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Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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About the Author
Part interior designer, part life coach, MAXWELL GILLINGHAM-RYAN is the cofounder of the Apartment Therapy blog network—which gets 3 million unique visitors per month. Frequently quoted in the shelter and mainstream press, Maxwell has been called a “Makeover Guru” by the New York Times. He is the author of Apartment Therapy and Apartment Therapy Presents.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book, Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces, unfortunately, doesn't do that -- it shows little snippets and still lifes organized by room (bed, bath, living, etc.) without showing floorplans, and entire spaces. (With the possible exception of the G-R storage space outside the door to their apartment which mentions how they keep the space neat in deference to their neighbors.)Its more decorating porn than erotica: it shows you what someone else does, with no way to draw on those ideas -- rather than excite your own senses about what's possible for you and your space.
For example, the old Gillingham-Ryan pad (as shown in "Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions") was an object lesson in so many ways: rethink materials for their function, not purpose; expand one area (kitchen) and minimize another (lr) - but together, the sum is greater than the parts. In the bedroom, you need a place to sleep, and a place to store things -- but you don't necessarily need space to walk around.
It's unfortunate -- for all that AT has to say about living in (relatively) small spaces that this book misses the point. Much of what it DOES offer is said elsewhere, and often: get rid of clutter (your stuff)/hide wires/ light colors expand and dark colors. Really: do we need a book to tell us that mirrors can enlarge space?
It's too bad, because, for me, the previous book is a bible: it shows complete apartments, describes who lives there, shows floor plans, etc. The Small Cool contest as shown on AT's website did that, as well. But this book is like too many others: great photos filling lots of pages, and little more.
But I also realize that part of AT is showcasing not just other people's creative ideas, but their personal spaces, thus the closeups and detail shots of the people's personal items.
I'm not as cranky about all of this as I sound - it's just that AT is a fabulous resource for small space solutions, and I personally would prefer more info and diagrams, etc., because I am constantly in search of exactly that.
I appreciate the fact that others are willing to showcase their homes in the first place, because in my opinion, there's not a website out there that is better for getting help and ideas for small space living than AT.
I was really looking forward to receiving Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces thinking it would be packed with great pictures of, well, small, cool spaces. I was excited thinking I would be seeing cleverly arranged small apartments and spaces as well as advice on how to decorate a small space and what I got was a dull, uninspiring book with basic run-of-the-mill apartments that don't even look small.
You can see the coolest apartment the book has to offer for free, it's the picture on the front cover. That's it. Once you open the book be prepared to be disappointed. Nothing to see or read here folks, save your money.
From entrances to bedrooms to kitchens to baths, it has real life examples of what innovative individuals have done to find extra storage and living space in limited quarters. The styles featured tend to be young/urban/eclectic and contemporary but the same principles can apply to European and American country/cottage styles. It's perfect for those who like to buy second-hand, antique and flea market styles.
It's a great introductory book if you've just moved into a small space and want inspiration on how to utilize the space effectively while making it comfortable, welcoming and putting your own personal style stamp on it. If you go to apartment therapy's blog website, you can preview pages of the book there to see if the book is to your liking. If you like the apartment therapy blogs and other apartment therapy books, you should enjoy this book for small space ideas. It's a great resource for ideas--such as the loft over the kitchen/eating area featured on the cover--that should spark a few of your own ideas.