, but so goes life in NYC. In Brooklyn, Zach Motl makes the most of a small space. His 178 sq. ft. apartment is masterfully designed. Three great things about it: areas are clearly defined, it’s organized, and it showcases Zach’s great sense of style. If not for this attention to aesthetics, a space this small could easily feel more like a closet than a place to call home.

A recent New York Times article about Motl’s apartment says, “One-room living works well if you clearly define areas” and one of the ways Zach does this is with artwork. A large framed map anchors the couch,

and the walls of his wet bar display a collection of framed art and art objects.

Here the artwork draws attention to each area and functions as punctuation, allowing the eye to pause and notice that this is where a specific activity takes place.

“He knows how to hit the sweet spot that turns a bunch of objects, like stacks of magazines, into a collection,” the New York Times wrote, “and how to array those objects so they look sculptural.”

Zach’s “artfully arranged stuff” epitomizes this space, where everything from lighting to chalkboard-doors to Wellingtons become art.

Zach’s sophisticated apartment proves that living gracefully in a small space can happen with an artful eye. Get organized, punctuate areas with art, and with your own distinct flair you will surely create a very cozy sense of home.

Photos: Robert Wright for The New York Times

Comments (3)

  1. Amy K.
    March 5, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I love seeing what people can do with a small space. Currently, I’m living in the largest house I have ever lived in. We actually have space that we don’t regularly use, and a dedicated guest room that remains empty for most of the year. It’s a strange feeling. And yet, compared to other people’s homes ours is still considered small. I used to rent a tiny apartment that wasn’t much bigger than this, and I enjoyed the quaint and cozy feeling I got when everything was ship-shape, right and tight, clean and put away. Still do, in fact. In my life and art, I like to set parameters and then solve the problem within those parameters. I think that’s a true test of creativity. Well done Mr. Motl.

  2. Shawna Erback
    March 5, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Wow! What a great use of a small space. It makes me want to re-organize my studio which is not very large.

    Thanks for that 🙂
    Shawna Erback

  3. Leslie Gabaldon
    March 6, 2010 at 6:30 am

    I agree with Amy. When I was in New York we have to figure out our apartment with a family and a cat (litter box included). We like furniture and objets and have a collection of original art. It was beautiful, organized and very cozy. Everything was handy and yes we did entertain a lot!. Plus from time to time we were in need to rearrange things because we aded something else!. SInce we move to Florida, also to a big house is very different. It is still beautiful and very homy, but, yes, we seldom use the dinning room and the formal living. Zach’s apartment is a work of art! Even tough I don’t like “accumulations” I am kind of jealous of his ingenious space! Good job! There is always space for more art!

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