Thursday, 16 July 2015

525 sq ft is enough as proved by decorator Max Sinsteden

Long time readers are well acquainted with my love of decor and interior design magazines and even if content or viewpoint varies and is inconsistent I still stick with most of my subscriptions.

I was very impressed with House Beautiful's July / August 2015 edition.
Not because of every house featured but the one of the titles on the cover was
"Small Spaces!"

The stand out for me in this issue was the 525 sq ft ( 48.77 sq. m ) studio flat 
in New York City whose tenant is the interior decorator 
Max Sinsteden of the interior design firm Olasky and Sinsteden.


Most apartments are completely foreign in concept or architectural style in magazines.
For me anyway...
But having lived in large cities and having lived in two studios myself - one having been in Manhattan - I really appreciated this feature.


He shows that a small space doesn't mean that you can't have a "grand" scheme.
He manages to have every element of comfortable living.

My favorite part of this flat is his sliding curtain screen and his hanging artwork that fortifies his demarcation between living and sleeping area.
I wish I thought of that when I lived in those two studios.

You can see the curtain in action in the picture below.


I recall thinking that I wouldn't invest in nice curtains because it was a rental and only a studio but in the case of many large city dwellers - if they don't do it now then when will they do it?

I love a gallery wall.
Some people comment that I have old lady nerdiness in me but I love the warmth art brings.

I also lean things against walls or leave pieces on the floor which 
annoys certain personality types no end!


He has the skirted table which is making a huge comeback but as you will see Mr. Sinsteden is a pure classicist and had this same feature even in his college dorm room!

I also appreciate his very English aspects of decorating which highlights comfort and layers of fabrics and prints on the wall.
I also want to know how he got his hands on that Cecil Beaton painting once owned by Brook Astor.


The kitchen didn't get a look in besides this picture but then again my New York apartment was like one of those mini bars you might get in a hotel suite.
I am surprised he has a dining table.

Look at his closet! He obviously sacrificed what could have been a NY guest room for a walk in closet.

It seems he has always had a very organized system of arranging his wardrobe.
Below are pictures of his dorm room when he was at university.


The article in House Beautiful is not his first big piece in the media but NY Mag did a piece about him which you can read here.


It seems that Max is a natural talent and he has been decorating since he was 10 or 11 and had part time jobs and internships with David Easton and Charlotte Moss.

There is his same skirted table in his dorm room which demonstrates he sticks to his guns and has a strong design philosophy.


His gallery wall which would have differed from other student's walls covered with posters of starlets in bikins and the like.


But I adore an unabashedly proud preppie and I think we will be seeing a lot more of him in the future.


I also hope that this issue of House Beautiful sells well and encourages the magazine to do features on homes of all sizes and not just houses where there is volumes of space and limitless budgets.
Have a great weekend x

31 comments:

  1. I like the magazines which focus on real homes and realistic budgets. Much cleverer to live big on a reasonable price than spend as infinitum

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    1. I like a mix of high and low because you want to know what's possible to do but I like to see the best on each category and for a small studio this makes me feel o could live comfortably in it.

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  2. Well I'll be buying this magazine tomorrow thanks to you! I'd stopped buying HB but this feature is outstanding. Love love his preppy style and he reminds me of my friend Christopher who brought antiques to his Uni dorm, decorated with rugs and gallery walls, had lots of flowers always and a proper bar cart when most people were busy doing beer bongs in the dorm hallway.
    The studio is exquisite, amazing hanging the painting in front of the curtains sectioning off the sleeping area, makes the curtain seem more of a wall holding an art piece. XO

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    1. I still have a subscription because of FOMO. I like they showed small is beautiful so one shouldn't give up! I wish I had his conviction when I was that young as he is only 26! X

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  3. Now I want a copy of this magazine! When I lived in Manhattan my husband and I had about 550 sq. feet in an L-shaped studio. It was tough, and it got even tougher when our son was born but somehow we managed to fit a crib into that space. Oh dear. We live in Brooklyn now and have a bit more room, and I do emphasize A BIT, but after reading Marie Kondo's book, I want to throw everything away, and after reading this post I want to invite Max over because I need an intervention! He is so talented!

    I love your mention of the size of a NYC apartment's kitchen. Ha. I remember it well!

    Love when you do your decorating posts because I would like to improve in this area! xx

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    1. I think those who live in big cities will look at this feature in a different light than someone who is used to space. I had a decent studio but gave up a proper kitchen. I had a fridge microwave and sink. So it was takeout for me or eating out! I also noticed they didn't show the bathroom BC rented flats rarely have nice bathrooms. But love how he will inspire all those renters to redo their space x

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  4. That curtain wall idea is brilliant but not sure about the hanging picture/painting though! Two 'rooms' sharing one window, how brilliant! I can't figure out where his closet is exactly. I'm assuming it's on the opposite end where the bathroom must be. Cute! :-) Emily

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    1. I think he doesn't have enough wall space but I like how the curtain and picture define the space naturally. I can't figure it out either his floor plan but it's amazing he has that space in Manhattan!

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  5. I love the curtain/ art wall also. So damn clever. I do not think I have the balls to try an art collage wall. They look fantastic but I shall wait for your visit to give it a go.

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    1. You have lovely art! I just love a wall of prints so much but it's probably the English influence but hope I get a chance one day to play! X

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  6. I think the small spaces are more creative -I love them as well! For years I lived in a studio here in DC and was happy as a clam and entertained frequently in my 450 SF (!!) but i'm more happy now in my MUCH larger space. Do you do the digital magazines? I just hate them...I'm all about my paper copies. I'm loyal too -a few bad issues won't sway me!

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    1. Small spaces does make your brain work in a different way. Yes I like living in a non studio but it gives ideas for those who think it's not possible to live well. Over here I have to get digital BC they don't sell some U.S. Mags and if they do its triple the price. But I have hard copies of world of interiors that I collect!

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  7. I'm bowing down to the fact that he scarified the guest bedroom for a closet - exactly what I have done so friends have to sleep on the sofa bed in the office lol! It's refreshing to see interior design of smaller spaces; it all seems more within reach rather than those huge multimillion pound spaces although I don't doubt for a second this space is not expensive too. happy weekend xx

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    1. The size makes it more feasible to look at their space differently I think xx

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  8. love it all, so layered colourful cheerful and hooray for persian rugs and neat folded products.

    xx

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    1. Folding and organising that closet would be a full time job!! Xx

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  9. He's very clever to have fitted so much into such a small space and still keep it original, chic and inviting. Would require great discipline to keep it from getting cluttered. No magazines or papers on seats, all clothes neatly put away. I'm sure FF and Heidi could do it - but I'd struggle.
    Once lived in a studio apartment in London (called a bedsit in those days). It was in what used to be the servants' quarters under the roof (there was a bell on the landing). Quite large for a studio, with a kitchen across the corridor and a bathroom downstairs shared with another apartment. Luckily when we were first married we had v little in way of possessions so didn't have to worry about clutter - and didn't even think about trying to give it glamour or chic as clever Max did in his student days.
    Such an interesting post Naomi. Will look around the newsagents for this magazine next week. Taking it slowly now we're home as still need a bit of recovery time. Was so lovely to meet up with you in London! Pammie xxx

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    1. I am no way s minimalist. In fact I like stuff around me and too much neatness doesn't allow me to think!! It was such a pleasure to finally meet you and hope we meet again soon!! Xxx

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  10. Happy summer Naomi! I am just catching up after being gone 3 out of 4 weeks! What a fun post. I'm always intrigued with the topic of small spaces-this is so creative. Love the use of the curtain wall-genius! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer so far.
    xx, Heather

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    1. Happy summer to you too Heather! Love seeing your holiday pics xx

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  11. Small but so stylish! Brilliant layering there. He is obviously very talented and creative. And his closet is enviable. Cheers

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    1. I love the layered look but it might be all the years in the UK! Have a lovely summer Loi

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  12. I love small spaces. Having been confined to my room with the flu (and been happy enough in such a small space) I am wondering what the point of the rest of my house is......a dust collector?

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    1. I find smaller spaces much more comforting too! Hope you are feeling better!

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  13. A perfect way to live it a small space - so beautifully done! So wish my closet was this organized…happy Sunday!

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    1. His closet is a model of perfection really.

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  14. Just to say how much I love your interior post, but your blog eats my messages.

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  15. Love your interior posts, but all my messages get eaten up...

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  16. Love your interior posts, but all my messages get eaten up...

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    1. Thank you Lady Sarah! They were just waiting but weren't eaten up :)

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  17. He looks so familiar! I'm sure I remeber reading about him in Vogue or Tatler a few years back. So talented. The curtain wall....wow. Love that so much. It is SO hard though to justify spending much on interior decorating when you are renting though! We are renting and very minamilistic. Used to be in 50m2 apartment, but upgraded to 100m2...I could never go back! Just the idea terrifies me!

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