Kelly Gale Amen Design was featured in the August 2017 issue of Houston House and Home‘s coverage of converting small spaces into functional, usable spaces.
SMALL SPACES, BIG PURPOSES
Turn Limited Square Footage into Areas You Can’t Live Without
Compiled by BARBARA KUNTZ
Houston House and Home, August 2017
Those nooks, crannies, bare walls and even small rooms in your home are just waiting for revival into functional and livable areas. And you’re wondering, “What to do?” and “How?”
We share, with a lot of help from our expert friends, ideas to help you use every square inch in the best fashion possible — with a few “for-fun” options in the mix.
Skip the breakfast table in the kitchen with an inviting window seat just off that hub of the house. Big bay windows set the stage for a light and bright place to gather for eating, socializing and relaxing. Then you take it from there.
“The client loves color, so we thought the colorful pillows and upholstery were the per- fect additions to their all-white kitchen,” says Laura Umansky of Laura U Interior Design.
This breakfast nook cleverly combines an upholstered banquette, fantastic stools and a snazzy table to create a cozy spot for conversation.
These passageways don’t have to be blank spaces without person- ality. Decorative sconces with soothing illumination, framed family portraits or mirrors used in collections for making the often-con- tained areas seem larger are a few ways to bring decor here — as is paint.
“Ranch-style homes have lots of hallways,” Kelly Gale Amen of KGA Design says. “This color grid profile creates art, function and a playful, usable surround.”
Amen and a client set out to make a hallway and closet work together, determining polished concrete flooring for the base and then eyeing multiple paint swatches for the color grid.
“This hall and closet space now are a living-working transition,” Amen says. “And instead of the selection of just a few colors, we did more. As the client said, ‘Let’s use them all!’ And we did.”
An inviting work environment is conducive to productivity whether you work from home or commute to an office. Marie Flanigan of Marie Flanigan Interiors offers tips and tricks for any workspace to get your creative juices flowing.
• Lighting. “Look for a space with windows that serve up ample natural light,” Flanigan says. “You should always incorporate ample task and accent lighting through the use of table and floor lamps.” • Organization. “Cleanliness and organization are your two best friends when it comes to a productive work environment, and the modern market offers countless ways to keep things nice and tidy,” Flanigan says.
• Storage. Ensuring you have plenty of shelf space is another key to achieving a highly functional office. “We incorporate built-ins whenever possible,” she says, “but a solidly crafted bookshelf will do the trick nicely.”
• Cozy & Lively. Place a soft-to-the-touch rug underfoot, as well as throw in a dose of color through paint or a piece of art. “Bold hues tend to excite the mind and heighten positive energy, ensuring that your office will be a gold mine of productivity,” Flanigan says.
Transform a cranny or bare wall into a “munchie” haven for chil- dren and adults alike in the family room, den or in an outdoor kitchen, for example.
“This home is located in The Woodlands and was built by the owners with a heavy focus on wanting to design dedicated spaces for their grandkids,” Umansky says. “The munchies bar is located in the theater room and is the perfect space for the homeowners to enjoy quality time with their grandkids.”
The sign from The Neon Gallery is a novel — and fun — com- ponent in this setting and announces goodies!
Another home office was in dire need of style and functionality. The room felt cluttered, incohesive and small, but the homeowners did have wonderful glassed-front cabinets, which were put to immediate use in the renewal.
“We took a blocked room for an at-home office and transitioned it so it flows and shares as a creative wine room,” Amen says. “The collection of beautiful cabinetry, textiles and art, doors, grills and textures makes the magic. This once closed, hidden closet office space now is open for transition and multi-function.”