Harper Collins has just released "150 Best Mini Interior Ideas," by Francesc Zamora Mola. At eight-by-eight inches in size, it's diminutive at first glance, but its 504 pages are jam-packed with simple and beautiful ideas for designing small spaces. I recently interviewed its Barcelona-based author via email:
What was the inspiration for the book?
How can one live comfortably in a small place? Not only is it possible, but also it can be done in style with clever ideas that adapt to the needs and lifestyle of the occupants of a given space.
Why are these the best?
I tried to find projects that show space saving solutions affecting space layout, storage capacity, and the multifunctional character of furniture. For instance an office that doubles as a guest bedroom, large pieces of furniture that incorporate various living functions and organize a single space in various areas.
A good example is the "Apartment in the heart of Gothenburg" (p.20-27) that has a complex space layout organized along the steps and landings of a staircase. This staircase also provides shelving opportunities. Another good example is the "Unfolding Apartment" (p.118-125). This project features a custom piece of cabinetry that incorporates various functions: living, sleeping, entertaining, and working.
How did you select them?
The selected projects range between 125 square feet and 1,119 square feet, although the original idea was to stay under 1,000 square feet. There are a couple of projects that go over 1,000, but I found they were bringing interesting ideas. I've also made sure to include different types of living spaces: one-room studios, apartments, lofts, penthouses, detached homes, and guest houses.
The intent of the book?
Offer the reader creative ideas to optimize the use of small interiors, while adding a stylish touch. "150 Best Mini Interior Ideas" is for everyone: from the architect or designer who's looking for ideas to show their clients to the home dweller whose looking for cool ideas that may solve the space limitation issue, especially in urban environments, where living spaces are generally small and expensive.
Finding homes that are small is fairly easy. Finding small homes that have special features aimed to make the most out of a reduced space is a challenge. Not only finding the projects, but also gathering images and drawings and/or sketches to effectively show the particularities of each of the projects around the idea of living (comfortably) in a small space.
Who are some of the architects represented?
Architects and designers from all over the world. They all have different approaches on how to design small living spaces.
What do they have in common?
The capacity of seeing the design possibilities of small interiors. Also the ability to find the most appropriate design solutions in response to the occupants needs and lifestyle.
J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications, and edits and publishes a digital design magazine at www.architectsandartisans.com, where portions of this post first appeared. He's also the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand," due out from Routledge Press in the spring.